Countries With The Highest Brain Drain Rate 2024: Top 7

Countries With The Highest Brain Drain: Brain drain is a situation where qualified, better and progressive minds of a particular country put their welfare before their country’s betterment and leaves the country in search of a better opportunity in another country.  It is necessitated when a country with capable brains and potentials have little or no opportunity to accommodate such potentials. Put in another way; brain drain is where the smartest people of a certain country emigrate from their home country in pursuit of educational or job opportunities in a different country.

Brain drain index by country
Brain drain index by country

Often times, after receiving education or employment as the case may be, these intelligent individuals decide to permanently leave their home country to use their gifts elsewhere, whether for more money, opportunity, stability, or just belief that life can be better away from their home country. This issue of brain drain is more prevalent in developing countries where the best and brightest leave the country in pursuit of stability as opposed to building their own nation. Rather than make wasteful effort to reform and improve their home country, they choose to use their talents in ways that they believe will not be wasted and provide a successful life for them. Brain drain is only advantageous to the individual that is leaving his country for another.

The individual gains more opportunities, better financial status, adequate recognition, and so on, whereas the country from which he leaves suffers loss of great potential which boils down to their poor economic development, since the skilled professionals are leaving the nation. On the other hand, the country which the individual migrates to gains his potential which contributes to their economic development. Brain drain is therefore used in reference to the country from which the individual exists from, while brain gain is used in reference to the country which the qualified individual migrated to; because they simply gained.

The expression “brain drain” was used to describe the migration of scientists and technologists to Canada and America in the early 1950s. The expression was first coined by the spokesman for the Royal Society if London in this regard. The meaning was later extended to the large-scale emigration of people with technical skills to foreign countries owing to lack of opportunities in their own country. This brain drain factor is now being suffered by most developing countries. While the rate of its occurrence is higher in some countries, Australia was ranked the country with the lowest rate of brain drain.

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Top 7 Countries With the Highest Brain Drain In The World 2024

Here are some of the countries with the highest brain drain:

1. Samoa: Samoa is an Island country in Oceania. The rate of brain drain in Samoa was ranked to have increased rapidly from the index point of 7.9 to 9.9 on the rate of 10, within the space of 2007 and 2021. Statistics shows that many skilled citizens of Samoa are exiting the country in search of better career development and economic attainment. This poses a severe loss to Samoa as a nation.

Brain drain statistics by country 2022
Brain drain statistics by country 2022

According to the World Bank publication on emigration, Samoa was ranked 9th out of 30 countries, being the country with the highest rate of emigration. It is of utmost concern when the study further shows that the emigrants are actually skilled and qualified citizens, leaving the country with little or no skilled persons to fit into certain positions.

The perceived reason for their migration is as a result of inadequacy of income and political interference. They are aid to have a better opportunity outside their country even with a job that is lesser than their qualification. In the education sector, students are ever willing and ready to leave the country for their academic pursuit, and in fact, they have the opportunities for studies on scholarship outside their country.

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2. Jamaica: This is another country with high rate of emigration as a matter of brain drain. according to the Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica 2019, the recorded birth rate and death rate in Jamaica was such as should ordinarily increase the population of the country to a greater extent, yet, due to the high rate of migration, the population is rather declining. Worse is the case that it is majorly the skilled citizens that are leaving the country.

Human capital flight
Human capital flight

This boils it down to brain drain. This has been recorded to have negative impact on the economic development of the country. Jamaica has recorded very large-scale emigration of trained Jamaican nurses. Citizens are also going abroad for studies of which their return is not guaranteed. Statistics further shows that there are less qualified workers in Jamaica; having high number of people who work without a degree or with a degree inferior to the one required.

All these points to the brain drain factor which poses a threat to the socio-economic development of the country. Statistical record conducted by the World Bank shows that about 80 percent of students at the tertiary institution level are open to emigration. There seems to be several enticing immigration policies that attract the citizen’s interest in pursuing their career development abroad which in fact, provides them with better opportunities than they have in their country.

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3. Somalia: Here is another country experiencing high rate of brain drain. Somalia is estimated to have over 70 percent of its educated citizens abroad. This is as a result of the country’s poor economic capacity and political instability.

Human flight and brain drain by country, around the world
Human flight and brain drain by country, around the world

The history of brain drain in Somalia is traceable to the country’s era of military regime followed by the civil war era. These major factors contributed to the economic and political instability of the country, thereby giving rise and need for the emigration of its citizens in search of better opportunities. Somali people are scattered all over other countries in their capacity; countries such as Denmark, Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, and so on.

4. Gambia: Gambia is another country ranked with high rate of emigration consequent upon brain drain. The country records about ten percent of its citizens outside the country. Due to the economic imbalance in the country, the youths especially, take every possible measure to exit the country, and this has become an event of concern to the country.

Which country is positively affected by brain drain?
Which country is positively affected by brain drain?

According to the World Bank statistics as at the year 2000, the rate of emigration in Gambia constitutes 68 percent of the country’s citizens who are educated up to the higher institution level. Their high rate of migration is as a result of the country’s incapacity to provide employment for the educated citizens. And as a matter of fact, the rate of the brain drain emigration increases with similar rate of qualified and educated citizens.

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5. Nigeria: Nigerian doctors are ranked the third highest in population in the United Kingdom. An estimated figure of about two thousand medical doctors and nurses leave Nigeria for another country every year. This also includes other health care professionals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) policy, the ration of doctor to patients is 1:600, that is, 1 doctor per 600 patients. But in Nigeria, the practicing ration of doctor to patient is on an estimate of 1:5000, that is, 1 doctor per 5000 patients.

Countries With The Highest Brain Drain
Countries With The Highest Brain Drain

This is drastically poor compared to the WHO recommendation and that of other countries. This poor ratio is as a result of unavailability if doctors. When the available ones are being subjected to poor economy under heavy duty, their available option becomes to flee from the country. While fleeing from their own country, they contribute to other countries’ advancement on the condition of a better opportunity and pay.

This does not happen only in the medical field. It is all encompassing. Nigerian trained academicians find their way abroad in furtherance of their education and in search of better opportunities without cause for returning.

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6. PALESTINE – BRAIN DRAIN 8.8% 2023 – 2024: During a press conference that took place on October 31 in Ramallah and was organised by Shaml: The Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Centre, the Undersecretary of the Palestinian Authority Foreign Office Ahmad Soboh called for an immediate end to the brain drain from the occupied Palestinian territories. He made his remarks in response to a question posed by a reporter. Asa’ad Abdul Rahman, Director of Shaml Administrative Council and a member of the Executive Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was present at the briefing and answered questions from attendees.

Countries experiencing brain drain
Countries experiencing brain drain

The Palestine International Institute in Jordan is likewise led by Abdul Rahman, who serves as its Executive Chairman. The purpose of the press conference was to draw attention to the worrisome out-migration trend in the occupied Palestinian territories, which is coupled with Israeli-imposed obstacles that deny and complicate residency requests by Palestinian expatriate nationals who wish to work, invest, and live in the oPt.

The conference was held in order to alert the world to the alarming out-migration trend in the occupied Palestinian territories. In spite of the fact that Soboh did not have any comparable information to hand about the amount of Palestinian immigrants, he offered the figures of 10,000 applications. He noted that there were two different categories of reasons that were contributing to the brain drain that was occurring in the oPt.

The first issue was the loss of financial security for highly qualified public service employees, as well as their desire, along with that of many other Palestinian families in general, to take refuge from Israel’s assaults, which led to a loss of social security and social cohesion in the community. The second factor was the current Israeli policy that denies overseas travellers the ability to enter the country on a tourist visa if their intention is to settle and work there, or to reunite with members of their close family.

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7. Eritrea: Over the years, Eritrea is a country that has experienced a significant amount of brain drain. The following are reasons for this:

countries with the greatest human capital flight
countries with the greatest human capital flight

A. It’s two and a half year war with Ethiopia: Several development plans have just begun and the nation is still trying to get back onto it’s feet.

B. The country only operates with one university, therefore the system of higher education is poor: Eritrea only has one university, the university of Asmara. The university provides courses for mostly veterans of the war and people who did not go to school. A lot of others are being sent abroad enmasse for studies to places like South Africa. The government has put in place programs and policies that will help the educational system of Eritrea, but just like what other African countries are facing there is no guarantee that those programs and policies would work. Possible solutions to this problem is that the government should focus it’s strengths on developing the infrastructure and education of the nation. Employing international manpower will be an added advantage.

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Brain drain actually deprives a country of their future. This is rampant in developing countries where the economy is unstable. There are several other countries suffering from this issue of brain drain, such as, Malawi, Ghana, Haiti, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Comoros, Sudan, Grenada, Capa Verde, Syria, Kenya, Mali, Eritea, El Salvador, Togo, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and many more.

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