The Romanian diaspora is the fifth largest in the world, in relation to the total domestic population of the country, according to a report of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) quoted by G4media.ro. The report, titled Talent Abroad: A Review of Romanian Emigrants, was commissioned by Romania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
It shows that in 2015/2016 around 3.6 million people born in Romania were living in OECD countries. Between 2000/2001 and 2015/2016, the number of Romanian emigrants rose by 2.3 million, with most of the increase occurring between 2005/2006 and 2010/2011. Furthermore, in 2015/2016, 17% of all people born in Romania were living in OECD countries. While Romania ranked fifth in total emigrant population, it had the highest emigration rate among the ten main origin countries of emigrants living in OECD countries.
More than 97% of Romanian emigrants worldwide live in OECD countries, the report shows. The vast majority of the Romanian emigrants (93%) living in OECD countries in 2015/2016 were based in just ten countries and 90% lived in a European country.
Italy was the leading host country, with almost one third of the Romanian emigrant population (over 1 million). It was followed by Germany (680,000) and Spain (573,000). Most of the other emigrants lived in the United Kingdom, the United States, Hungary, France or Canada.
Between 2000/2001 and 2015/2016, the population of Romanian origin in the United Kingdom increased by a factor of 33, while the numbers of Romanian emigrants in Italy and Spain increased 13-fold and tenfold, respectively. The high growth in these countries largely explains the expansion of the Romanian diaspora as a whole over the period. Israel is the only OECD country where the number of Romanian emigrants decreased in the last 15 years, due to the ageing of the Romanian community and extremely limited inflows.
The report also shows that almost two thirds of Romanian emigrants in Europe said that they emigrated for employment reasons, including a high proportion in the United Kingdom (75%), Italy (67%) and Spain (63%). The second most important motive for emigration was family, accounting for 31% across the European Union. While employment was the main reason for emigration, only one in seven Romanian emigrants across the EU said they had a job offer prior to departure.
At the same time, in 2015/2016 23% of Romanian emigrants aged 15 years old and over living in OECD countries had high educational attainment, 11 percentage points lower than the overall foreign-born population. North American destinations had the highest shares of Romanian emigrants with tertiary education among the main destination countries: 54% in the United States and almost 80% in Canada. Romanian emigrants in France and in the United Kingdom also had, on average, a relatively high level of education: about 35% of them had reached tertiary education in 2015/2016 in these two countries. Educational attainment was much lower in Italy, the main destination country, with only 7% of Romanian emigrants there reporting a high level of education.
Germany is the main OECD destination country for highly educated Romanian emigrants, with close to one in five highly educated Romanian emigrants. About six-in-ten low educated Romanian emigrants lived in Italy or Spain. More than one third of low educated Romanian emigrants lived in Italy, followed by Spain, which hosted about 20% of low educated Romanian emigrants in 2015/2016.
The report is available here.