Map of Percentage of People Born in European Countries who Live Abroad

There’s just something about maps that I love. One of the careers I wanted to have as a kid, along with being a historian, archaeologist, and an astronaut,t was to be a cartographer.

I was looking at this map created by Jakub Marian and thought it was pretty fascinating. It essentially shows the percentage of people born within a country who live outside of that country. Fascinating. I think maps like this are quite telling because they graphically show the economic situation within a particular country or region. This doesn’t mean that every country with a high emigrant population has problems. Some people just might not have the means to leave. Other countries are really small and just don’t have the jobs or the opportunities of found in more industrialized places.

Still, some things are telling. For example, the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland have very few people leaving them. The same is true for Germany and France. This means that they must be doing something right. Even Spain, which in some ways is a surprise because last time I heard, their economy was in the doldrums, has only 2.7% of its nationals living abroad. However it is a beautiful country with amazing people and culture, so I can see why despite its problems, Spaniards would chose to stay.

Other countries with large emigrant populations are quite small. I can understand why people from Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia would want to emigrate. There probably are just better jobs (or more of them) in neighboring countries, especially within the EU. I thought Portugal at 22.3% was pretty high. I’ve been to there and it’s awesome! However, the country with the greatest percentage on the list is Bosnia-Herzegovina at 43.3%. This is understandable, as is the case with Albania. Those economies are much less developed than neighboring Germany, the United Kingdom or France. Plus the earning power in the latter three is much greater. It makes sense why people would want to work in such places.

Anyway, it’s a really cool map. What do you think about it the data represented here?

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