From: Alice Taylor
OECD: Highly Skilled Albanians Leaving in Droves

Albania ranks fourth in the world for the emigration of highly skilled people to work, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The report covers the years 2000/2001 until 2015/2016.

According to the report, during this period the increase of the emigration rate of persons with high abilities in Albania is 14.6 points, after Liberia with 27.9 and Bhutan with 15.4.

After Albania is ranked Romania, with an increase of 11.8.

The OECD report highlights that Albania is also ranked among the top 10 countries in the world for the emigration rate of people with disabilities.

In Europe, Balkan countries are among the largest sources of migrants, according to the report.

Albania has a total emigration rate of 29%, Bosnia and Herzegovina of 20% and Northern Macedonia of 18%.

The report has brought reactions in Albania from politicians.

Through a Twitter post, Rama said that the data in the report is five to six years old. While this is true, more recent data has shown a high rate of emigration from Albania with many more wanting to leave.

At the time of writing, around 4.5 million Albanians live abroad while just 2.87 remain in the country. In 2018, Albania experienced the highest rate of emigration and 13% of the population applied for the US visa lottery. A further 62,525 were granted residence permits in the EU and over 100,000 received EU citizenship.

Reports have found that up to 83% of Albanians want to leave the country and some 49% are actively attempting to through looking at foreign job vacancies, applying for them, or taking steps to leave.

Furthermore, thousands of Albanians seek asylum abroad every year. Around 4000 applied in the UK in 2019 and 2020 and over 30,000 in the EU. This equates to around 50 people per day.  Several hundred applicants per year are granted asylum, refugee, or protected status.

There are thousands of Albanian healthcare professionals working in Germany as well with the number of those leaving, increasing each year.

While the OECD data may be several years old, more recent data shows that the mass emigration of Albanian citizens is continuing.