Assessing 'Brain Drain' from the Former Soviet Union to the United States

Clifford Grammich, RAND

Among the more significant, but least analyzed, effects of the fall of the Soviet Union has been emigration from these to other lands. This could reflect a “brain drain” with implications for both the Former Soviet Union and the international community. Unfortunately, little, if any, systematic data has been used to assess this phenomenon. In this paper, I use U.S. Census data from Summary File 3 and from Public Use Microdata Sample files from the decennial U.S. censuses of 1980, 1990, and 2000 to assess the characteristics of migration from the Former Soviet Union to United States in recent decades. Coupled with analysis of recent censuses of the FSU, these data sources can help assess how much brain drain, if any, has occurred to the United States, and point to issues to examine in considering migration to other lands that have attracted still more FSU emigrants.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration, Income, Employment, Neighborhoods and Residential Context