A new survey has exposed one of the region’s harshest realities: young Arabs don’t want to live here anymore. According to the annual Arab Youth Survey, 42 percent of 18-24-year-olds have considered emigrating to another country. And corruption has a lot to do with that.
77 percent of all Arabs surveyed reported corruption in their country. Add in coronavirus’s economic wrath on the region—the youth’s desire for departure should come as no surprise. Beyond simple consideration, 15 percent of young Arabs surveyed are actively trying to leave.
In North Africa, Tunisia, Sudan, Libya, Egypt, and Algeria are home to a 30 percent unemployed youth. With the majority believing corruption to be widespread, their potential of migration stands at 47 percent.
Driven by recent economic downturn inflated by the pandemic as well as persistent political conflict, the numbers in the Levant are even higher, with 63 percent of the youth wanting to emigrate – the highest in the region.
Especially provoked by the tragic Beirut blast that took place in August, the wish to migrate is at its highest in Lebanon, with the number standing at 77 percent. 91 percent of Lebanese youth say that it’s difficult to find employment in their native country, 40 percent report being in personal debt and 73 percent expect anti-government protests to continue.
As for where young Arabs want to emigrate? The UAE was named the most desirable place to live, according the Arab Youth Survey. 46 percent of the 4000 surveyed said they’d wish to move to the Gulf nation. The US stands at second place with 33 percent, and the UK and Canada tying in at third place with 27 percent.
Main Image: Photography by Joseph Ouechen