Nearly 17% of Poles are considering economic emigration
Nearly 17% of Poles are considering emigrating for work in the coming year, while one in four cannot make a firm statement on the subject, which is the highest percentage since 2015, according to the report "Poles' Earnings Migration" prepared by Gi Group.
Over the past three years, Poles' interest in economic emigration has clearly increased and remains at a similar level. Currently, almost 17% of respondents are considering leaving to look for a job within the next year, while the percentage of those rejecting such a prospect has declined markedly - currently it's less than 60% of respondents, down 8.7 percentage points from July 2022 and 21.6 percentage points from September 2021. At the same time, there is a noticeable increase in the group of undecideds, whose percentage increased by almost 10 percentage points compared to July 2022 and is the highest since 2015, it was reported.
"The group of Poles interested in economic emigration has remained high for several years, but the beginning of the year brought another worrying piece of information: the increase in the group of undecideds. It is now 24.3%, while as recently as the beginning of 2020 it was only 1% of respondents. In the first place, the younger generation - those under 34 years of age, i.e. those who will still be professionally active for many years to come, with vocational, secondary and higher education - is planning to leave. If they actually decide to leave, even short-term, their decision would have dramatic consequences for the country: we are talking about people who should be driving growth and creating the structure of the Polish economy in the coming years," said Gi Group Holding's general director in Poland Marcos Segador Arrebola.
According to the survey, the largest group considering emigration in the coming year are residents of the Mazowieckie region, while the smallest percentage is in the central and southwestern regions (less than 10%).
The most important reasons why Poles decide to emigrate for work have remained unchanged for years - a higher level of earnings (76.3% of indications) and a higher standard of living and better social conditions (61%). There has also been a significant increase over the past several months in the number of people pointing to the lack of suitable work in Poland - this reason was indicated by almost 35% of respondents - almost 20 percentage points more than in November 2021, it was emphasized.
Poles are also paying attention to non-financial factors. An increasingly common motivation to leave, especially for the younger generation, is the desire to travel and see the world. This argument was indicated by 35.6% of respondents and is an increase of 10.6 percentage points compared to the second half of 2021. In turn, 28% of respondents are persuaded by greater respect for freedom and civil rights abroad.
"Germany remains the most popular emigration destination (almost 35% of indications), moreover, the popularity of this direction has increased over the past two years. In second place is the Netherlands, which is chosen by more than 16% of respondents. Again, after the declines observed in recent years, the number of people indicating the United Kingdom has increased (+4.6 percentage points relative to 2021), which is now in third place as an emigration destination. In fourth - distant New Zealand.
The declared length of the planned trip has changed in recent years. In 2021, plans to emigrate for several years definitely prevailed, with 17% of Poles intending to leave permanently. Today, shorter trips are becoming more popular - one in five Poles intends to leave the country for no more than six months. The number of people declaring their intention to leave for several years or permanently has dropped significantly - in the first case, it is a decrease of more than 13 percentage points from 2021, in the second by 7.7 percentage points.
The survey was conducted by SW Research on behalf of Gi Group between February 9-14, 2023. The survey included 700 questionnaires with people between the ages of 18 and 67. The respondents were Polish men and women over the age of 18, according to the distribution of gender, age and town size class and education.
Source: Gi Group and ISBnews