Brain Drain Phenomenon in Romania: What Comes in Line after Corruption?

A Quantitative Analysis of the Determinant Causes of Romanian Skilled Migration

  • Raluca Iacob (Bâra) National University of Political Studies and Public Administration


Romanians’ rapidly increasing exodus over the borders, in the last years, propelled Romania to the top countries with the highest international migration rates worldwide. A rate of 7.3% per annum, recorded between 2000 and 2015, placed Romania second, after Syria (United Nations, 2016). Between 1990 – 2017, Romania registered the highest rise in the migration stock among all EU states – 287 per cent (The World Bank, 2018a). The boost of the migration phenomenon was supported by significant changes, including in the migrants’ profiles, in terms of their level of education, consequently the loss of human capital represented by the highly skilled Romanians already has an impact on the key sectors of the Romanian economy. The highly skilled manpower shortage has been a constant topic on the public agenda, especially after Romania’s integration in the European Union (2007), and after the burst of the most recent financial crisis (2008). The number of highly educated employees (tertiary education and upper secondary and post-secondary attainment) decreased in Romania, negatively affecting the key sectors of the economy. Furthermore, research shows that Romania has the lowest percentage of tertiary education graduates from the EU, with 26.3% for the age segment of 30 – 34 years (Eurostat, 2018a).

The paper aims to show recent data on the determinant causes of the brain drain phenomenon in Romania (push factors) and to generate a classification of the three categories of mainly possible determinants: economic, socio-political and organizational factors, based on the results of an online survey addressed to Romanian high-skilled migrants.

How to Cite
Iacob (Bâra), R. (2018). Brain Drain Phenomenon in Romania: What Comes in Line after Corruption?. Romanian Journal Of Communication And Public Relations, 20(2), 53-78. doi:10.21018/rjcpr.2018.2.259