Eastern European Emigration: An Analysis of The Exodus of Eastern Europeans

A capstone project submitted to the faculty of the California Maritime Academy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Maritime Affairs.

The human race is a migratory species at its core and has utilized migration as a means to spread all over the Earth. The reason many decide to get up and move is dependent upon social and economic factors that push or pull individuals. Migration and emigration are consistent factors throughout the world, but one point of interest is in Europe. Europe has long been a breeding ground for various cultures to come together and experience one another. Throughout European history, populations have been uprooted and moved on their own accord. The large phases of European emigration started with the industrial revolution as Europeans moved to the New World to start over. However, in recent history, the World Wars, Interwar years, and the Cold War would all bring about the mass emigration of many groups of people. Xenophobia towards ethnic minorities would result in the deportations of those people, and weak economies would be the primary driver for modern-day Europeans to leave their nations of origin. The consequences faced by countries with dwindling populations include brain drain, lack of economic growth, and the pressures to take care of an aging population. These are the main issues that accompany emigration, and various states throughout Eastern and Central Europe have developed ways to attract their people back. Although that is the case, there has not been much progress with that and people continue to leave, but most of them have the desire to return. It is not a surprise to find that why people go is economical, at least regarding the new millennium, and that they have no choice in their decision.