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Youth flight, Eurostat: 78% of asylum applications are under the age of 34
Albania is experiencing a prolonged wave of emigration, which is giving more and more consequences to the economy, as most of the new workforce is leaving.
Eurostat data on asylum applications by age group, show that since 2011 when data are reported until 2020, the vast majority of applications in the 27 countries of the European Union, on average about 77-78% consists of the age group under 34 years .
In 2020, there were a total of about 7,000 asylum applications, of which 30% were under the age of 18, 47% under the age of 18 (77% under the age of 34). 22% of those who attempted to flee seeking asylum were in the 35-64 age group and 1% over 65 years old.
The same structure is observed throughout the last decade. (see graph: Be-27 asylum applications, by age group, 2011-2020). In total there are about 160 thousand young people who have sought asylum in the last decade in one of the 27 countries of the European Union.
Other national INSTAT data show that high youth emigration, combined with declining births and gradual aging of the population is reducing the young active population in the country. The population in the 15-29 age group shrank by about 18,000 in 2020. In this age range the largest decrease was for young people aged 15-19 with over 8 thousand people.
As the workforce in young age groups is shrinking rapidly, businesses across the country are experiencing the hardships created by the shortage of employees. Service units, hotels and restaurants across the country especially in the tourist areas, fason sector and call center are feeling the shortcomings.
The pandemic crisis which also came as an economic crisis is expected to have a negative impact on demographic indicators, especially in terms of emigration.
Ilir Gëdeshi, a well-known expert on immigration issues, said that the economic crises in Albania have been followed by waves of emigration. The crises of 1990, 1997, 2008 have proved this fact. Even the pandemic crisis, according to Mr. Gëdeshi, threatens to escalate emigration to the country.
Në vitet e ardhshme, pritet që fenomeni të përkeqësohet pasi do të tentojnë të ikë pjesa që kishte planifikuar dhe nuk emigroi gjatë pandemisë. Përkeqësimi i kushteve të ekonomisë mund të nxisë të tjerë emigrantë që para pandemisë nuk kishin planifikuar të largoheshin, tha zoti Gëdeshi. Të dhënat ndërkombëtare tregojnë se kriza e pandemisë ka kthyer tendencat e vjetra të emigracionit. Në planin afatshkurtër, pandemia mbylli kufijtë dhe kufizoi udhëtimet, duke shkaktuar rënie të ndjeshme të emigrimit. Sidoqoftë, goditjet që pandemia ka dhënë në ekonominë e vendeve të varfra dhe atyre në zhvillim lajmërojnë valë të reja emigracioni. Ekspertët ndërkombëtarë lajmërojnë se vala e emigrimit ndodh dy ose tre vjet pas krizave që tronditin jetën e njerëzve.
For the period 20211 until 2020, in total in the EU-27 countries (excluding the United Kingdom) applied about 202 thousand Albanians. The record was reached in 2015, with 66 thousand people, marking a downward trend, to 20.4 thousand people in 2019. In 2020, due to the pandemic, applications fell by 66%, but remained the highest in the region and among the highest in the world in terms of population./Monitor