While emigration causes great problems for the Hungarian economy, working abroad shatters families, and it does not seem to end according to a new research discussed at MNO.hu.
A great number of young and middle-aged people want to leave Hungary, many of them planning their moving abroad. If they succeed, 370 thousand people might leave Hungary in a couple of years. Just for the sake of comparison: this is the amount of people who live in the second and third greatest Hungarian cities, Debrecen and Szeged.
It is even more terrifying how many people dream of moving: 680 thousand among the 18-40-year old, every third of them have been thinking about continuing their lives in another country, as it was revealed in the Hungarian Demographic Research Institute’s (NKI) recent analysis. Irén Gördi has analyzed the data of research with a sample of 1500 people, and studied the question: who does want to leave the country temporarily or permanently, and why do they want it. It is important that she did not examine the motivations of Hungarians abroad, but the motivations of those who are yet here, but are disappointed and want to leave.
However, a bulk of Hungarians already lives abroad: the data retrieved from British and German administration by Magyar Nemzet showed 170 thousand Hungarians in these two countries three years ago, and this number is still increasing. Four years ago, NKI estimated the number of emigrated Hungarians to be 335 thousand, which made up to the 7.4 percent of that time’s age group of 18-49. An even more terrible data was published later that year: György Matolcsy estimated half a million emigrated Hungarians. In 2015, the amount of money that was transferred home from abroad was above 3 billion euros. The most recent statistics by Eurostat shows that 410 thousand Hungarians were living abroad in January of 2016, but this data does not include some countries, like France or Spain.
It is obviously a strong trend as, according to Gördi’s research, only one fifth of the generation between 18 and 40 state that they would not even think about moving abroad.
35 percent of Hungarians considering migration have serious intentions, and 19 percent claim that they have made up their minds.
Moreover, 48 percent of the 370 thousand people thinking seriously about leaving want to move by all means, and 52 percent of them have already applied for a job. 86 percent of them have studied the requirements of moving abroad, 87 percent the requirements of applying for jobs. 54 percent want to move in a year. Many of them are so determined that they invest into their “projects”: they educate themselves and study languages. The study notes that 11 percent of the people between 18 and 40 will probably succeed in their plans.
In fact, this does not mean that everyone who is planning to move abroad does not want to come back: 27 percent want to leave for a couple of weeks, maybe months, 28 percent want to go for 3-5 years. However, 6 percent of the respondents do not intend to return once they left Hungary.
It would be another strike for the country with high rate of labor shortage if 33 percent of graduated Hungarians, 34 percent of skilled workers, 55 percent of advanced speakers of foreign languages would succeed in their plans of leaving the country. It is a serious issue, because the multinational companies operating in Hungary and the domestic small and medium-sized enterprises have been complaining for years about not finding sufficient skilled and experienced labor force.
Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists (MGYOSZ) came up with a bill last year that they would settle 250 thousand foreign migrant workers to Hungary, following the Polish example. MGYOSZ claims that one of the greatest problems is that it is most of the skilled young people who move abroad. It caused a minor scandal when a member of the anti-migration government, Mihály Varga, claimed that he liked this idea of importing “culturally compatible” migrant workers from outside the EU. Those who think that Hungarian laborers could easily fill up the vacancy of skilled workers after some training might be disappointed: they have one of the highest rates of moving abroad with 32.6 percent. It is 42 percent among unemployed people.
They most terrifying data concerns the younger generations: about half of the people between 18 and 24 are planning to migrate, and 53 percent of students intend to leave the country after finishing school. It is not anything particular from the aspect that young people do not have any bonds yet. Still, the migration of young people is distressing, because they will probably have children abroad, and starting family decreases mobility, so they might not return later. According to the data retrieved by LMP, 78 thousand children were born to migrated Hungarian parents since 2010 (just for the sake of comparison: 91 thousand babies were born in Hungary last year). Moreover, women who settled outside the borders are more likely to have two children: a British survey from 2011 claims that the reproductivity rate of Hungarians living in England and Wales is significantly higher (1.63) than in Hungary (1.3).
A recent study states that it is dissatisfaction that it is in the heart of migration. Most of the respondents were complaining about their jobs and careers. 43 percent of those who were planning migration told that they would go abroad because their lives did not go as they planned during recent years. “Those who detect negative change are obviously dissatisfied with the social and economic circumstances that determine their everyday lives, and this tendency is reflected in their plans. 41 percent of those who thought that Hungary’s situation has been going worse in the recent three years had potential for migration,” the study noted.
The government often refers to offering a helping hand in moving back home. However, these efforts mostly fail. NGM’s and OFA’s “Come home, youth!” project tempted back only 150 people in a year.