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news 07 Jan 13

Most Young Bosnians Would Emigrate 'Tomorrow', Survey Says

Majority of young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina would leave the country at the first opportunity for a better education and the chance of a job.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Most young people in Bosnia would leave the country for good if they could, because they do not see any kind of future for themselves, a Banja Luka-based daily reported on January 3, referring to a survey by the Youth Informative Agency, YIA.

The survey among young people in both of Bosnia's entities, the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and the Bosniak and Croat-led Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, revealed that 81 per cent of those questioned would leave "tomorrow" if they had a chance.

The head of the YIA, Zlatan Kulenovic, said that the alarming data match years-long statistics concerning young people's intentions.

“From 2006 to 2012, at least 150,000 young people moved to the Western Balkans, North America and Australia,” Kulenovic noted. “That the number of those who plan to leave is increasing is revealed by the fact that the same survey in 2004 showed 62 per cent [wanted to leave],” he added.

The main reason for young people wanting to move is the lack of employment opportunities, while others would like to leave to get a better education.

“According to official statistics, one in three unemployed persons in Bosnia is under 30, so it is no wonder that most of those people are waiting for their first chance to quit a country that did not provide them with the elementary chance of a better life,” Kulenovic said.

“Italy and Germany are receiving most emigrants from Bosnia,” Kulenovic added. “Many young people are also leaving for an education in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Germany.”

According to Bosnia's Human Rights Ministry, around 1.35 million Bosnians now live abroad wand most of these are young people.

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