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Polish expats returning home in ‘reverse brain drain’: report

21.09.2023 00:05
Poland has recorded a positive migration balance for the seventh year in a row, with Poles based abroad increasingly returning home attracted by professional opportunities and lower costs of living, according to reports.
Photo:Image by Werner Heiber from Pixabay

Poland’s latest migration data was published by the country’s statistics office, the forsal.pl website reported on Wednesday.

Poland’s migration balance has remained positive for the seventh year in a row, which means that there were more new arrivals settling in the country than people leaving Poland to settle abroad over the past 12 months, the Statistics Poland (GUS) agency said.

“Analysis of migration trends shows that Poland is turning from a typically emigration-oriented country to an emigration-immigration-oriented country,” Statistics Poland added. 

The presence of technology and software companies such as Google, Microsoft and Nvidia, as well as lower costs of living than in countries such as the United States and Britain, have prompted many Polish expats to return home, the World Crunch website reported.

'Reverse brain drain'

Some experts have described the trend as “reverse brain drain,” World Crunch said.

According to the latest census data, the number of Poles living in Ireland has dropped by 24 percent to 93,000, from 122,000 in 2016, forsal.pl reported.

The number of Poles living in Britain has also recently decreased by 24 percent, from 911,000 in 2016 to 691,000 in 2020, according to estimates by the UK Office for National Statistics.

Although factors such as Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have played their part in this trend, for many Poles living abroad the main attraction has been Poland’s “spectacular transformation” in recent years, forsal.pl reported, citing The Sunday Times.

Poland’s economy has grown by 4 percent a year on average since 2004, and real salaries have tripled, and now Poland, rather than Britain, is Europe’s “land of opportunity,” The Sunday Times wrote, as cited by forsal.pl.

'Goldmine of tech talent'

Poland is ranked eighth in the world when it comes to foreign direct investment, according to forsal.pl.

Moreover, the country is a “goldmine of tech talent,” according to Polish-American investor Dominik Andrzejczuk.

IT and tech already account for 8 percent of Poland’s GDP, forsal.pl reported.

Earlier this year, Britain’s opposition Labour Party warned that by 2030, Poland could surpass the UK in terms of GDP per person, according to forsal.pl.


Source: forsal.pl, World CrunchThe Sunday Times