Lack of trust in Islamist governments, spike in non-religious identity are among chief reasons, report finds.
The results of a recent survey in the Arab world show that more than half of the region’s young adults are considering emigrating, and an increasing number of people are identifying as “non-religious.”
The Big BBC News Arabic Survey, a joint assessment by BBC News Arabic and Arab Barometer, a Princeton University-based non-partisan research network, is the largest in-depth survey ever carried out in the region….Fifty-two percent of the respondents aged 18-29 said they were considering emigrating to another country.
The survey indicates that 70% of young Moroccans are thinking about leaving their country and almost half of all the population in Sudan, Jordan and Morocco, and a third of Iraqis, are considering emigrating. “The number itself is alarming and has several components,” Dr. Mohammed Masbah, director of the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis in Rabat, told The Media Line.
“Politically, there is a lack of confidence in the government as youth believe the government cannot solve their problems,” Masbah said. “Socioeconomically, youth unemployment is high; the belief is it will get worse.”
However, the desire to emigrate has not increased universally across the region. Since 2013, it has decreased in the Palestinian Territories, Algeria, Sudan, Yemen and, most substantially, in Lebanon.
Abdul-Wahab Kayyali, a research associate at Arab Barometer, explained to The Media Line in an email that the yearning to emigrate in Lebanon might have decreased for several reasons. Some estimates put the number of people in the Lebanese diaspora at 15 million to 20 million people compared to the 5 million Lebanese in Lebanon, he noted.
“Many Lebanese are already immigrants, and many of those who want to immigrate have already done so,” he explained.
Economic factors were cited in the survey as the predominant reason for emigration. Conflict and instability that have recently plagued Yemen, Sudan, Algeria, Libya and the Palestinian Territories have increased the rate of economic deterioration.