Youth Migration Costs Western Balkans billionsReading Time: < 1 minute
Western Balkan countries lose around 5.5 billion euros each year through the emigration of young citizens, a new report by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy found.
The research, which looked at Serbia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia, concluded that the education of a child into adulthood costs an average of 25,000 euros. The total amount calculated with nine years of primary school, fours years of secondary school and five years higher education.
Given the significant outflow of youngsters from these countries, however, it is frequently the recipient countries reaping the rewards. Besides education costs (estimated between 840 million and 2.46 billion euros) the countries collectively lose billions in GDP from the absent youngsters not working in their home countries.
Young people have continually left the region in large numbers for decades, fleeing economic and political instability, and even war. The worst-hit countries in the region are Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has lost half of its citizens, according to some estimates, and Kosovo, from where 15.4% of its population left in the 2007-18 period.