Close to half of Slovakia’s young and educated are considering leaving Slovakia, according to a survey carried out by Focus agency on behalf of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) among people aged 18-29.
Among half of the young Slovaks wishing to leave the country, 14% are looking to leave permanently, while 36% are mulling a temporary break, the survey found.
Among university students, the portion is even higher, with 62% admitted their intention to leave Slovakia, with almost every fifth student wanting to leave permanently. Arts and humanities students were most eager to leave with 29%, followed by technical sciences students (25%) and IT students (22%)
The study also revealed that socio-economic and political factors like low living standards, a lack of job opportunities and deficits in the social system as being among the most common reasons why the young adults surveyed are keen to leave.
“Migration is also triggered by dysfunctional state and public institutions, which are in the ranking the second most important reason to leave Slovakia,” noted one of the study’s authors, Marián Velšic.
The main destination country for young Slovaks is the Czech Republic, which is preferred by every fifth respondent. Other popular destinations include Germany, the UK, Austria, Spain, the US, Canada, Switzerland, Italy and Denmark.
The study also warned of the serious societal implications of any potential brain drain. “We can already observe some negative trends, such as shortage of skilled labour in various sectors of the economy and public services, income shortfalls in the social field, lagging behind in R&D and the education system,” the study reads.
(Marián Koreň | EURACTIV.sk)