Open Access

Additions to the Migration of Szekler Youth—an Overview of Statistical Data and Existing Literature


This paper aims to summarize the migration processes affecting Szeklerland based on the available official statistical data and the main results of the sociological and anthropological studies regarding the region. Emigration has been present in Szeklerland for more than 150 years. Measuring the extent of international migration—because of the significant illegal migration—is always problematic. The recording of migration in Romanian statistical data is clearly deficient. In estimating the extent of emigration, the most accurate are the international data. In the light of these, migrants of the two Szekler counties (Harghita and Covasna) can be put to approximately 12–15% of the population (62,000–85,000 people). The influence of migrants upon the emitting society is very significant: among secondary-school graduates from Sfântu Gheorghe (the biggest Szekler city), 58% have at least one person in the family with migration experience or staying abroad at the moment of the survey. Almost half of the migrant family members left for work. The most relevant destination countries are Hungary, Germany, Austria, Italy, England, and the USA. At the end of 2014, almost three quarters (72%) of secondary-school graduates from Sfântu Gheorghe were planning to emigrate in the near future. The causes and the consequences of migration in Szeklerland are multiple—they can be described with a combination of economic, incomplete, and transnational migration theories. And they can be completed with the concept of socialization deficit and the sense of personal deficiency it causes, which seems to be the primary motor of migration in Szeklerland.