More than one in five Russians want to emigrate – poll

Map of Russia

(Interfax – June 6, 2013) The share of Russian citizens who would like to emigrate has risen to 22 per cent, up from 13 per cent in 2009, private-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 6 June, quoting the latest Levada Centre opinion poll. Among students, the figure reaches 45 per cent. The poll was conducted on 23-27 May among 1,600 respondents aged 18 and over in 130 population centres in 45 regions of Russia.

Significantly more Russians say they do not want to emigrate, but their share fell from 80 per cent in 2009 to 73 per cent in 2011 and 2012, and to 70 per cent now. Data published on Levada Centre website (http://www.levada.ru/06-06-2013/mechty-ob-emigratsii) shows that the overall share of those who would like to emigrate has not changed significantly in the last three years (22 per cent in 2011 and 20 per cent in 2012).

In addition to students, the categories with the highest share of those wishing to emigrate in the latest poll were: entrepreneurs (38 per cent), non-manual workers (33 per cent), professionals and housewives (28 per cent each); men in general (24 per cent); people under the age of 25 (39 per cent) and in the 25-40 age bracket (32 per cent); those with higher education (27 per cent), with a “high consumer status” (27 per cent); residents of Moscow and of cities with the population of 100,000-500,000 (28 per cent each); and those who voted for Mikhail Prokhorov (38 per cent) or Vladimir Zhirinovskiy (30 per cent) in the 2012 presidential election.

Motives

When those who would like to emigrate were asked to name factors that made them consider this move, 49 per cent chose better living conditions abroad. Other factors named were: economic instability in Russia (32 per cent); the wish to give their children a secure future they deserve (31 per cent); insecurity in the face of arbitrary actions by the authorities and officials (18 per cent); business conditions in Russia (14 per cent); crime, terrorism and the feeling that one’s life is in danger (12 per cent); lack of professional prospects in Russia (12 per cent); the current political situation in Russia (10 per cent); better medical care abroad (10 per cent); reunification with relatives (4 per cent); and the feeling that most people around do not share their values (4 per cent).

Better living conditions were most often chosen by Prokhorov’s supporters (71 per cent), residents of cities with the population of 100,000-500,000 (69 per cent), housewives (68 per cent), professionals and students (67 per cent each), people under 25 (63 per cent), those with higher education (61 per cent) and those with a high consumer status (62 per cent).

Economic instability was chosen mainly by people with a low consumer status (50 per cent), students (46 per cent), workers (45 per cent), those with secondary education (43 per cent), men in general (38 per cent), people aged 25-40 (37 per cent) and those living in provincial cities with the population of more than 500,000 (37 per cent).

The wish to give their children a secure future was mostly chosen by Zhirinovsky’s supporters (62 per cent), professionals (45 per cent), people with higher education (40 per cent) and a high consumer status (38 per cent), housewives (35 per cent), men in general (35 per cent), people under 40 (34 per cent), those living in provincial cities with the population of more than 500,000 (34 per cent) and Putin’s supporters (33 per cent).

Few firmly intent on leaving

Less than one per cent of respondents said they were gathering or had already filed documents for emigration. Another 1 per cent (down from 3 per cent last year) said they had firmly decided to emigrate, while 5 per cent said they were currently considering this option, and 17 per cent, that they sometimes thought about it. Nearly three quarters – 73 per cent – said they never considered the possibility. This figure compared to 79 per cent in 1992, 78 per cent in 2009, 69 per cent in 2011 and 68 per cent last year, a table on Levada Centre website showed.