Bulgarian brain drain : the flight of human capital from the “world’s fastest-shrinking” nation
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Bulgaria is in the midst of a demographic crisis which is, in part, due to an annual net population loss from emigration. Many of these emigrants are highly-educated, highly-skilled, or are students that that attend universities abroad and do not return after graduation. Compared to other post-communist Eastern European countries, Bulgaria has showed the slowest growth in GDP after 1989 and is the poorest country in the EU. As these educated migrants leave to become productive members of other societies, Bulgaria loses the value that they would otherwise be bringing to their home country. This thesis explores the personal factors that influence Bulgarians in making migration decisions. With a focused-examination of a sample of alumni from a single private high school in Bulgaria, I argue that leaving Bulgaria has become a norm for young educated Bulgarians. I also find that for this sample, Bulgarians that have chosen to live outside of Bulgaria are nearly as satisfied with their lives as those who have decided to live in their home country.
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