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’Wrong, dishonest & unpatriotic’: Majority of Russians think that emigrating is immoral, new study suggests

’Wrong, dishonest & unpatriotic’: Majority of Russians think that emigrating is immoral, new study suggests
Only 16% of Russians would like to move to another country. A figure which is exactly the same as the number of Americans who dream of leaving their homeland. Also, over half of Russians believe emigration is a sign of disloyalty.

According to a survey by WCIOM, All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, 51% of respondents agreed that moving to another country is “wrong, dishonest and unpatriotic,” with only 42% believing emigration to be morally acceptable. The negative view of leaving Russia is mainly held by those of an older age, with 69% of those over 60 disapproving. On the contrary, 71% of under 25s think that location isn’t important, and it is more important to be “comfortable.”

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The survey also discovered that just a sixth (16%) of Russians would like to move abroad, with 82% expressing the will to stay in Russia. However, of that 16%, just 11% are actually considering moving within the next two years - that’s less than 2% of the total number of respondents. The number of Russians wishing to move abroad has remained relatively stable since the question was first asked in 1991, when the answer was also 16%. Between that time, the percentage has fluctuated between 11 and 17%

When asked why they’d like to emigrate, the most popular reason was a higher standard of living, such as salaries, pensions, and benefits (50%). The second most quoted motivation was dissatisfaction with the Russian authorities (22%), followed by legal reasons (17%).

Russia has a remarkably low emigration rate. Since 2000, between 1.6 & 2 million Russians have left their country, from a population of 146 million. By contrast, from 2006-2015, 1.5 million British subjects left the United Kingdom (population 68 million).

The numbers shown in the recent WCIOM poll are similar to the numbers seen in much of the rest of the world. A 2019 Gallup poll of US citizens discovered that 16% of Americans expressed the desire to emigrate. The Russian and US number is also similar to the world average, found in a Gallup study to be 15%.

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