Experts forecast lower 2018 emigration statistics for Lithuania

Experts predict that the wave of emigration from Lithuania will this year be smaller than in was in 2017, while immigration into the country will grow, shows a survey conducted by BNS.

This week, BNS Lithuania asked 11 economists and migration experts to provide forecasts of the scope of migration.

According to the forecast, around 44,000 residents should emigrate from Lithuania in 2018, which would be 4,000 less than last year, while 31,000 people should come to the country, indicating a rise by 11,000 year-on-year.

"Those thinking about emigration will be somewhat held back by a good chance of negotiating a higher salary. The chances will be pulled up lack of employees, which will cause companies to agree with what their employees want," Tomas Šiaudvytis, senior economist at the central Bank of Lithuania's Macroeconomic and Forecasting Division, told BNS.

The polled experts siad emigration was fueled by Lithuanians already living abroad, attracting friends and family members, as well as lower emigration costs and young people studying abroad.

Meanwhile, immigration will this year be increased by returning emigrants and Ukrainians and Belarusians searching for better work conditions.

Eglė Verseckaitė-Grzeskowiak, lector at the International School of Management, said that bigger wages were attracting employees from third countries.

"Foreign immigrants see Lithuanian wages far better than those in their countries, therefore, their motivation is a mirror of the reasons behind why Lithuanians emigrate," Verseckaitė-Grzeskowiak said.

According to data provided by Statistics Lithuania, 47,900 people emigrated from Lithuania last year, down by 4.8 percent from 2016, while 20,400 immigrated, up by 1 percent year-on-year. Some 50 percent of the immigrants were returning emigrants. In the first quarter of 2018, emigration was 10,900 residents, which is a decline by 30.5 percent from the year before, while immigration doubled to 8,900 last year.

Source: BNS
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