University study suggests that Costa Rica is experiencing brain drain

A new study suggests that Costa Rica is experiencing a brain drain.

Luis Muñoz Varela of the Instituto de Investigaciones en Educación reported Monday that during the 1990s between 7 and 9 percent of highly educated Costa Ricans left the country to work elsewhere.

At the end of 2012 Muñoz surveyed some 145 professionals and academics who live in foreign lands. He used a data base of the Red de Talento Costarricense en el Extranjero de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias, and received 65 responses.

Nearly 61 percent of the respondents were in North America, about 28 percent were in Europe and a bit more than 9 percent were in Latin America, he reported. On average the respondents had been in the foreign country for a bit more than eight years, said a summary of the findings.

Muñoz said the brain drain is nothing new because the country experienced a similar outflow to Europe right after World War II. He said that the globalization of the world economy encouraged the flight of talent.

The study, done in December 2012, had sponsorship by the World Bank. The education institute is part of the Universidad de Costa Rica.

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