Brain drain


The brain drain is part of a migratory process in which the professionals of a nation for various reasons are forced to leave their native country in search of new opportunities, and consequently bringing problems to the nation in various areas as can be the decrease in the population rate. This is a process that countries in crisis tend to go through, and in nations that have good study academies recognized worldwide end up being the most sought-after immigrants , for their part, countries that present crises in certain professional areas take advantage of these leaks of brain giving them certain benefits in that country to attract them.

What is the brain drain?

The brain drain is presented by various names, brain drain, brain drain, MAC migration , it is defined as highly qualified migration and refers to a migratory phenomenon that can occur in any country, whether one is in the process of Development as it is already developed, where technicians, professionals who were trained in that nation either in public or private universities go .

  • Definition of brain drain
  • Characteristics
  • Story
  • Causes of brain drain
  • Consequences
  • Brain drain by country

Definition of brain drain

The term brain drain is seen and defined for the first time in the 60s by an English press that used it in a section of their news. He was referring to a situation that was arising at the time, where a large number of German scientists were emigrating throughout Europe ; The news was titled “Brain rain” .


The brain drain represents the mobilization and  the percentage of university students who emigrate from their native country to another country in search of better opportunities in all social and economic areas .


  • It usually affects mainly countries with economic crisis or that are underdeveloped.
  • Since the beginning of the centuries these migrations have occurred , it is believed that from ancient Greece.
  • There are countries like Australia that have support plans for immigrants who arrive in the country with any type of University training
  • Countries like Spain have been unable to control the brain drain in their country.
  • The brain drain can represent serious problems, depending on the migration rate , to the point of destabilizing a nation such as Venezuela .


Although the term brain drain is not known until the 1960s, since the dawn of civilization migrations have been seen all over the world. In the biblical texts we see stories of Israel where people with government positions, artisans and people with other similar trades moved from one place to another in search of a better quality of life.

In later years more specific cases began to be seen, such as the closure of the academy of Neoplatonic philosophers in the year 529, who sought to emigrate to other philosophical schools such as that of the Sassanid court. Migration is also seen during the fall of Byzantium in which the sages of the nation migrated to the Greek and Mediterranean coasts.

After these dates, the largest migration to date was the expulsion of Jews and the hills during the reconquest of Spain organized by the Catholic kings during 1492, where Jews and any non-Catholic philosopher are expelled in order to force conversion to Catholicism.

During periods of war there were the largest migrations in the entire history of the world (between 1933 and 1943). During it there were mobilizations to all parts of the world : of Jews, anyone affected by war or even people who prevented the war . Scientists and intellectuals stand out in this list:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Enrico Fermi
  • John Von Neumann
  • Niels Bhor
  • Theodor Adomo
  • Ludwig Von Mises
  • Kurt godel
  • Friedri ch Wilhelm Kael berg

Finally, it was lived in Eastern Europe during the Soviet Union , where despite the control that existed to prevent large mobilizations of citizens for more effort there was, 20% of the total population managed to emigrate.

Causes of brain drain

The main causes of brain drain worldwide are the following:

  • Lack of opportunities : This refers to the low job offers and job opportunities of a nation, this is usually due to economic crises that the country is facing, resulting in professionals accepting lower-level jobs.
  • Social and labor security problems: This translates into problems within the state security system, that is, the police entities. Professionals who are in positions with a good income are in the shadow of fear of being victims of criminals (robberies, kidnapping, extortion, fraud)
  • Lack of support for students: Although it is true that student life without support is the most difficult, universities always have support plans for them, either with study or work scholarships. Therefore, the lack of support is the diversion of benefits and support from the universities to the student body.


Some consequences of the brain drain are as follows:

  • Decrease in the population rate.
  • Deficit in the labor areas and the private sector.
  • Psychological problems due to family separation.
  • Delays in technological and scientific developments in the country.

Brain drain by country

  • The case of the economic problems of Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece): where the economic crisis and Brexit are affecting some countries of the European Union, producing large mobilizations of recent graduates to other countries such as France and Germany in looking for good job opportunities.
  • The case of Venezuela: that since 2010 has been facing a social and economic crisis , where hyperinflation and high crime rates have subjected the way of life of the inhabitants of that country.
  • The case of Mexico : that due to problems of adjustment of the state economy, some 500 thousand teachers were dismissed from their positions, and in turn the inhabitants of rural areas are subjected to drug cartels, which end up dominating their ways of life .

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