“They are leaving and not coming back”, headlines Gazeta Wyborcza on the rising number of Poles going abroad in search of better jobs. 2011 alone saw 60,000 more people leave for the UK, Germany and Norway than in the previous year. The Warsaw daily notes that —
The number of emigrants has risen for the first time since 2007. There are currently 2.6 million of them […] Emigration grew despite the fact that economic growth in Poland reached 4% of GDP.
A rather unexpected shift considering the fact that after the first crisis wave hit Europe in 2007-2008, many Poles (up to 1.1 million according to some estimates) were forced to return to Poland with some economists even declaring “the end of emigration”. Not quite so. Attracted by much higher salaries, Poles are still flocking abroad. According to the Central Bank of Poland (NBP), the average Polish emigrant earns between €2,000 and €2,200 compared to less than 2000 zlotys (€500) back home. Experts quoted by the daily stress that even in times of crisis Poles feel more secure abroad than at home —
Not only are they not coming back, they even start taking their families out of Poland.