More than 370,000 Hungarians would leave Hungary to become migrants

According to a study released by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH), 370,000 Hungarians are likely to leave Hungary within the next couple of years, in search of work and a new life abroad. “A significant proportion of youth and middle aged Hungarians desire to leave the country and have already started planning their emigration,” writes the conservative Magyar Nemzet daily, based on a study created by Irén Gödri and her colleagues at KSH. Hungary stands to lose 4% of its total population to out-migration within the next two to three years, which is in addition to a half million Hungarians who have already migrated in the last seven to ten years.

The KSH study is alarming on a number of fronts. For instance:

  • Only one fifth of Hungarians between the ages of 18 and 40 have ruled out emigrating from Hungary;
  • 35% of those contemplating migration are serious about it and have already begun making arrangements, while an additional 19% have already made a final decision to leave;
  • 52% of the 370,000 Hungarians likely to emigrate have already applied for jobs abroad;
  • 11% of all Hungarians between the ages of 18 and 40 are highly likely to emigrate, according to KSH estimates;
  • 53% of all Hungarian secondary school and college or university students are seriously considering emigration from Hungary.

Departures / Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport

According to KSH, most respondent of the representative survey involving 1,500 Hungarians cite unhappiness with their career prospects and professional development in Hungary, while 41% of Hungarian who believe that the country’s situation has significantly deteriorated in the past three years expressed a strong desire to emigrate.

Most troubling, however, is the fact that one third of all Hungarian university graduates, 34% of all skilled labourers and 55% of those Hungarians who speak a foreign language have plans to migrate. Considering the acute labour shortage in many sectors of the economy in Hungary (from IT to hospitality and skilled labour), this latest study spells trouble for the Hungarian economy.

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