Emigration rate of tertiary educated (% of total tertiary educated population)

Definition: Emigration rate of tertiary educated shows the stock of emigrants ages 25 and older, residing in an OECD country other than that in which they were born, with at least one year of tertiary education as a percentage of the population age 25 and older with tertiary education.

Description: The map below shows how Emigration rate of tertiary educated (% of total tertiary educated population) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Guyana, with a value of 89.24. The country with the lowest value in the world is Oman, with a value of 0.37.

Source: Frédéric Docquier, B. Lindsay Lowell, and Abdeslam Marfouk's , "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration" (2009).

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: International migration is a diverse phenomenon whose effects on source and destination countries continue to attract the attention of policymakers, scholars, and international agencies. Understanding and measuring the consequences for migrants, host-country residents, and those who remain behind is a demanding task. In particular, the impact of highly skilled migration on sending countries arises from a combination of direct and feedback effects that are difficult to quantify. Movement of people, most often through migration, is a significant part of global integration. Migrants contribute to the economies of both their host country and their country of origin. Yet reliable statistics on migration are difficult to collect and are often incomplete, making international comparisons a challenge. Global migration patterns have become increasingly complex in modern times, involving not just refugees, but also millions of economic migrants. But refugees and migrants, even if they often travel in the same way, are fundamentally different, and for that reason are treated very differently under modern international law. Migrants, especially economic migrants, choose to move in order to improve the future prospects of themselves and their families. Refugees have to move if they are to save their lives or preserve their freedom.

Limitations and Exceptions: Detailed immigration data are not easy to collect on a homogeneous basis. By focusing on census and register data, the methodology fails to capture illegal immigrants, for whom systematic statistics by education level and country of birth are not available, except in the United States. Demographic evidence indicates that most illegal residents in the United States are identified in the census. However, other host countries provide no accurate data about the educational status of illegal migrants. Thus, the number of low-skilled migrants is likely underestimated. By disregarding non-OECD immigration countries from the database, the number of highly skilled emigrants from several developing countries is likely underestimated. Incorporating data collected from selected non-OECD countries could refine the data set. Since there is no systematic information on the age at entry, it is impossible to distinguish between immigrants who were educated at the time of their arrival and those who acquired education after they settled in the receiving country. The number of foreign-born persons can be obtained for a large majority of OECD countries, although in a limited number of cases the national census only gives immigrants' citizenship (Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, and Korea). In these five cases, migrants are defined on the basis of their citizenship. The concept of foreign-born is not homogeneous across OECD countries. In most receiving countries, the foreign-born are individuals born abroad with foreign citizenship at birth. In a few countries (Australia, New Zealand, Belgium), foreign-born means "overseas-born," that is, any individual born abroad. Educational categories are constructed on the basis of country-specific information and are consistent with human capital indicators available for all sending countries. However, it seems obvious that the labor market impact on the source country of the emigration of some 1 million highly skilled Indians (4.3 percent of India's educated adult population) is less important than the impact on the source country of the emigration of some 16,000 highly skilled workers from Grenada (84 percent of Grenada's educated adult population). A more meaningful measure can be obtained by comparing the emigration stocks to the total number of persons born in the source country and belonging to the same gender and educational category. The data to calculate the highly skilled emigration rate as a proportion of the total educated population born in the source country is based on stocks (rather than flows).

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Data for the emigration of tertiary educated as a percent of total tertiary educated population is from Frédéric Docquier, B. Lindsay Lowell, and Abdeslam Marfouk's , "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration" (2009). Estimates of emigration stocks and rates by educational attainment were collected for 195 source countries in 2000 and 174 countries in 1990. Information on emigration such as birth country, gender, and education of the native-born and immigrant populations, is captured by aggregating consistent immigration data collected from national censuses and registers in receiving countries. The data collected is from a large set of receiving countries and disaggregated by gender and by three levels of educational attainment: highly skilled, medium-skilled, and low-skilled. Medium-skilled migrants are those with completed upper-secondary education. Low-skilled migrants have less than completed upper-secondary education, including those with only lower-secondary and primary education and those who did not go to school. Highly skilled migrants have post-secondary education. Migrants that did not report their education level are classified as low-skilled migrants. The term "source country" usually designates independent states. We consider the same set of source countries in 1990 and 2000, although some of them had no legal existence in 1990 (before the break-up of the Soviet Union, the dissolution of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, and the German and Yemen reunifications) or became independent after 1 January 1990 (Eritrea, East Timor, Namibia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau). In these cases, the 1990 estimated stock for each country of origin is obtained by multiplying the 1990 total value for the pre-secession state by the 2000 country share in the stock of immigrants (the share is gender- and skill-specific). The data only focuses on OECD countries, which should encompass about 90 percent of worldwide educated migrants. It is assumed that the skill level of immigrants in non-OECD countries is expected to be very low. The data also only measures the adult population aged 25 and over. This excludes students who temporarily emigrate to complete their education and the age restriction allows the comparison of the number of migrants at various education levels in source countries. To allow comparisons between 1990 and 2000, data from the same 30 receiving OECD member countries are used for both 1990 and 2000. Migration is generally defined on the basis of the country of birth rather than citizenship. While citizenship characterizes the foreign population, the "foreign-born" concept better captures the decision to emigrate. Usually, the number of foreign-born individuals is much higher than the number of foreign-born naturalized citizens. Apart from changes in political boundaries, the concept of country of birth is time-invariant (unlike citizenship, which changes with naturalization) and independent of the changes in policies regarding naturalization.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual