40% of Greek Expats ‘Not Coming Back’



Eight in ten people who left Greece to work abroad due to the economic crisis are university degree holders, while four out of ten are not considering a return home, a new study shows.

The survey was conducted by ICAP for the fourth consecutive year, gathering responses from 1,068 Greeks who work in 61 countries. The majority of them are highly educated (53 percent with postgraduate degrees and eight percent are PhD holders).

The main reasons they gave for leaving their homeland were lack of meritocracy/ transparency (44 percent) and the economic crisis/uncertainty (36 percent).

Nearly four out of ten respondents said that they never intend to return to Greece, with 36 percent saying they are participating in actions to regain Greece’s competitiveness.

Most of the economic migrants are male (64 percent). Regarding age, 31 percent of them  are over 41 years old, 19 percent are 36-40 years old, 25 percent are 31-35 years old, 19 percent are 26-30 and six percent are 18-25 years old. Also half of them are single.

Of those who participated in the 2017 survey, 13 percent have returned to Greece, with the main reasons cited being to take care of their elderly parents or to start a family in Greece.

One in two participants said they would return to their homeland if they had the same or better earnings as they have abroad. Others said reasons to return would be Greece’s fine climate, economic growth and the recognition of the work experience they had acquired abroad.

Most of Greeks working abroad are employees (43 percent), 23 percent are heads of businesses, 10 percent are senior executives, 10 percent are managers, and 13 percent earn more than €100,000 ($116,000) per year.

Finally, most of Greeks working abroad are working in IT, followed by construction/energy, financial services, education and health services.