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Almost 1.2 mln Hungarians plan to work abroad

Almost 1.2 million Hungarians are planning to seek jobs abroad, with a particularly high ratio of almost two in five young people planning to leave the country to work, according to a representative survey by Publicus commissioned by weekly Vasárnapi Hírek.

Some 15% of respondents said they are planning to find jobs abroad, which equates to approximately 1.2 million people of working age, according to estimates by pollster Publicus, in a country where the population is estimated to be somewhat short of 10 million. The 37% of young people (under the age of 30) said to be intending to leave the country equates to around 530,000 people.

Those who participated in the survey, on average, said that 5.6 family members or close acquaintances had left the country to live and work abroad, Hungarian online news daily index.hu reported. Some 71% of respondents said they personally know people who left Hungary, figures in the research show.

The majority of people said they believe that the major catalysts for people leaving Hungary include low wages, the Fidesz government and the bad economic situation. 

Some 55% of those who admitted they were planning to leave said they will seek jobs abroad because wages here are not enough to live on. Some 28% said they cannot make a decent living for their children, while 27% said they are “fed up” with the politics of the country.

Some 58% of respondents said they had experienced a labor shortage in sectors they know, with 46% saying there are not enough doctors and nurses, 38% saying small stores are closing their doors, and 22% saying hospitality facilities lack staff. The chief cause of labor shortages was thought to be low wages (62%).

In general, 43% of respondents said they believe people are leaving the country because they cannot make a decent living here, 26% blamed the Fidesz government or specifically Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, 12% put the blame on “bad economic conditions,” and 7% blamed previous governments or the Socialists (MSZP).