Most Attractive European Countries for European Professionals

The European Union collects data on where workers from regulated professions move within the EU.

Credits: AlpBach Forum Website
Credits: AlpBach Forum Website

The interactive map above sums up this data set and gives a visual first idea of which countries are attracting workers from the ones that are less attractive to highly-qualified Europeans over the years. There are interesting facts to take away from this map we list below

Where do most European professionals go?

Since 2003, a total of 276,124 EU citizens have applied to go to another member state to work on a permanent basis with a regulated profession; the equivalent of the whole population of Iceland back in 1998. 

1. The countries with the highest number of professionals moving out are Poland (33,207 professionals), Germany (29,670), Romania (26,496), Greece (22,260) and the UK (21,519).

2. At the same time, those countries are the ones attracting a lot more professionals to come and stay: the UK has gained 76,956 professionals that obtained their qualification in another EU country, followed by Germany (38,343). Other countries like Belgium (22,835), Cyprus (22,834) and Austria (19,625) are doing fairly well to attract European professionals also.

What is really interesting to look at, is ratio: which countries have very few people coming in but a lot of people coming out; and for which is it the reverse? That gives an idea if the country is an attractive place to live, or to keep away from.

Most attractive and most unattractive places in the EU for European professionals


3. The top 5 countries suffering from a brain drain, almost like an haemorrhage of their talents, are the countries in dark red: Poland (-31,166), Romania (-25,914), Greece (-17,706), Slovakia (-12,080) and followed very close by Spain (-11,467). The ratio of people leaving the place compared to the ones moving in is in spark contrast in terms of volume.

4. The top 3 countries that look like benefitting from a great proportion of people coming in compared to people leaving are in dark green: United Kingdom (55,437) far far ahead of all countries, with the next countries being Belgium (12,190) and Austria (11,361). The United Kingdom is definitely the one most attractive countries of the whole EU for european professionals, even for their own people.

5. There was thirtheen times more Lithuanians leaving their country than European Foreign professionals coming in; similarly, Bulgarians leaving Bulgarian professionals were sixteen times more than the number of European professionals coming to their home country.


If you want to have your own play with the map data, follow the link to the Google map.

This blog post is inspired by the article from the AlpBach Forum

Data are extracted from the research and Stats of the European Union, Regulated Professions Database and the table made by Katrin Nussmayr.

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