A quarter of Portuguese young emigrants have college degrees

  • ECO News
  • 7 August 2017

All in all, there are over 1.7 million Portuguese emigrants in Europe. They are younger, more educated and more employed than Portuguese citizens living in Portugal.

The Portuguese emigrant population is younger and has a higher employment rate than the Portuguese residents. Those emigrants are more educated: more than one quarter of the younger Portuguese emigrants have a college degree.

The data is disclosed by Statistics Portugal (INE), in a study about the Portuguese emigrants’ situation in the European Labor Market. The study was made in 2014, concerning Europe, but did not account for Germany, Ireland, Denmark and the Netherlands. Therefore, INE highlights the document makes it “impossible to draw a complete picture of the Portuguese emigration phenomenon, due to the absence of information from important European hosting countries for the Portuguese emigration, such as Germany, as well as data from non-EU countries”.

Even so, it is possible to draw some conclusions about the Portuguese population in Europe: all in all, in 2014, there were a little over 1.7 million Portuguese emigrants in European countries. The majority (over 62%) lives in France, Switzerland (14%), Spain (9%), United Kingdom (7.6%) and Luxembourg (3%).

Between 2012 and 2014, when troika was in Portugal, there was a peak in the number of Portuguese emigrants which has a higher degree, and the data disclosed by INE confirms a positive evolution in emigrants’ education: “However, a clear age group difference is observed: comparing two generations of first-generation emigrants, one aged 25 to 39 and the other aged 55 to 64, the proportion of tertiary education in the younger group is about 10 times higher than in the older, 26.3% and 2.7%, respectively”.

In a comparison to the population living in Portugal, INE concluded that the Portuguese emigrants benefit from a higher employment rate, which was 68.5% in the end of 2014. Concerning emigrants, in 2014, the unemployment rate was 10%, while in Portugal, that rate stood almost at 14%. In addition, almost all the second-generation emigrants (96.6%) with a college degree were employed.