May 31, 2007


German brain drain at highest level since 1940s (Tony Paterson, 01 June 2007, Independent)

For a nation that invented the term "guest worker" for its immigrant labourers, Germany is facing the sobering fact that record numbers of its own often highly-qualified citizens are fleeing the country to work abroad in the biggest mass exodus for 60 years.

Figures released by Germany's Federal Statistics Office showed that the number of Germans emigrating rose to 155,290 last year - the highest number since the country's reunification in 1990 - which equalled levels last experienced in the 1940s during the chaotic aftermath of the Second World War.

The statistics, which also revealed that the number of immigrants had declined steadily since 2001, were a stark reminder of the extent of the German economy's decline from the heady 1960s when thousands of mainly Turkish workers flocked to find work in the country.

Leading economists and employers say the trend is alarming. They note that many among Germany's new breed of home-grown "guest workers" are highly-educated management consultants, doctors, dentists, scientists and lawyers.

OECD figures show that Germany is near the top of a league of industrial nations experiencing a brain drain which for the first time since the 1950s now exceeds the number of immigrants.

...always insist that the ambitious members of a society will be content to stay aboard the sinking ship.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 31, 2007 7:18 PM

We have millions of soon-to-be guest workers here, too. What American citizens don't have is some place into which to drain their brains, if it comes to that.

Posted by: Ed Bush at May 31, 2007 11:55 PM

The ones threatening to leave aren't the brains.

Posted by: oj at June 1, 2007 6:07 AM