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Labor migration issue: How many people leave Ukraine

Author : Olexiy Doroshenko

In total, 5.1 million Ukrainians want to go abroad to earn money
12:30, 18 June 2019

Open source

Thanks to cooperation with the Research & Branding Group, we can receive case studies on topics that most often become popular in the media. This time, the National Council for Economic Development addressed the topic of labor migration research. We are familiar with it only calculating much money Ukrainians transfer from abroad through banks.

And this is where our knowledge ends. The state does not even know how many of our citizens left the country for good, and how many works, periodically returning to Ukraine. 3% of Ukrainians plan to work abroad and do not want to come back.

Related: Over 1,000 illegal migrants spotted in Kyiv this spring


And 9% of our citizens want to go to work and return home. If we take the estimated number of Ukrainian citizens at 42.4 million, then 1.3 million people want to leave the country in search of a better fate and never return. Another 3.8 million consider labor migration as a way to make money.

In total, 5.1 million Ukrainians want to go abroad to earn money. 80.2% of respondents under no circumstances wish to go abroad to work, and 7.8% cannot give an exact answer.

Moreover, only 8.8% of those who have a desire to become a migrant worker are willing to work by their own specialty. All the others answered that they are ready to work at any job, or it depends on the circumstances, or they do not have an opinion on this matter. At the same time, 17.3% of respondents answered that they had not been abroad during the last year, and this amounts to 7.5 million citizens.

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8.5% answered that they had once worked abroad, which is at least 3.6 million Ukrainians. 15.3% of citizens traveled abroad, that is, at least 6.5 million people. 9.2% of people visited relatives or friends there, or 3.9 million. 4% went on business trips outside Ukraine, which is 1.7 million. But the majority of our citizens have never been abroad, namely 51.6 %, and 15.6% could not answer this question.

What follows from this survey? Firstly, the potential of labor migration from the country is present in the amount of 5 million people. Secondly, the data are only approximate, since after the census of the population of Ukraine it may happen that, as of 2019, the population was not 42.4 million, but 36.

Then the potential of labor migration is 4.3 million citizens who will develop other countries, leaving our retirees alone. Thirdly, the overwhelming majority wants to live in their own country under any conditions. Out of sight of the study were questions about the age of those who want to migrate to another country.

Related: Orban's mendacity: Syrian migrants are wrong, while Ukrainian ones are panacea


Most likely, it would show that the overwhelming proportion of those who want to work abroad are people from 18 to 30 years old who believe in themselves, but not in the state. This situation was observed in the countries of Eastern Europe. Fourth, labor migrants are a potential driving force of the country, including reforms, if they return to Ukraine.

You can take any process for a negative, but you can see in it a positive. Although only for the future.

The survey was conducted by R & B Group in May in 24 regions and Kyiv among 2001 respondents. The error is 2.4%.

Related: Why labor migration leads Ukraine to dead end?

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