Brain drain

No wonder the Lancet is so worried about migration flows. Biggest brain drain from UK in 50 years - Telegraph (H/t Arnold Kling):

Record numbers of Britons are leaving - many of them doctors, teachers and engineers - in the biggest exodus for almost 50 years.

Skilled professionals, including doctors, are leaving the UK in record numbers
Over a quarter of qualified professionals who have moved abroad had health or education qualifications

There are now 3.247 million British-born people living abroad, of whom more than 1.1 million are highly-skilled university graduates, say the researchers.

More than three quarters of these professionals have settled abroad for more than 10 years, according to the study by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

No other nation is losing so many qualified people, it points out. Britain has now lost more than one in 10 of its most skilled citizens, while overall only Mexico has had more people emigrate.

I assume this has something to do with the fact that it is very easy for Britons to go to wealthy, English-speaking countries, and also that there's a relative lack of migration opportunities in Britain. If you're American or Australian, you can always pick up and try another city, but in Britain, you mostly move to London or you . . . move to London. This is an exaggeration, of course, but there's nothing like the ability to say, "You know what, things aren't going so well in Boston, so I'm moving to LA." If the economy, or the job opportunities are bad in London, they're probably bad everywhere else in the UK too.

Naturally there's also the fact that Britain's a crowded island where things are very expensive; an engineer can instantly boost his standard of living quite a bit by moving this side of the pond. Standard of living is not everything of course (which is why they aren't all here), but it's something, and people who care about it will move.