Migration Trends of Highly Educated Pakistanis for Job Opportunities Over the Last Decade

In 2015, Nearly 9.4 Million Pakistanis Sought Employment Abroad

Recent records from the Bureau of Immigration and Overseas Employment shed light on the migration trends of highly educated Pakistanis in pursuit of job opportunities. Over the last decade, approximately 150,059 highly educated citizens have left Pakistan in search of job offers or employment prospects abroad.

Year 2020: A Remarkable Dip in Outbound Migration

Interestingly, the data reveals a significant drop in outbound migration in 2020, with only 5,121 highly educated individuals leaving the country. This marked the lowest number of highly educated nationals departing Pakistan in a single year during this period.

2022: Peak Year for Highly Skilled Migration

Contrastingly, the year 2022 witnessed the highest exodus of highly skilled Pakistanis seeking employment opportunities overseas. This spike in migration suggests an increasing trend in the pursuit of global job prospects among the nation’s educated workforce.

Impact of COVID-19

Experts attribute the reduced migration numbers in 2020-2021 to the global restrictions on travel imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These limitations significantly curtailed the number of Pakistanis venturing abroad for job opportunities during these years.

Historical Migration Patterns

Examining historical data from 1971 to the present, it becomes evident that Rawalpindi is a prominent source of outbound migration. More than 3.3 million individuals have left this district alone to seek opportunities abroad.

Saudi Arabia: A Preferred Destination

Saudi Arabia has consistently been a preferred destination for Pakistani job seekers. Since 1971, a total of 6.46 million Pakistanis have sought employment in the Kingdom.

Specific Year Highlights

  • In 2013, 12,057 highly educated individuals left Pakistan for overseas jobs, with a total of 622,714 individuals departing the same year in pursuit of work.
  • In 2014, 14,647 highly educated citizens sought employment abroad, while the total number of departures reached 752,466.
  • The year 2015 witnessed a significant departure, with over 9.4 million individuals seeking job opportunities overseas, including 17,484 highly educated Pakistanis.
  • In 2016, 839,353 people left the country for foreign job prospects, with 16,510 among them highly educated.
  • In 2017, out of a total of 496,286 departures, 16,029 highly educated individuals left Pakistan.
  • In 2018, 16,105 highly skilled citizens embarked on journeys abroad from a pool of 382,439 individuals seeking employment opportunities.

These migration patterns underscore the dynamic nature of Pakistani citizens’ pursuit of job opportunities overseas, with various factors influencing their decisions throughout the years.

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