Most Latvians repatriate for personal and family reasons

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People who return to Latvia after finishing their studies or work abroad do so mainly for personal or family reasons, said Inta Mieriņa, director of the Diaspora and Migration Research Center at the University of Latvia.

According to World Bank data, after Lithuania Latvia ranks second in the EU in the proportion of people who've emigrated.

While mobility isn't bad per se, it's a big problem for Latvia as people who leave don't return, meaning there's no exchange of information and the state loses human resources, said Mieriņa in a December 28 interview with Latvian Radio.

Mostly people leave due to economic reasons, and people who leave often call themselves economic refugees. They're dissatisfied with the attitude of the government and employers. At that, Mieriņa said that not everyone who wants to has left.

While people who decide to return say they're longing for Latvia or their family and friends. That is according to a survey of over 3,000 people who've returned. The research is to be presented early next year.

The preliminary results of the research suggest that people who return after studying or working abroad have great skills useful to but not always appreciated by employers.

Most of the people do, however, face lower income levels upon return, said Mieriņa.


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