The young are leaving peripheral EU nations

EU 17, changes in 18 to 30 year olds compared to change in government debt, 2001 to 2011

One of the defining characteristics of the European Union is the free movement of people. EU citizens are largely free to live and work in any member nation. I have been working with data sets from a very wide variety of providers and merged census data sourced from Eurostat and financial data obtained from The IMF to realise the chart above.

Looking at the mobile 18 to 30 year old segment, we see that four of the five peripheral nations are experiencing what amounts to a mass migration of the young. In Greece a sharp decline of -21% over the past ten years was observed, Portugal -17%, Italy -15%, Spain -12%. This compares with an EU wide increase of some 2.82% in the same population segment. At the same time we see huge increases in government debt in these countries.

The well educated young, voting with their feet, realise not only will jobs and opportunities be increasingly limited in these heavily indebted nations, but the final, unpalatable solution will involve a reduction in living standards as government services are withdrawn, even as taxes are increased.

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