Thousands of educated Finns flock abroad annually

Finland is famous for highly qualified education along Korea. More foreigners enter to Finland, and more Finnish also go abroad for reasons. However along the globalization, Finland confronts a new issue to be solved: Outgoers are more expensive than newcomers.

Below is the article.

More people move to Finland than move away, but the average level of education of those coming in is low. It costs hundreds of thousands of euros to rear and educate those who eventually leave.


Finland’s population is growing because more people move here than move away. As of the end of October, the population had grown by 13,000 people this year. Some 10,000 of them came to Finland as immigrants and the rest were born here. Recent years have seen an increase in population of up to 18,000 per year.

It is notable that some 80 percent of incomers from western Europe have left the country again within five years.

The 30,000 or so immigrants to have arrived in Finland this year are not yet counted in the population calculations. A migrant is only counted as an immigrant once they have a residence permit, and only included in official statistics once they have a permanent residence.

People who leave Finland to live abroad for more than a year are statistically considered expatriates.

Former Statistics Finland development chief Pekka Myrskylä says that decision-makers should pay attention to the fact that those who leave move abroad for work.

“The people packing up are highly educated young adults, our prime workforce. It’s the most effective and skillful people that are leaving,” Myrskylä says.

Those who depart mostly make their way elsewhere in the EU or to Asia. Some but not all return. Fresh statistics show that some 3,000 more people will leave Finland for good this year than will return. Development of the trend has been uniform.

“It’s been ongoing since Finland joined the EU. Globalisation affects Finnish workers too,” Myrskylä says.

Outgoers more expensive than newcomers

Myrskylä says that even though more people arrive than  leave, there is still a problem of “quality and economic policy”. The costs are high, as it takes hundreds of thousands of euros to raise and educate every Finn who leaves the country to work elsewhere.

“He or she has been raised, educated, fed and kept healthy up until the day they move away,” Myrskylä says. “And of course higher education is also paid for. If a twenty-something Master of the Arts, say, leaves Finland, that is a quality investment we will not get back.”

Myrskylä says that most of those who move to Finland become employed in low-wage jobs and need further training, and that visiting professors and the like tend to leave again after a few years.

“I’m amazed by immigration critics who says that people shouldn’t be let in, even though nearly half of our revenue-producers leave once they’re fully trained. The population increase would be almost double what it is now if expats could be persuaded to stay.”


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