Chapter 3. The socio-demographic characteristics of the Romanian diaspora

This chapter examines the socio-demographic characteristics of Romanian emigrants and their descendants. The dimensions studied mainly include their level of education and their language skills. The results highlight the variation in the education levels of Romanian emigrants, as low educated emigrants tend to live in south European countries but conversely, countries in North America and some Nordic countries mainly host Romanian emigrants with a high level of education. The evolution over time in the level of education of Romanian emigrants, despite a slight decrease, shows an overall stability. Romanian emigrant women are now more educated than men compared to 15 years ago. The social and family situations of Romanian emigrants are also analysed, as well as their social integration. The chapter discusses the relatively limited use of the Romanian language among the Romanian diaspora.

    

The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

This chapter begins with an in-depth analysis of the distribution of educational attainment of Romanian emigrants in OECD countries and highlights the relative stability in their level of education. This analysis is then detailed by country of destination and sex and shows heterogeneity by destination and that Romanian women emigrants have a higher level of education. Similar analyses are presented for descendants of Romanian emigrants in European countries for which data are available. Some features of social integration and language skills are then described.

Education distribution of Romanian emigrants across OECD countries

Close to a fourth of Romanian emigrants in OECD countries are highly educated

Overall, in 2015/16, 22% of Romanian emigrants aged 15 years old and over living in OECD countries had a high educational attainment, while 30% had a low level of education (Figure 3.1). There is, however, heterogeneity across destination countries. In their main destination country, Italy, Romanian emigrants had the lowest average level of education: only 7% of them had a high level of education, while more than 35% had low educational attainment. To a lesser extent, Romanian emigrants in Spain and Germany – two countries with large Romanian diasporas – also had relatively low levels of educational attainment: the share of tertiary-educated among them was 17% in Spain and 23% in Germany, while the share of low educated was 39% in Spain and 29% in Germany. Romanian emigrants in France and in the United Kingdom had, on average, a higher level of education: about 35% of them had reached tertiary education in 2015/16, and the share of low educated individuals was 33% in France and 20% in the United Kingdom. Finally, in the United States and especially Canada, the share of Romanian emigrants with tertiary education was the highest among the main destination countries: 54% in the United States and 77% in Canada. These two countries had very few low educated Romanian emigrants: 10% in the United Stated and 7% in Canada.

Compared to the other foreign-born living in OECD countries, Romanian emigrants tend to be less educated. On average, Romanian emigrants are 11 percentage points less likely to have attained tertiary education than other emigrants, 33% of whom do so. However, 31% of the emigrants living in OECD countries in 2015/16 had a low level of education (Annex Figure 3.A.1), a percentage point more than Romanian emigrants. The share of Romanian emigrants with an intermediate level of education in OECD countries in 2015/16 was 12 percentage points higher than the same share among all emigrants (35%).

In Romanian emigrants’ main countries of destination, Romanian emigrants are significantly less represented than other foreign-born among the low educated. In Italy and Spain, Romanian emigrants are respectively twelve and six percentage points less likely than foreign-born to have a low education level. In Germany and the United Kingdom, Romanian emigrants are respectively eight and six percentage points less likely to have a low education level than the foreign-born in general (37%).

Figure 3.1. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, 2015/16
Figure 3.1. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, 2015/16

Note: Only countries with at least 20 000 Romanian emigrants aged 15+. OECD total includes all destination countries.

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

Compared to the emigrant populations of neighbouring countries, Romanian emigrants are relatively less educated (Figure 3.2). Among Romania’s neighbours, only Serbia – which is not part of the European Union – has a less educated emigrant population than Romania, with 41% of its emigrant population being low educated and 20% highly educated. By contrast, all the other neighbouring countries of Romania have a more educated emigrant population than Romania. For instance, close to half of Ukrainian emigrants are highly educated, more than twice the proportion of Romanian emigrants.

Figure 3.2. Distribution of education among emigrants from Romania and neighbouring countries aged 15 and over living in OECD countries, 2015/16
Figure 3.2. Distribution of education among emigrants from Romania and neighbouring countries aged 15 and over living in OECD countries, 2015/16

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

Germany is the main OECD destination country for highly educated Romanian emigrants, with one in five highly educated Romanian emigrants residing in this country (Figure 3.3). Migrant networks play a significant role in the emigration of highly educated Romanians to Germany (Dietz, 1999[1]), and the relatively good economic conditions in Germany – particularly compared to other European countries since the global economic crisis of 2008 – can also help to attract them, by ensuring a better labour market integration for emigrants. By contrast, although Italy is the first destination country of Romanian emigrants, only 9% of the highly educated reside in this country. However, Italy is the main destination country of low educated Romanian emigrants, with more than one third of them (37%) living there. Spain is the second OECD country in terms of hosting low educated Romanian emigrants, 21% of whom were living in Spain in 2015/16. Overall, highly educated Romanian emigrants are more spread out across OECD countries than the low educated. Highly educated Romanian emigrants seem to favour English-speaking countries. The United States, the United Kingdom and Canada host respectively 11%, 10% and 9% of the total number of highly educated Romanian emigrants.

Figure 3.3. Distribution of Romanian emigrants across OECD destination countries by education level, 2015/16
Figure 3.3. Distribution of Romanian emigrants across OECD destination countries by education level, 2015/16

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

The education level of Romanian emigrants is relatively stable over time

Contrary to the global increase in education among foreign-born living in OECD countries, the education level of Romanian emigrants remained relatively stable over the 2000-2015 period, and has even tended to decrease slightly (Figure 3.4). In 2015/2016, the share of low educated among Romanian emigrants remained the same as in 2000/2001, with 30% of the Romanian emigrant population having this education level. However, the share of highly educated has decreased by four percentage points over the same period, from 26% to 22%. This decrease in education level might be related to Romania’s accession to the European Union in 2007 and the previous lifting of visa restrictions by the Schengen agreement member states in 2002, as these changes made it easier for low-educated Romanians to emigrate to other European countries. More precisely, it offered new opportunities for Romanians, at a time when population aging and the shortage of labour in sectors that cannot be delocalised (such as construction, agriculture, health, care of the elderly, or tourism professions) made immigration an essential component of labour supply. In France for instance, the procedure for granting work permits was simplified and accelerated for the so-called selected occupations, an important number of which required a relatively low education level.

Figure 3.4. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries between 2000/01 and 2015/16
Figure 3.4. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries between 2000/01 and 2015/16

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2000/01, 2005/06, 2010/11 and 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

The comparison between recent emigrants (i.e. living in the country for at most five years) and settled emigrants (i.e. living in the country for more than five years) confirms this trend (Figure 3.5). Recent Romanian emigrants living in OECD countries in 2015/16 are more likely to be represented at both ends of the education distribution than settled Romanian emigrants; in other words, they are more likely to be either low or highly educated than settled Romanian emigrants. Among recent Romanian emigrants, 35% are low educated, compared to 29% among settled Romanian emigrants. While 25% of recent Romanian emigrants have a tertiary degree, this share is 22% among settled Romanian emigrants. This trend illustrates the diversification of Romanian emigrants’ profiles, with an increasing number of low educated seasonal workers for instance (Michalon and Nedelcu, 2010[2]). Among the foreign-born as a whole, a clearer trend of a higher level of education among recent emigrants is observed.

Figure 3.5. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries in 2015/16, by duration of stay
Figure 3.5. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries in 2015/16, by duration of stay

Note: Recent emigrants are living in the country for at most five years and settled emigrants for more than five years. Neighbouring countries include Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia, Moldova and Romania.

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

The number of Romanian emigrants with tertiary education in OECD countries seems to have increased in recent years more rapidly than the number of tertiary graduates in Romania. In fact, the emigration rate of tertiary graduates increased from 20.9% in 2010/11 to 25.8% in 2015/16. At the same time, the total emigration rate increased by less than half a percentage point (from 13.6% to 14%).

The emigration rate of tertiary graduates is particularly high compared to other countries with large emigrant populations. Among the top ten origin countries in 2015/16, Romania has the highest emigration rate of highly educated. A broader comparison confirms that Romania is one of the countries most affected by this emigration of the most educated, since only about 30 countries have a higher emigration rate of tertiary graduates, and these countries include small islands and sparsely populated countries. Compared to its neighbours, Romania also has a high emigration rate of tertiary graduates, with only Moldova having a slightly higher rate. While more than a quarter of tertiary graduates (26.3%) born in Albania resided in an OECD country in 2015/16, this proportion was only 18% for Bulgaria, 17% for Hungary, and 10.2% for Serbia and Ukraine.

The question of the emigration of higher education graduates is naturally sensitive for Romania, as for many countries that invest in the education of young people and face the emigration of some of them to countries where employment opportunities are more favourable. However, simply measuring the number of emigrants with tertiary degrees may overestimate this phenomenon. Indeed, not all highly educated emigrants completed their higher education in their country of origin. In the case of Romania, as highlighted in Chapters 1 and 2, many Romanians complete all or part of their higher education in OECD countries, either as part of student mobility or because they left Romania before starting their studies.

Among Romanian emigrants living in OECD countries, women now have a higher level of education than men

Close to a fourth (24%) of Romanian emigrant women are highly educated, whereas this share is three percentage points lower for men (21%) (Figure 3.6). Overall, highly educated Romanian emigrant women in OECD countries number more than 430 000 persons whereas highly educated Romanian emigrant men represent fewer than 330 000 persons. This high number of Romanian women living abroad with tertiary education corroborates the now higher education level of women in Romania compared to men (Unicef, 2016[3]).

The differences in the distribution of education levels by gender among Romanian emigrants vary by destination country (Figure 3.6). Among Romanian emigrants in the United Kingdom, women are 11 percentage points more likely than men to be highly educated, with 41% of women having a degree from higher education. In France as well, 41% of Romanian emigrant women have reached tertiary education, 15 percentage points more than their male counterparts. By contrast, in some countries like Canada or Spain, the distribution of education level among Romanian emigrants is relatively similar across genders. Nevertheless, Romanian men are rather better educated than women in some other OECD countries. In Israel for instance, Romanian emigrant women are four percentage points less likely than men to reach higher education (respectively 48% and 52%) and seven percentage points more likely than men to have a low educational attainment (respectively 27% and 20%).

Figure 3.6. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, by gender, 2015/16
Figure 3.6. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, by gender, 2015/16

Note: OECD covers all OECD countries for which this information is available.

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

Over time, gender disparities among Romanian emigrants in terms of education level have reversed in OECD countries. In 2000/01, Romanian emigrant men were more educated than Romanian emigrant women whereas it is the contrary 15 years later. More precisely, in 2000/01, Romanian emigrant women were nine percentage points more likely to have low educational attainment than men and five percentage points less likely to have a tertiary degree than men (Figure 3.7). In 2010/11, Romanian emigrant women became more likely to graduate from higher education than Romanian men, and in 2015/16, Romanian emigrant women became as likely as Romanian men to have a low level of education. The greater increase in education level among Romanian emigrant women compared to men goes hand in hand with the increase in education level among women in Romania (Unicef, 2016[3]).

Figure 3.7. Evolution of the education distribution among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in OECD countries, 2015/16
Figure 3.7. Evolution of the education distribution among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in OECD countries, 2015/16

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

Romanian emigrants with the host country citizenship are more educated than those who do not have it

The education level of Romanian emigrants who possess the citizenship of their host country in OECD countries is higher than Romanian emigrants who have only the citizenship of their origin country (Figure 3.8). Romanian emigrants who are also citizens of their destination country are more than twice as likely to have a high education level as those who do not (respectively 37% and 16%). However, this citizenship effect is stronger in some countries (Annex Figure 3.A.2).

In Germany, Romanian emigrants with German citizenship are, by far, more educated than Romanian emigrants who do not have German citizenship – they are respectively 21% and 38% to have a low education level and 26% and 19 % to have a high education level. In the United Kingdom as well, having the British citizenship is associated with a higher education level for Romanian emigrants.

The explanatory channels for this relationship between possession of the host country’s nationality and level of education are manifold. For example, more educated emigrants have better prospects for economic integration in host countries, which may enable them to have a lasting settlement that eventually leads to the acquisition of nationality. In addition, some Romanian emigrants with a tertiary degree have completed part of their studies in their country of destination, which in some OECD countries favours the acquisition of nationality (the question of the enrolments of Romanian students in OECD countries is discussed in Chapter 1).

This relationship, however, is not systematic and is more difficult to observe in countries where migrants have already been selected for entry. In Italy and in the United States, the differences in the level of education between emigrants, whether or not they have acquired the nationality of the host country, are marginal. However, the United States is also a country in which Romanian emigrants already have a relatively high level of education.

Figure 3.8. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, by citizenship, 2015/16
Figure 3.8. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, by citizenship, 2015/16

Note: Countries include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, the United Kingdom, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States.

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

The children of Romanian emigrants differ in education levels in European countries and in the United States

In European countries, the children of Romanian emigrants are less educated than other natives with migrant parents

Native-born individuals with Romanian emigrant parents (i.e. persons who were born outside Romania but had at least one Romanian-born parent) living in European countries other than Romania are on average less educated than the group of native-born with migrant parents (Figure 3.9). The children of Romanian emigrants are seven percentage points more likely to have a low education level than the children of emigrants (respectively 30% and 23%) and half as likely to graduate from higher education than the children of emigrants (respectively 16% and 32%). Similarly, the children of Romanian emigrants living in European countries other than Romania are also less educated than the native-born who do not have an emigrant parent. However, this result can be moderated as native-born individuals with Romanian parents tend to be much younger than other native-born persons (see the discussion in Chapter 1). Hence, as native-born persons with Romanian parents are overrepresented among the 15-24 compared to other groups, they might be still studying and classified in the low educated group.

Figure 3.9. Distribution of education among native-born aged 15 and over by parents’ country of birth, living in EU countries, 2014
Figure 3.9. Distribution of education among native-born aged 15 and over by parents’ country of birth, living in EU countries, 2014

Source: Ad-hoc module, EU-LFS, 2014.

In European countries, native-born men with Romanian parents are more educated than native-born women with Romanian parents (Figure 3.10). This gender difference is exceptional, as native-born women tend to be more educated than native-born men, whether these individuals have native-born or foreign-born parents. However, this gender difference is also related to the age distribution of the descendants of Romanian emigrants. Indeed, women descendants of Romanian emigrants are overrepresented among the younger category considered (between 15 and 24 years old) compared to men, which mechanically lowers women’s likelihood to have already reached tertiary education. The gender difference is indeed smaller among young descendants of Romanian emigrants than among older ones (25-64).

Figure 3.10. Distribution of education among native-born aged 15 and over, by gender and parents’ country of birth, living in EU countries, 2014
Figure 3.10. Distribution of education among native-born aged 15 and over, by gender and parents’ country of birth, living in EU countries, 2014

Source: Ad-hoc module, EU-LFS, 2014.

On the contrary, in the United States, the children of Romanian emigrants are better educated than other native-born persons

In the United States, US-born individuals with Romanian parents are better educated than other native-born individuals. According to the 2016 Current Population Survey, half of native-born persons with Romanian parents are highly educated. By contrast, only 39% of all native-born persons in the United States are tertiary graduates. This high education level among the descendants of Romanian emigrants goes hand in hand with the high education level of their parents in this country, as the United States is one of the countries with the highest share of highly educated Romanian emigrants. The children of Romanian emigrants living in the United States thus also constitutes a large pool of highly-skilled among the diaspora, which can be mobilised by Romania for its economic development.

Romanian emigrants are socially integrated in most countries

The Romanian language is not widespread among the Romanian diaspora

Language proficiency is a fundamental factor in the economic and social integration of emigrants in the host country. Good knowledge of the language of the host country facilitates the acquisition of skills during schooling but also integration into the labour market, and more broadly interactions with other members of society. As such, age at arrival in the host country is a key determinant of language learning and success in the education system (OECD/EU, 2015[4]; OECD, 2018[5]).

The use of the Romanian language seems to decline over generations (Figure 3.11). In Italy, Romanian emigrants’ main destination country, 86% of Romanian households declare Romanian as their mother tongue. However, the use of Romanian decreases from 89% among Romanian emigrants to 80% among Romanian-born emigrants who arrived before the age of 5 years old in Italy. An even lower share of children of Romanian emigrants speak Romanian (7%), which is particularly low compared to other descendants of emigrants in Italy.

Figure 3.11. Language spoken by Romanian emigrants and their descendants in Italy
Figure 3.11. Language spoken by Romanian emigrants and their descendants in Italy

Source: Condizione e Integrazione dei Cittadini Stranieri, 2011-12 (https://www.istat.it/it/archivio/10825).

In addition to this differential use of the Romanian language by generation, its use also varies depending on with whom Romanians interact. Only 36% of Romanian emigrants use a language other than Italian (which can be expected to be the Romanian language) to speak with friends whereas almost 60% of them use a language other than Italian to speak with their family. The Romanian language therefore remains the main language of Romanian emigrants when interacting with their family. The frequent use of the Italian language in interactions with friends demonstrates the relatively high capacity of Romanian emigrants to integrate linguistically and, more broadly, socially in Italy.

Overall, the use of Romanian in Italy by Romanians is relatively limited and illustrates the fairly restricted ties kept with their origin country. However, the loss of the Romanian language among Romanians over generations is not the sole result of a desire to renounce of their origin country’s culture, but rather, is also associated with the high proximity of the Romanian and Italian languages (Stoica, 1919[6]; OECD, 2018[5]). Compared to other languages spoken by emigrants living in Italy, the language distance that Romanian migrants face is considerably lower than that faced, for example, by Albanians. The Language Distance Index between Italian and Romanian is in fact 57 whereas it is 93 between Albanian and Italian (OECD, 2018[5]). This can explains why so few Romanian emigrants spoke Italian when they arrived in their new country but do not face major difficulties in learning this new language. Indeed, almost two third (65%) of Romanian emigrants in Italy did not speak a word of Italian when they arrived in the country and almost one third (32%) spoke only a few words.

In the United States, where a large number of Romanian emigrants are highly educated, the transmission of the Romanian language is also challenging (Nesteruk, 2010[7]). While a vast majority of Romanian emigrants want to transmit their language to their children – to enable communication with grandparents and extended family but also to develop their children’s intellectual development and education – and make efforts to promote it, it appears to be easier to raise bilingual children among Romanian families with more resources and support. And even though highly educated emigrants generally have a more positive attitude towards the transmission of their origin country’s language (King and Fogle, 2006[8]), with longer duration of residence in the country and continued extensive use of English in their professional occupations, Romanian emigrants face difficulties in keeping Romanian as the sole language at home. The fact that Romanian emigrant women are more engaged in professional activities than before might be connected to the fact that children are less likely to keep constant contact with the Romanian language at an early age (Nesteruk, 2010[7]). In particular, Romanian emigrants report challenges not in the early transmission of the Romanian language to their young children, but also in the maintenance of Romanian during adolescent years (Nesteruk, 2010[7]). In addition, Romanian emigrants also tend to prioritize when their children’s educational success comes at play. Highly educated Romanian emigrant parents hence tend to focus on promoting mastery of English at home to ensure their children’s success at school (Nesteruk, Marks and Garrison, 2009[9]).

Despite these difficulties, 76% of Romanian emigrants in the United States say they speak a language other than English at home according to the 2016 American Community Survey. Among this share, 85% of Romanian emigrants declare speaking Romanian at home, which corresponds to about 65% of all Romanian emigrants living in the United States. Interestingly, 5% of Romanian emigrants who speak another language at home report speaking Hungarian and 4% report speaking German, which underlines the mobility of Romanian emigrants across countries and their linguistic integration into these countries.

The strong linguistic integration of Romanian emigrants in the United States is also illustrated by the high share of Romanian emigrants declaring a good level in English. Overall, 88% of Romanian emigrants who speak a language other than English at home report speaking English “Very well” (63%) or “Well” (25%) (this share is almost identical if the sample is restricted to speakers of Romanian). Bilingualism hence seems to be quite common among the Romanian diaspora. However, comparing cohorts of Romanian emigrants shows that younger emigrants tend to be more likely to speak only English at home than older cohorts of Romanian emigrants. Overall, only 45% of Romanian emigrants under the age of 25 report speaking a language other than English at home, with 87% of them reporting speaking Romanian. By contrast, consistently close to 80% of Romanian emigrants aged 35 years and older report speaking a language other than English at home.

The practice of mixed marriages varies widely across countries

For emigrants, the prevalence of mixed marriages (i.e. marriages with non-natives of their own country of origin) is a dimension of social integration in the host country. In Italy, according to the Condizione e Integrazione dei Cittadini Stranieri, 87% of Romanian emigrants had a Romanian spouse in 2011/2012. This share is relatively similar to other migrants groups, as 88% of Moldovan emigrants in Italy marry Moldovans and 93% of Ukrainian emigrants marry Ukrainians. In France, according to the Trajectoires et Origines survey, mixed marriages were more common among Romanian emigrants. In 2012, only 48% of Romanian married emigrants married a person born in Romania while 45% of them married a French person. This rate of mixed marriage is relatively high, compared to Italy, but also compared to the other main groups of emigrants living in France. However, the share of mixed marriages among Romanian emigrants in France remains comparable, and even slightly higher than this share among emigrants coming from UE-27 neighbouring countries.

Romanian emigrants face a relatively high level of discrimination in their main destination countries

Close to one fifth (19%) of Romanian emigrants declared having faced discrimination at work in Italy (Figure 3.12). The feeling of discrimination at work is fairly high among Romanian emigrants in Italy, as only African and Moldovan migrants are more likely to declare to have faced this kind of situation. This share is half lower for emigrants coming from other EU countries (10%). Considering that language is not a major barrier to the integration of Romanian emigrants, as the linguistic distance is quite limited, this high level of perceived discrimination among Romanian emigrants can raise concern. One of the potential reasons might be the occasional conflation of ethnic Roma – a largely discriminated ethnic group – and Romanian emigrants in general. While some Romanian emigrants are actually ethnic Roma, this conflation might lead to an incorrect assimilation of ethnic Roma and Romanians in general (Uccellini, 2010[10]). Discrimination appears to be one of the main negative outcomes of the migration experience of Romanian emigrants in Italy, along with worries about the future, professional overqualification (see Chapter 4 for a broader discussion of this element) and the impact of migration on family relationships (Mara, 2012[11]).

Figure 3.12. Discrimination at work among emigrants in Italy, by country of birth, 2011/12
Figure 3.12. Discrimination at work among emigrants in Italy, by country of birth, 2011/12

Note: The Figure considers the share of individuals stating that they faced discrimination at work.

Source: Condizione e Integrazione dei Cittadini Stranieri, 2011-12 (https://www.istat.it/it/archivio/10825).

In France, close to one fourth (24%) of Romanian emigrants declared in the Trajectoires et Origines survey that they had sometimes faced at least some discrimination or unequal treatment in the past five years. This share is not so high compared to African emigrants, who regularly face discriminatory treatment in France as in Italy, but it is relatively high compared to the level reported by emigrants of other European origin countries. Romanian emigrants are indeed one of the main European emigrant groups declaring having faced discrimination or unequal treatment in France. However, Romanian emigrants are closely followed by emigrants from other European countries. More than a fifth (22%) of emigrants from Bulgaria, one of Romania’s neighbours, declared having faced discrimination. However, this rate is far higher than that reported by Polish emigrants, only 8% of whom declare having faced this kind of inequality.

Figure 3.13. Discrimination among emigrants in France, by country of birth, 2012
Figure 3.13. Discrimination among emigrants in France, by country of birth, 2012

Note: Persons who answer "Often" or "Sometimes" to the question "Did you face unequal treatment or discrimination in the past five years?"

Source: Enquête Trajectoires et Origines, 2012 (https://teo.site.ined.fr/).

Conclusion

With one fourth of its emigrants having tertiary education, the educational level of the Romanian diaspora in OECD countries is on average relatively high. Although Italy hosts the most Romanian emigrants and the most low and medium educated Romanian emigrants in all OECD countries, Germany is the main destination for highly educated Romanian emigrants. Education levels among Romanian emigrants vary widely across countries, and south European countries like Spain or Italy are the countries in which low educated emigrants are the more represented. Contrary to the global trend among emigrants living in OECD countries, the education level of Romanian emigrants is not increasing but is instead relatively stable and has even tended to slightly decrease in the past 15 years. However, this stability of education levels masks the fact that Romanian emigrant women now have a higher education level than men. Hence, over the last 15 years, gender disparities among Romanian emigrants in terms of education level have reversed in OECD countries. Native-born children of Romanian emigrants do however tend to have lower education levels than other native-born in European countries, but higher levels in the United States. Finally, the Romanian diaspora is characterized by a fairly successful integration into host societies. Indeed, the Romanian diaspora adopts the languages and demographic norms of destination countries quite frequently. Nevertheless, Romanian emigrants still face fairly frequent discrimination, which may hinder their successful integration into host societies.

References

[1] Dietz, B. (1999), Ethnic German Immigration from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to Germany: the Effects of Migrant Networks.

[8] King, K. and L. Fogle (2006), Bilingual parenting as good parenting: Parents’ perspectives on family language policy for additive bilingualism, http://dx.doi.org/10.2167/beb362.0.

[11] Mara, I. (2012), wiiw Research Report 378: Surveying Romanian Migrants in Italy Before and After the EU Accession: Migration Plans, Labour Market Features and Social Inclusion.

[2] Michalon, B. and M. Nedelcu (2010), “INTRODUCTION: HISTOIRE, CONSTANTES ET TRANSFORMATIONS RÉCENTES DES DYNAMIQUES MIGRATOIRES EN ROUMANIE”, http://dx.doi.org/10.4074/S0338059910004018.

[7] Nesteruk, O. (2010), “Heritage language maintenance and loss among the children of Eastern European immigrants in the USA”, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434630903582722.

[9] Nesteruk, O., L. Marks and M. Garrison (2009), “Special feature: Immigrant parents’ concerns regarding their children’s education in the United States”, Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077727X08330671.

[5] OECD (2018), Skills on the Move: Migrants in the Survey of Adult Skills, OECD Skills Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264307353-en.

[4] OECD/EU (2015), Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015: Settling In, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264234024-en.

[6] Stoica, V. (1919), The Roumanian Question: The Roumanians and their Lands.

[10] Uccellini, C. (2010), ’Outsiders’ After Accession: The case of Romanian migrants.

[3] Unicef (2016), State of The World’s Children 2016 Country Statistical Information.

Annex 3.A. Additional figures and tables
Annex Figure 3.A.1. Distribution of education among all foreign-born persons aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, 2015/16
Annex Figure 3.A.1. Distribution of education among all foreign-born persons aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, 2015/16

Note: Only countries with at least 20 000 Romanian emigrants aged 15+. OECD total includes all destination countries.

Source: OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) 2015/16, www.oecd.org/els/mig/dioc.htm.

Annex Figure 3.A.2. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, by country and citizenship, 2015/16
Annex Figure 3.A.2. Distribution of education among Romanian emigrants aged 15 and over living in selected OECD countries, by country and citizenship, 2015/16

Note: “Citizens of Romania” implies that the Romanian emigrants considered do not hold the citizenship of their host country.

Source: DIOC 2015/16.

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