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One in five people in Serbia want to leave the country

Around one-fifth of Serbian citizens want to emigrate in search of a better life and better-paying jobs, according to a new survey. Most of them are young people and almost all of them want to go to the West.

Those who have already left do not wish to return, at least not before they retire, again primarily because of the higher living standards abroad, according to the survey titled Why Are People Leaving Serbia?, conducted by the Srbija 21 think tank on a sample of 1,000 citizens.

One-third of the respondents thinking about leaving Serbia are in the 18-29 age bracket, while nearly half of those looking to go abroad consider permanent emigration.

The most frequent motives for emigration were to have a better standard of living (41%), a better-paying job (36%) and the bad situation in Serbia (9%). Serbia is the biggest country in the Western Balkans but its remains poor after a decade of international isolation and wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Of the total number of respondents, 85% want to move to western countries, while just 2% named Russia as their desired destination.

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