After Brexit, more young Brits are thinking of moving to another country

Time for a re-think.
Time for a re-think.
Image: Reuters/Dylan Martinez
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Brexit highlighted a stark generational divide in Britain. Polling data suggests that 75% of young voters, those aged between 18-to-24, chose to remain in the EU. But those young people’s voices went largely unheard when the country chose to leave the European Union (EU)—by a margin of 52% to 48%.

For many young voters, Brexit was a clear sign that Britain was pulling up the drawbridge. Now this frustrated cohort is now thinking of leaving Britain.

In 2015, only 13% of young Brits said they’d consider leaving their home country due to the financial situation. By 2016, that number had shot up to 29%, according to a recent survey by Intrum Justitia. It was the biggest year-on-year increase in respondents aged 18-24 that wanted to leave their country.

The company surveyed young people in the 20 countries where it has offices, and decided to include Greece “due to the large interest in Greek economy over the last years,” a spokesperson said.

Among respondents across the European countries surveyed, 24% of those aged 18-24 considered leaving their home country in 2015. In Hungary, nearly half (46%) of young respondents considered moving country. While Hungary had the highest number of young people thinking of moving to another country in 2016, it was a considerable decrease from 2015, when 60% of the Hungarian youth considered leaving the country.

Italy, the second highest on the list, had a slight increase in the number of young people thinking of leaving their home country, from 37% in 2015 to 44% in 2016. Greece rounded up the top three, with 43% considering moving to another country for financial reasons, a ten-percentage point increase from last year.

Youth unemployment has shot up in Greece since 2006, when 3.7% of those under 25 where unemployed. Youth unemployment was the worst in Greece in 2015, with 14.8% unemployed. In Hungary, youth unemployment peaked in 2012, when 6.2% where unemployed, and decreased to 4.1% in 2015. Youth unemployment had steadily increased in Italy, peaking in 2014 and dropping slightly in 2015.