Wishful thinking: Belarus negate labour migration

The authorities state that a number of incomers exceeds that of out-migrants. But according to alternative estimations, the official figures are inaccurate. What effects will the emigration yield on a national basis?

A lot of people who left Belarus and stay abroad are still mentioned as residents of Belarus on statistical books, political analyst Andrey Yeliseyeu stresses.

The mispresentation of official statistic data is clearly seen after deliberate studying of census records of the countries which are the most popular choice of the Belarusian immigrants. Thus, Belarusian statisticians “forgot” thousands of compatriots who have moved to the USA and Canada ; for Israel, the number of leavers reaches 100.000.

“We are loosing human capital, i.e. the citizens who could affect changes in the country and the long-hoped-for modernization which has become proverbial thanks to the Belarusian government,” the expert said.

Closing borders as a measure of migration control is likely to fail, Mr Yeliseyeu points out. In his opinion, the authorities should provide economic stimulus package to keep professionals within the country. As Belarusians earn their living abroad and send money home it decreases unemployment, social tense and poverty level, the political analyst expresses confidence. But the annual reduction in the number of productive citizens results in staffing shortfall, Mr Yeliseyeu raises alarm.



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