Nearly half of Hungarian youth want to leave Hungary, reports pollster

March 8, 2018
Photo: Flickr/Twang_Dunga (CC BY 2.0)

Nearly one half of Hungarian youth want to leave Hungary, mostly in search of a better life, according to public opinion pollster Republikon Institute, reports daily online

The following is a translation of the article appearing in on March 7th, 2018.

A background government institute recently published a book on why it is worthwhile to remain at home.  The 150-page publication writes that the republic is stable and that the political system is stable, that the costs of living are low, and that society is built on the Christian value system, as is family here.  According to the National Strategy Research Institute, the Hungarian government continuously broadens the scope of supports for youth and families, and that we are protected from migration.  The volume’s authors did not restrain from emotional extortion: “The vast majority of youth electing to emigrate hardly take into account the genuine sorrow of the relatives they leave behind.  Nor the ingratitude that goes with the emigré not being able to care for his aged parents in the event of their dependency.”  Of course it is highly doubtful that such a publication can stop the years-old wave of outward migration, which, even if it has slowed down, remains a serious problem in the near future.

The Republican Institute polled 1000 individuals to find out what percentage of the Hungarian population plans to move abroad, as well as how many family members they know to be considering leaving the country.

In summary, nearly one-fifth of those asked answered that either they or a member of their family plans to work abroad in the near future.

While that alone may not seem too large a number, 18 percent also means that every fifth citizen is not planning their future here at home. The reasons are obvious: 14 percent are considering taking jobs abroad in the hope of a better life, and only three percent would choose to move abroad because of the state of politics.  One percent cited miscellaneous reasons.

The breakdown by age group reveals more alarming data.

40 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 said that either they or a family member wanted to move abroad, 34 percent in search of a better life, and 5 percent because of politics.

44 percent do not plan to emigrate. 16 percent could not or would not answer the question.

A much larger proportion of the next age group intended to remain: between the ages of 25 and 34, 76 percent do not want to move abroad, and a total of 18 percent said that either they or a family member were planning to do so.

Generally, it appears that the older the individual in question, the smaller the willingness to move.  However, even 17 percent of those over 64 years of age said that either they or a member of their family would leave Hungary. Between the ages of 55 and 64 this proportion was 12 percent.