Survey: Young people in Estonia not eager to move abroad

Youth Council volunteers during the previous simulated elections, 2009
Youth Council volunteers during the previous simulated elections, 2009 Source: Photo: Courtesy Estonian National Youth Council

Young people are not as keen to move abroad as previous generations, the results of a survey by the Estonian National Youth Council (ENL) released on Tuesday show.

The survey by ENL and the government office was conducted as part of the European Commission's Youth Dialogue project. It looked at topics such as the future of work, the e-state, opportunities offered by home regions, and the European Union. In total 1,608 young people of ages 13-30 from all over Estonia took part in the project.

More than half of young people questioned aged between 13 and 30 in Estonia want to live and work in Estonia in 2035. They say they want the country's future society to be one that is open, non-prejudiced, and preserves the environment. 

Part of the survery that looks at the "Estonia 2035" strategy shows that 18 percent of young people want to be living and working outside Estonia in 2035. But 49 percent said they see themselves as living and working in Estonia. While 37 percent say they would prefer to live in Estonia, but will be working in a job that enables mobility and travel. 

"The new survey demonstrates the three main themes for young people in Estonia for 2035 are openness and tolerance, nature conservation, and security," said project manager at  ENL, Aivar Kamal. "Interestingly, a clean natural environment is the unrivaled number one for young people aged 13-17."

The values of young people concerning the future of Estonia largely overlap with the findings of a survey conducted by the Government Office and the Ministry of Finance in spring.

Eili Lepik, deputy director of the strategy unit at the Government Office, said: "During discussions of the 'Estonia 2035' strategy in different regions of Estonia the concern has come up repeatedly that today's young people don't see their future in Estonia. This has an effect on the rapidly ageing population and takes talented young people away from. Hence the findings of the survey are a very important complement to our strategy and affirm the knowledge that young people wanting to migrate abroad is decreasing."

"Young people clearly have their emphasis on nature conservation and climate issues, and they can not think of our country as not being free and sovereign," Lepik said.  


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Editor: Helen Wright

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