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Wednesday, April 17, 2024  
08 Shawwal 1445  

Majority of Pakistani youth don’t want to go abroad, finds survey

Many people have preferred going to Gulf countries than Western states
Youth wait for their turn for a Capital Development Authority job entry test in Islamabad on January 27, 2010. AFP
Youth wait for their turn for a Capital Development Authority job entry test in Islamabad on January 27, 2010. AFP

A big chunk of Pakistani youth has preferred living in their home country despite worsening economic conditions, a new survey has found.

They don’t want to go abroad, according to the Voice of America Youth Survey. A group of youth from the age group of 18 to 34 was asked do they wanted to shift to a foreign country.

Three out of every four replied in the negative and preferred staying in Pakistan.

Only 23% of the youngsters expressed their intention to shift to a foreign country. They belonged to an age group of 18 to 24 and people seeking better employment opportunities.

The age group, which includes university students and fresh graduates, had expressed their desire to study abroad seeking higher education. Similarly, the salaried people wanted to have a quality life.

According to the survey, 29 per cent of youth in urban areas while 18 per cent in rural areas said they want to leave the country.

They wanted to go to Saudi Arabia instead of going to Europe or the United States of America. Forty-one per cent prioritised going to the kingdom.

Canada was the second option of the respondents while only four per cent of respondents said they wanted to go to the US.

Interestingly, Balochistan had the lowest number of youngsters planning to shift to a new country.

A big reason for choosing Saudi Arabia would be common religion and better employment opportunities, Noman Chatha, the chief executive officer of NC Solicitors, said.

He added that most of the students have a view that Australia and Canada could provide better jobs, education, and quality of life.

The head of the Lahore based consultant agency added that the reason for not choosing the Western countries could be the culture and the religion.

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He went on to add that going to Saudi Arabia could be a big deal for those who have never been abroad.

Adnan Paracha, the spokesperson of the Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association, said that Pakistanis belonging to the age group of 22 to 35 give preference to visiting Gulf countries.

He added that visiting such countries was easier than going to European states.

As many as 860,000 Pakistanis went abroad for jobs in 2023, according to the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment. Around 426,951 out of the total went to Saudi Arabia, it added.

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