Number of Russians wishing to emigrate reaches highest level in 8 years

Emigrant sentiment continues to intensify in Russia as the standard of living declines, the post-Crimean syndrome fades away, and the authorities instead of a brighter future offer the society repressions and a course to "resuscitate" the corpse of the USSR.

As of May 2021, 22% of Russian citizens said they would like to go abroad for permanent residence, showed a survey conducted by Levada Center.

In four years, the proportion of those wishing to emigrate has increased by 7 percentage points, and its current values are the highest in 8 years.

Among young people, 48% of respondents said they wanted to leave, which is slightly lower than the historical high observed in 2019 (53%).

In the most economically active generation (25-39 years), one out of three expressed a wish to emigrate.

At the same time, the number of those who have been seriously considering the possibility of leaving has increased dramatically. One in ten said they were taking steps to make emigration a reality. The share of those who are considering the possibility of leaving has reached a maximum in the history of such surveys - 8%.

The “rest of the population is pulling up” behind the young people, who were the first to show an interest in leaving, comments the director of the Levada Center Denis Volkov.

For example, among people aged 25-39 and 40-54, the proportion of those wishing to emigrate has doubled in the last six years. Now it is 33% and 21% respectively against 17% and 11% in 2015.

The decline in interest to emigrate "was observed after the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the increasing conflict with the West," Volkov recalls.

But the Crimean syndrome will gradually lose its appeal for people whose incomes have fallen by 10% and continue to decline for the seventh year in a row. "At first, there was a peak of the "home is better" attitude," Volkov points out. "But then the desire to leave began to grow steadily. It is due to the fact that internal problems become more pronounced, and there is a normalization of attitude towards the West. The problems at home and the idea of live in the West are the main motives for leaving."

  Russia, Kremlin

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