Minister: Iran annually loses $150 billion due to brain drain

Business Materials 7 January 2014 13:58 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.7

By Fatih Karimov, Saeed Isayev - Trend:

Iran suffers $150 billion annually from brain drain, IRNA quoted Iranian science minister Reza Faraji Dana as saying on January 7.

Brain drain (or human capital flight) is a phrase that describes the departure or emigration of individuals with technical skills or knowledge from organizations, industries, or geographical regions.

Reza Faraji Dana said that some 150,000 Iranian elites migrate to other countries per yea, adding that brain drain is a major concern for the developing nations.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Republic of Iran had a substantial drain of highly educated individuals (15 percent) in the early 1990s. More than 150,000 Iranians left the Islamic Republic every year in the early 1990s, and an estimated 25 percent of all Iranians with post-secondary education then lived abroad in "developed" countries.

A report by the International Monetary Fund in 2009 indicated that Iran tops the list of countries losing their academic elite, with an annual loss of 150,000 to 180,000 specialists.

In 2012, Deputy Head of Organization for Civil Registration Mohsen Keremi told Mehr news agency that the U.S. stands as the first country where Iranians immigrate. He added that in 2011, some 1 million 400 thousand Iranians immigrated to the United States.

Other countries that were mentioned as being attractive for Iranians to immigrate to were UAE, the UK, Canada, Germany, France and Sweden.

Despite this, Iran has undertaken several measures in recent years to slow down the the brain drain phenomenon.