Moroccan Diaspora: New Picture is Emerging

Moroccan Diaspora: New Picture is Emerging

Chaima Lahsini
Moroccan Diaspora: New Picture is Emerging
Moroccan Diaspora: New Picture is Emerging

Rabat – Reading between the lines of the seemingly unchanged data on Moroccan Diaspora, new trends become visible and are predicting a better profile. 

In a major report, titled “Talents Abroad: A Review of Moroccan Emigrants,” the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) drew an interesting profile.  Released on February 21, the report presents the image of a growing, heterogeneous and dynamic Moroccan diaspora.

The number of people born in Morocco and living in OECD countries reached 2.6 million in 2010-2011, making it the tenth largest group of emigrants in the world and the largest group of emigrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

According to the report, Moroccan emigrants are mainly concentrated in ten countries, the majority of which are European. One third resided in France in 2010-2011, testifying to the historical linguistic ties between the two countries. Spain and Italy, more recent destinations, together welcomed one million Moroccan emigrants in 2010-2011, twice as many as in 2000-2001. The following five elements will help illuminate the findings:

Social Ladder Works 

While the majority of Moroccan emigrants still have a low level of education, the report disclosed that this is changing. Half a million Moroccan emigrants held a higher education degree in 2010-2011, twice as many as in 2000-2001. 

As the economic crisis of 2008-2009 hit the world, Moroccan emigrants suffered the full blow of it. Their unemployment rate stood at 34% in 2014 in European countries, 41% for the low-skilled. In Spain, the situation was particularly difficult with more than one out of two Moroccan emigrants unemployed in 2014.

Women are Coming

The OECD highlighted the fact that the number of Moroccan women emigrating is increasing. The number of female Moroccan emigrants with a high level of education has increased by 125% during the last decade, a more rapid increase than that observed among their male counterparts. 

In addition, descendants of Moroccan emigrants are more highly educated than their parents. More than 31% of Moroccan emigrants in Europe, or 250 000, have a higher education degree than their parents possessed.

America rather than Europe

Although the majority of Moroccan emigrants are in low-skilled jobs, thousands of them also hold highly skilled jobs in North America, and also in France. Results have shown, however, that Moroccan emigrants are more skilled and become better integrated into America society, rather than Europe. 

More than 7,000 doctors and as many nurses working in OECD countries were born in Morocco. With more than 50,000 international students, Morocco is the twelfth country of origin for international students enrolled in higher education in OECD countries.

Always Missing the Country

The growing, heterogeneous and dynamic Moroccan diaspora represents a major resource for the Moroccan economy. The government has long been aware of its role and has taken an active interest in this issue. 

Mobilizing the skills and talents of these people for the development of their birth country requires a better understanding of them and a better understanding of their aspirations, needs and expectations. 

For those returning, it is necessary to provide them with detailed information on work and investment opportunities to facilitate the recognition and transfer of their skills, says the report. 

… And Third of Locals Want to Join Them!  

The OECD report demonstrates some migratory dynamics. On the one hand, a third of adults in Morocco express a desire to emigrate, and this rate, already one of the highest in the MENA region, represents 45% of young Moroccans. 

On the other hand, return migration has increased by 30% over the past decade. These returned migrants, the Moroccan emigrants themselves or their descendants, have significantly higher levels of education than the average of the population.

Moreover, they are more than twice as likely to become entrepreneurs than the rest of the population. This is thought to be attributed to the fact that they are often able to benefit from experience, networks and financing abroad. This is a trend that emphasizes the critical potential of this group in the future development of Morocco.

Join the Conversation. What do you think?