Crisis makes Russians give up on emigration plans

March 21, 2015. The majority of Russians (83%) are not thinking of moving abroad (outside the former USSR), RBC refers to Levada Center as saying.

Only 12% would like to emigrate.

Similar survey results were obtained by the center in April 2009, when 80% of Russians were not planning on leaving the country and 13% of respondents said they’d like to be able to emigrate. In 2011-2014, the percentage of those surveyed who intended to keep on living in Russia fluctuated between 69% and 77%. The number of potential emigrants was at its highest in May 2013, when 22% of respondents said they would like to emigrate; 69% said they were not thinking of leaving.

‘The increase in the number of Russians who are going to stay in the country is a typical reaction to the outbreak of a crisis. The first stage of a crisis is characterized by a drop in both protest and emigration feelings. People want to get a sense of direction and to understand what is to be done. The number of potential emigrants is expected to surge in eighteen to twenty-four months, as was the case after the crisis of 2008,’ says Levada Center’s Director Lev Gudkov.

36% of those who are thinking of moving abroad give higher living standards and quality facilities there as the main reason for leaving Russia. At the same time, 21% of those who’d like to emigrate say their motivation lies in the lack of protection from arbitrary government rule and abuse of power by Russian officials. Unstable economic situation and the desire to give their children a better and safer future were two other key reasons, quoted, respectively, by 30% and 26% of those thinking of emigrating.

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