Talent Abroad: A Review of Moroccan Emigrants

image of Talent Abroad: A Review of Moroccan Emigrants

Close to 3 million people who were born in Morocco lived in OECD countries in 2010/11. To assess the potential that this group represents for the Moroccan economy, this review looks at the distribution of Moroccan emigrants over OECD countries, as well as their age, sex, and educational attainment. It analyses the labour market outcomes of Moroccan emigrants and documents the characteristics of return migrants in Morocco. Moroccan emigrants primarily reside in France, followed by Spain and Italy, where their numbers grew strongly before flows were affected by the economic crisis. Moroccan emigrants have lower educational attainment and less favourable labour market outcomes than native-born persons in destination countries, and many work in low-skill occupations. Those who have returned to Morocco are often retired, but they are also especially likely to become entrepreneurs there.

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Executive summary

In 2010/11, around 2.6 million native-born Moroccans, representing 10% of Morocco’s total population, were living in OECD countries, making them the tenth largest emigrant group worldwide and the largest group of emigrants from a country in the MENA region. Between 2000/01 and 2010/11, the number of Moroccan emigrants rose by 890 000, with most of the increase occurring in the first half of the decade. There is also a large population of native-born children of Moroccan emigrants, especially in some European countries with a longstanding tradition of Moroccan immigration. In 2014, there were over 830 000 native-born children of Moroccan emigrants aged 15 and above in a selection of European countries for which data are available.

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