Reflections on the Emigration Aspirations of Young, Educated People in Small Balkan Countries: A Qualitative Analysis of Reasons to Leave or Stay in North Macedonia

Kimberly Parker, Erin B. Hester, Sarah A. Geegan, Anita Ciunova-Shuleska, Nikolina Palamidovska-Sterjadovska, Bobi Ivanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For small, low-to-middle-income countries such as North Macedonia, the prospect of young, educated people leaving their place of residence (i.e. emigrating) can have significant negative societal-level effects. Understanding the complexity of the brain-drain phenomenon and its antecedents is critical to developing multi-level (i.e. global, societal and individual) strategic solutions. A qualitative analysis of several focus-group interviews was used to understand young, educated residents’ reasons either for emigrating or for remaining in North Macedonia. Two overarching themes served to organise the participant-identified drivers for emigration and those opposed to it. Three sub-themes emerged describing the factors for emigration: 1) a lack of professional opportunities, 2) institutional systems, and 3) cultural tightness. Likewise, three sub-themes emerged describing the factors for staying: 1) community, 2) culture and 3) social responsibility. Insights serve to contextualise some of the experiences of young, educated people in small, low-to-middle-income, countries which impact on their emigration decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-84
Number of pages20
JournalCentral and Eastern European Migration Review
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Keywords

  • Balkans
  • brain drain
  • emigration-decision conflict
  • migration aspirations
  • North Macedonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Reflections on the Emigration Aspirations of Young, Educated People in Small Balkan Countries: A Qualitative Analysis of Reasons to Leave or Stay in North Macedonia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this