Talent Abroad: A Review of German Emigrants
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Talent Abroad: A Review of German Emigrants

More than three million individuals who were born in Germany lived in another OECD country in 2010/11. To assess the potential that this group represents for the German labour market, this review establishes the distribution of German emigrants over OECD countries, as well as their age, sex, and educational attainment. Shifts in the German diaspora towards European destination countries and higher educational attainment are documented. The largest German diaspora still resides in the United States, but the diaspora in Switzerland and Spain has grown particularly quickly. International students from Germany have even come to represent the largest group of international students from any OECD country. While German emigrants experience less favourable labour market outcomes than their peers in Germany, the emigrants work disproportionately often in high-skill occupations. Survey evidence suggests that many Germans in Germany consider emigration and that many German emigrants are open to return. Those who have returned in recent years, however, appear to have a lower educational attainment than those leaving.

 

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Author(s):
OECD

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A sizeable pool of German emigrants can be found in OECD countries: in 2010/11, it comprised 3.4 million persons aged 15 and above. This number appears large when compared with other emigrant populations: Germany ranks third among OECD origin countries and fifth worldwide. On the other hand, compared with the extraordinary increases in other countries’ emigrant populations, the growth of this pool of emigrants has been slow: 250 000 between 2000/01 and 2010/11, or 8%.

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