WHAT IS BRAIN DRAIN AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE ECONOMY? Brain drain, also known as human capital flight, is a term used to describe the emigration of highly skilled individuals from one country to another. This phenomenon has been prevalent for many years and has significant implications for both the home country and the country of destination. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of brain drain, its consequences, and the potential remedies.

Causes of Brain Drain

There are many reasons why highly skilled individuals choose to leave their home country and move to another. Some of the most common causes of brain drain include:

  1. Lack of Opportunities

One of the primary reasons why highly skilled individuals choose to leave their home country is the lack of opportunities available to them. This may include limited access to education and training programs, a lack of job opportunities, and limited opportunities for career advancement.

  1. Political Instability

Political instability can also be a significant factor in brain drain. In countries where there is political unrest, corruption, or a lack of stability, highly skilled individuals may feel that their safety and security are at risk, leading them to seek refuge in another country.

  1. Low Wages

Low wages are another common cause of brain drain. Highly skilled individuals may feel that they are not being compensated appropriately for their skills and expertise, leading them to seek better-paying opportunities elsewhere.

  1. Better Quality of Life

In some cases, highly skilled individuals may choose to leave their home country for a better quality of life. This may include access to better healthcare, education, and overall living conditions.

Consequences of Brain Drain

The consequences of brain drain can be felt in many different ways. Some of the most significant consequences include:

  1. Economic Impact

The loss of highly skilled individuals can have a negative impact on the home country’s economy, as these individuals often represent a significant investment in education and training. Additionally, the departure of these skilled individuals can create a shortage of professionals in critical fields such as medicine, engineering, and technology, which can further hamper economic development.

  1. Knowledge Transfer

Brain drain can result in a loss of innovation and knowledge transfer, as these skilled individuals often take their expertise and knowledge with them to their new country of residence. This loss of intellectual capital can have long-term implications for the home country’s competitiveness, as it may find it difficult to keep up with advancements in science, technology, and other fields.

  1. Social Implications

Brain drain can also have social implications. The departure of highly skilled individuals can lead to a loss of role models for younger generations, as well as a sense of disillusionment among those who remain in the home country. This can lead to a negative cycle of brain drain, where the loss of skilled individuals leads to a lack of opportunities, which in turn leads to further emigration.

  1. Demographic Impact

Brain drain can also have a demographic impact. In many cases, highly skilled individuals who choose to emigrate are of childbearing age. This can lead to a decline in the birth rate and an ageing population, which can have significant implications for the home country’s social welfare systems and overall economic development.

Remedies to Brain Drain

There are several potential remedies to brain drain, including:

  1. Investment in Education and Training

One of the most effective ways to address brain drain is through investment in education and training programs. By providing highly skilled individuals with access to quality education and training programs, home countries can ensure that they are able to compete in a global market and retain these skilled individuals.

  1. Improved Economic Conditions

Improving economic conditions is another potential remedy for brain drain. By providing highly skilled individuals with better-paying job opportunities, home countries can ensure that these individuals are compensated appropriately for their skills and expertise, reducing the likelihood that they will choose to emigrate.

  1. Political Stability


Meaning: Brain drain; also called Human Capital Flight may be defined as the departure or emigration of individuals with technical skills or knowledge from one organization, industry, or geographical region to another. In other words, human capital flight is the loss of talented or trained persons from a country that invested in them to another country which benefits from their arrival without investing in them.


Brain drain can also be described as the large-scale emigration of people with technical skills to foreign countries owing to a lack of opportunities in their own country.

Brain drain is common among developing nations, such as the former colonies of Africa, the Island Nations of the Caribbean, and particularly in centralized economies such as former East Germany, and the Soviet Union, Recently, it’s been documented that China has been leading the world in Brain Drain.

Types of Brain Drain

  1. Organizational Brain Drain: This is the movement or flight of talented, creative and highly trained employees from one large organization or corporation to another.
  2. Geographical Brain Drain: This is the movement or flight of highly trained individuals from one region or country to another region or country e.g the movement of a Doctor from Nigeria to the United States of America.
  3. Industrial Brain Drain: This is the movement of traditional skilled workers from one sector of industry to another.

As with other human migration, the reasons for drain or human capital flight include the following:

  1. Social environment: Poor working conditions in a country may force a talented individual to move to another country where there are better working conditions.
  2. Poor opportunities: Lack of opportunities in a country may force talented workers to countries where there are rich opportunities.
  3. Political instability: Political instability e.g war may force trained personnel to move to another country that has political stability and freedom.
  • Undeveloped economy: Undeveloped economy may also force talented individuals to move to another country where the economy is highly developed.
  • Better living condition: Poor living conditions in a country that lack electricity, pipe-borne water, good roads accommodation, etc may also for individuals to move to other countries that have better living conditions.
  • Family influence: Families all influence the flight of trained individuals to migrate to developed countries especially when relatives stay overseas.
  • Personal preference: Individuals decide on their own to migrate to o countries for personal reasons.
  • Preference for exploration: Individuals may decide to migrate to another country for the sake of exploration of the known or unknown
  1. loans for businesses
  2. how to establish enterprises
  3. what is a firm
  4. price equilibrium
  5. scale of preference
  6. concept of economics
  7. economic tools for nation building
  8. budgeting
  9. factors affecting the expansion of industries
  10. mineral resources and the mining industries
  11. demand and supply
  12. types of demand curve and used
  13. advertising industry

  • Ambition for an improved career: Some talented individuals may d to move to another country with the ambition of pursuing a special career themselves.

Categories of People Affected By Brain Drain: The following profession and people most affected by brain drain syndrome:

Those in the medical field

  1. The academics
  2. Sports men and women
  3. The engineers
  4. Creative artists
  5. Inventors and industrialists

How To solve Brain Drain Problem

 Brain drain is taking place at a very fast rate in developing countries; Nigeria is no exception. People get disenchanted with the low rewards available for their qualifications and experience, which compels them to migrate to developed countries in search of greener pastures. If we want to arrest brain drain the following should be done:

Provision of better job opportunities: Better job opportunities have to be provided irrespective of caste, tribe, belief, race or nationality.

Promotion on merit: People have to be promoted purely on merit and avoid the use of sentiments or tribe etc to promote people in their place of work.

Provision of attractive salaries: Government should provide attractive salaries to highly qualified people on the basis of their qualifications and experience.

Improve on the universities: There should be a proper improvement in the quality of our universities and bring them at par with other universities in Europe and America.

Provision of adequate research facilities: Research facilities which should be adequate must be provided in all universities to enable them to do research work and prevent them from migrating to other countries that have these facilities.

Abolition of quota system: The use of the quota system to provide jobs should be abolished so that the best have the jobs.

Improvement on the power supply: The country is having a constant poor power supply.

Eradicate tribalism, nepotism, and corruption: All sentiments must be discarded.

Protect the lives of your citizens: The country is not safe with Boko Haram activities and kidnapping everywhere.