Lack of jobs and good income motivate young secondary school graduates to change their place of residence. These are some of the arguments which present a snapshot of the reasons forming the migration attitudes of the class of 2015, according to the study of the Economic and Social Council (ESC). It was presented on 15 September at a press conference in BTA by ESC President Prof. Lalko Dulevski and the Chairman of the ESC Commission on Work, Income, Living Standards and Industrial Relations, CITUB President and rapporteur on the issue, Mr. Plamen Dimitrov. The study was made in May 2015 among 2130 students graduating from secondary schools across the country. The settlements where these schools are situated are divided into three categories: settlements with over 300 000 inhabitants, regional towns and other smaller towns and villages.

The aim of the study was to reveal the picture of migration attitudes of young people and to seek specifics and differences in the causes and reasons for their intentions.

ESC has pointed out the public and socio-economic importance of migration issues in a number of opinions, and has expressed concern and anxiety of depopulation of whole regions in our country. Bulgaria has become a donor of good-quality demographic and human capital to other countries. For years the Economic and Social Council has proposed through its documents possible policies and measures for solutions to problems of demographic nature. In this study, ESC examined directly to young people who were about to complete their secondary education and were at an age where already they would begin planning their lives - in order to explore the outlines of their migration attitudes and as well as it is possible to identify the reasons for these attitudes.

Several distinct generalizations have been identified:

1. Internal migration can have significant negative impact primarily on smaller settlements.

2. Current emigration engenders tomorrow's emigration - past emigration waves have engendered today's emigration wave.70% of the students expressing a desire to move outside the country say they have relatives abroad who can host them.

3. Students put forward as the key motive for their intention to change their place of residence economic reasons. Higher standard of living is the strongest motive for migration attitudes of students.

  • Finding a jobin the settlement is the main problem, regardless of the size of the settlement, the academic achievements of the student or the education of his parents.
  • Low income is another major problem faced by young people in their settlements of residence.
  • A particular concern is contributed by the fact that students identify poor education as one of the major problems of their place of residence.

4. The higher the academic achievements of students and the educational status of their families, the more clearly expressed the desire to go abroad.

The migration motivation of young people, however, does not involve a negative attitude towards Bulgaria. Only 3% of those that declared an intention to leave Bulgaria responded that they do not want to live in Bulgaria. 97 of every 100 secondary school graduates who intend to leave the country are willing to live in Bulgaria, but unfortunately there are significant problems that young people face and that do not seem likely to be solved in the short term.

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