Nearly 5% — 4.8%, to be exact — of all Israelis with higher education live abroad, with the proportion more than doubling among those with doctorates and advanced degrees in medicine, a study by the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Science and Technology Ministry released Sunday found.
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For the purposes of the study, living abroad was defined as being away from Israel for at least three years. The study surveyed Israelis who were granted degrees between 1987 and 2007 and who had been abroad for at least three years in 2013.
Among Israelis with a doctorate in mathematics, 23% were living abroad. In biochemistry and mechanical engineering, the percentages were 18.3% and 18%, respectively. Of PhDs in computer science, 17.1% were living abroad, 16.1% for genetics and 15.4% for those with a doctorate in microbiology or physics.
The percentage of Israelis with higher education living overseas was down from 4.9% in 2012 but up from 4.2% in 2010. Moreover, 2.4% of Israelis with higher education who had been living abroad returned to Israel in 2012, up from 1.7% the year before.
Science and Technology Minister Jacob Perry, whose ministry operates a fund to encourage engineers living abroad to return to Israel, said the figures showed that Israel’s “brain drain” was diminishing.