A record one-fifth of Russians would like to leave the country if they could, a threefold increase from five years ago, the Gallup pollster said Thursday.
Public polling inside Russia has indicated in recent years that between 17 and 20 percent of Russians were willing to migrate. Official data, which has been criticized for downplaying immigration figures, says Russia’s emigration numbers have reached a six-year record.
In Gallup's 2018 poll, 20 percent of Russian respondents said they would like to leave Russia if they could.
The share of Russians seeking to move permanently to another country had never passed Gallup’s 17-percent high in 2007, the U.S. pollster’s results say. However, this number has grown steadily over the past five years, tripling from 7 percent in 2014 to 20 percent in 2018.
An “unprecedented” 44 percent of young Russians between ages 15 and 29 voiced the desire to leave.
Gallup tracked a direct correlation between changes in Russians’ migratory mood and President Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings, noting that “he may be at least partly to blame” for the latest record.
Russian respondents named Germany or the United States as their most-desired destinations at 15 and 12 percent respectively. Japan, Canada and Spain shared the third spot, with 5 percent of hopeful immigrants each.
Gallup conducted the survey among 2,000 Russian respondents between June and October 2018.