Hungarian emigration differs from other countries in the region. This was investigated in a recent study.
The author of the study is Ágnes Hárs, one of the most prominent Hungarian researchers on the topic, who examined it in the latest issue of the Social Report. Hataratkelo.blog.hu summarised whether Hungarian emigration really does differ or it fits the general trend.
For a long time, the peculiarity of Hungarian emigration has been that many of those with higher education and relatively few of those with low education leave. In this case, Hungarian citizens aged 15-64 living in one of the EU and EEA countries are considered emigrants.
Hárs examined three stages. It was divided into the period ending in 2010, the period of 2011-2015, and the period between 2015 and 2019. According to the data,
in 2010, Hungarian emigration was only 1.3 per cent.
Of the neighbouring countries, only Czechs went abroad less. The turning point came next year, which can also be explained by the opening of the Austrian and German labour markets in spring that year. Adding to this, the 2 percentage point increase was significant only by Hungarian standards, as it was the average in the region. There was an increase of 1.2 percentage points in 2015, which was below average.
Traditionally, those with higher education go abroad from Hungary. That was the case from the first moment. Until 2010, Hungary had the lowest emigration rate of people with eight years of schooling. In the case of Hungarian emigrants with higher education, the rate was higher, but it was not outstandingly high compared to the neighbouring countries. The turning point came in the aforementioned year of 2011 when the proportion of emigrants with secondary and tertiary education suddenly jumped. It was such an increase that Hungary jumped to second place on the list behind Romania.
This process lasted until the middle of the decade and then slowed down, but it did not stop. Ágnes Hárs notes that this is a very worrying symptom. This is a loss that is difficult for the country to make up for.
In the case of countries from which many go abroad, mainly those with low levels of education leave, while in the case of those from which not a lot of people emigrate, the proportion of highly educated people is higher.
In Hungary, from where relatively few people go abroad, there are almost twice as many people with higher education as there are people with lower education. It is also generally true that the EU10 countries (formerly socialist countries that joined the EU in 2004 or later) are experiencing a steady increase in the already high emigration rate of people with higher education.
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