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Share of Russians Willing to Move Abroad Hits Decade High – Poll

Younger Russians are at least twice as likely to be willing to emigrate than their older counterparts. Sofia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

The percentage of Russians who say they want to move out of the country has climbed to its highest level in nearly a decade, according to an independent poll published Wednesday.

One out of five respondents told the Levada Center pollster that they would “absolutely” or “most likely” want to emigrate.

“This indicator has reached 2011-2013 levels in 2021,” Levada said.

Three out of four respondents told Levada that they would “absolutely” or “most likely” want to stay in Russia. 

The survey revealed that younger Russians were at least twice as likely to be willing to migrate than their older counterparts. Nearly half of those aged 18-24 and one-third of those aged 25-39 voiced willingness to leave Russia, compared with one in five of those aged 40-54 and less than 10% of those 55 and older.

Levada noted that the share of pro-emigration respondents has grown in the middle-age bracket but declined five percentage points in the youngest bracket over the past two years. 

The share of Russian respondents who are actively considering the possibility of leaving has also reached an all-time high of 8%, according to Levada, while the share of those who have never thought about moving has shrunk nine percentage points since 2019. 

The pollster said that one out of 10 respondents are taking steps toward leaving Russia.

Levada conducted the in-person survey among 1,620 respondents across 50 Russian regions between May 20-26.

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