Over 50% of youth in levant and North Africa want to emigrate

Many young Arabs want to emigrate
(Photo: ASDA’A BCW)
AMMAN — According to the Arab Youth Survey, conducted by ASDA’A BCW, over half of Arab youth in the Levant and North African say they are actively trying to leave or are considering leaving their country for better opportunities. The desire to emigrate is strongest among young men and women in the Levant at 53 percent, followed by North Africa at 48 percent.اضافة اعلان

On the other hand, just over a quarter, 27 percent, of youth in the GCC say they have considered emigration, with a majority saying they would “never leave their country.”
Young Arabs considering emigration would like to move to Canada, US, Germany, UK and France
Most Arab youth say they would like to emigrate to Canada, at 34 percent, with USA being second most popular at 30 percent, followed by Germany and the UK, both at 20 percent, and then France at 17 percent.

Bleak economic environments
The desire to emigrate corresponds with the bleak economic outlook in many Arab nations. Nearly 72 percent of young Arabs in the Levant, and 62 percent in North African countries surveyed said their national economy is going in the ‘wrong direction’.

In the GCC, however, youth remain extremely optimistic, with 88 percent of people saying their country’s economy is headed in the “right direction”.

With youth unemployment in the Middle East exceeding 25 percent - the highest and fastest growing in the world, according to the International Labor Organization - getting a job is understandably a priority for young Arabs. Among those who said they are actively considering emigration, 49 percent said the reason was to “look for a job”.

One in four of GCC youth said they have considered emigration to “experience something new” compared with 13 percent in North Africa and 11 percent in Levant.

Youth optimism
Despite their fears about their national economy 69 percent of Arab youth believe their best days lie ahead of them, a 5 percent increase over 2022. Youth in the GCC are the most hopeful at 85 percent, followed by 64 percent in North Africa and 60 percent in the Levant.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) in North Africa and about three-quarters (72%) in Levant say their national economy is going in the wrong direction
Compared with four years ago, youth optimism in the region is at its peak, with 57 percent today saying they will have a better life than their parents, compared with 45 percent who said this in 2019. The positivity is highest among GCC youth (75 percent), followed by young Arabs in Levant (52 percent) and North Africa (50 percent).

Thinking about the next 10 years, 18 percent of Arab youth mostly want to start a career, followed by 17 percent who want to finishing their education. 15 percent want to Pursue a personal interest they are passionate about.
At over 25%, youth unemployment in the MENA region is the highest and fastest-growing in the world
In another insightful finding, 85 percent said Arab countries must uphold universal values such as freedom, equality, and respect for human rights – a sentiment shared by most young Arabs in all the three regions covered – 91 percent in North Africa, and 81 percent each in the GCC and Levant.

Further findings
ASDA’A BCW commissioned SixthFactor Consulting, a leading research company, to conduct face-to-face interviews with 3,600 Arab citizens aged 18 to 24 in their home nations from March 27 to April 12, 2023.

In the coming weeks, ASDA’A BCW will publish insights under the last theme of this year’s research, My Lifestyle, as well as findings on climate change, mental health, and gender rights.

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