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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Brain Drain in the UK- Biggest Exodus for Almost 50 Years

Britain is experiencing what is being called a "Brain Drain", the worst seen in any country, as professionals such as doctors, teachers and engineers leave in the "biggest exodus for almost 50 years."
According to a recently released study from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain is seeing the worst exodus in 50 years.

This latest report from the OECD confirms previous data, reported in November of 2007, from the Office for National Statistics which showed (16 page PDF file) that in 2006, 207,000 British citizens - one every three minutes - left the country while 510,000 foreigners arrived to stay for a year or more.

Almost two thirds of all British citizens emigrating abroad went to live in one of five countries, these calculations were based on The International Passenger Survey (IPS),

Those countries of choice for these emigrants to relocate to are as follows:

32 per cent went to live in Australia or New Zealand
24 per cent went to live in Spain or France
8 per cent went to live in the United States

The release of the OECD report, last night, confirms that data and gives more detail to who is emigrating from the UK in unprecedented numbers.

Britain's exodus is far higher than any of the OECD's other 29 members. Germany has lost only 860,000 highly-skilled workers, America 410,000 and France 370,000.

The OECD found that 27.3 per cent of those emigrating had health or education qualifications, 37.7 per cent had humanities or social science degrees and 28.5 per cent were scientists or engineers.

Britain has a shortage of graduates in many of these fields and universities have long warned that some of the brightest hopes are being lost to higher salaries abroad.

The report cited research suggesting that 62 per cent of the world's "star scientists" live in the US, primarily because of the efforts made by American research universities to attract them.

This is said to be worrisome for Gordon Brown who is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, since tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money is spent on educating graduates.

One example provided is the cost to educate and train a junior doctor in the UK, which is said to cost about £250,000 (490,537.64 United States Dollars).

According to the shadow immigration minister, Damian Green, "Ten years of Labour has re-created the brain drain. High taxes and Government interference are driving people away."

The term brain drain was first brought about in the 1950's following the mass emigration of scientists and other experts to America.

Tens of thousands of people also left the country to escape the industrial unrest and high taxes of the 1970s.

To make it easily understandable, this exodus equates to one British citizen leaving the country every three minutes.

More on the OECD:

For more than 40 years, the OECD has been one of the world's largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistics, and economic and social data. As well as collecting data, the OECD monitors trends, analyzes and forecasts economic developments and researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more.