- Percentage who would like to move is at record high
- Colombia, among top desired destinations
- Slight majority of adults under 30 say they want to move away
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Venezuelans are fleeing their country in droves amid the chaos in their government and their streets. More than four in 10 residents (41%) in 2017 said they would like to move to another country permanently if they could. This desire is higher than any figure Gallup has measured since 2008 for the country. Up until 2014, no more than 15% of Venezuelans expressed a desire to leave their country and live elsewhere.
Meanwhile, a small majority of Venezuelans say they would like to remain in their country.
These data were collected in the latter half of 2017, between August and November, as violence and hunger overcame the country. During this period, anti-government protesters raided a military base, taking weapons. Meanwhile, many families scavenged for food in garbage bags.
Gallup has tracked Venezuela's descent on a host of measures in recent years. Residents are suffering in their life evaluations, as they have lost a sense of security, faith in their government and the ability to afford food and get quality healthcare.
Venezuelans are likely shocked by the rapid, downward spiral their country experienced in just a matter of years; their country was a powerhouse in Latin America in the 1990s. But a decline in the price of oil, paired with questionable government decisions, sent the national economy into a tailspin -- and with it, residents' sense of stability. Now, many Venezuelans would like to leave the crisis behind them.
Where Would They Like to Go?
Of the residents who say they would like to move away, one in five (20%) say they would like to go to neighboring Colombia. By the end of 2017, Colombian immigration officials have counted more than a half million Venezuelan refugees who crossed the border.
Nearly as many, 17%, say they would like to move to the U.S. The current figure is a somewhat muted level of desire to move to the U.S. compared with the past few years. For those who do seek to move permanently to the U.S., this could prove tricky, however, as changes by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's asylum application process may make it difficult for Venezuelans to seek asylum there.
Among Venezuelans who would like to move, about two in three (64%) name another Latin American country as a desired destination, including Colombia, Chile (12%), Panama (8%) and Ecuador (8%). Many of these countries have made accommodations for Venezuelans entering their country.
Six percent of those who would like to leave Venezuela say they would like to go to Spain.
|Country they would like to move to|
|Figures only shown for countries with at least 6% of responses|
|Gallup World Poll, 2017|
Who Wants to Leave?
A slight majority of Venezuelans aged 15 to 29 (53%) say they would like to move to another country permanently. Meanwhile, roughly four in 10 adults in the 30 to 44 (44%) and the 45 to 54 age groups report wanting to leave the country.
Among citizens aged 55 and older, less than a quarter (22%) seek to leave the country.
|Would like to move to another country||Would like to continue living in this country|
|Completed elementary education or less||27||72|
|Secondary education and some education beyond||47||51|
|Completed four years of education beyond high school or received college degree||39||59|
|Gallup World Poll, 2017|
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