Effects of Migration on Poverty, Inequality, and Human Capital Formation in Albania

Friday, 20 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Entela KALESHI, Institute for Change and Leadership in Albania, Albania
The fall of the communist regime in Albania in 1990 initiated a continuous wave of migration of Albanian population that it is still ongoing. The political and social instability, poor economic conditions and changes in government brought the largest flow in modern times and favored by cultural, linguistic and geographic vicinity and low migration cost it was mainly directed to neighboring countries of Italy and Greece. Nowadays Albania has one of the world’s highest emigration rates, relative to its population, at -3.3 migrants per 1,000 people, and a total migrant population of more than 1.25 million in 2014.

Although during the last years it is observed an increase number of return migrants, Albanian citizens continued to migrate and it is observed an increase of the number during 2014, and the new trend now is requesting asylum in EU member states increased during 2014. According to EUROSTAT data show that 65,000 Albanians applied for asylum in 2015, 55,000 of them in Germany, half of them belong to the age group 18 – 34 years old, but 99 percent of Albanian asylum requests have been refused from European countries.

Due to the poor economic and living conditions in Albania, the labor market in Albania is still vulnerable and it affects the on-going migrant flows from Albania to the most developed labor markets of other countries. These migrant flows are directly linked with labor market development especially level of unemployment and poverty. They have a social development impact and poverty implications in several levels. At the individual level migrants benefit economically from their movements, having better employment opportunities and income; at the household level it reduces poverty and contributes positively to human capital formation, and better education and healthcare conditions, while at the national level it bring positive changes to the national economy.