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The Arab Youth Survey 2020 finds the Levant region has the highest number of people aged 18-24 considering emigrating, as identified by this research paper published on October 6th, 2020.

More than 4 of 10 people aged 18-24 have considered emigrating from their home countries. The survey interviewed 4.000 Arab youths from 17 countries and found that 42 % of all Arab youth surveyed had considered emigrating to another country, with 15 % actively trying to leave.

The Levant region had the highest number of youths who wanted to emigrate, at 63 %. In Lebanon, the number stood at 77 %.

Youth in the Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the least likely to emigrate, at 3 %, the survey said.

The reasons that many young people were considering were emigrating disappointment with poor leadership, corruption, and widespread economic failure. 77 % of all Arab youth said there was corruption in their country.

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified economic difficulties, with 20 % of the youth surveyed said they or a family member had lost work since the outbreak began. 72 % of Arab youth said they felt it was more difficult to find a job.

The highest numbers of young people saying it was hard to find employment were in Lebanon (91 %) and Jordan (90 %). The 35 % of Arab youth reported being in personal debt, a jump from 21 % in 2019.

The UAE stands out as an exception, with 46 % of all young Arabs selecting the Emirates as their country of choice, now for the ninth straight year. The UAE also rises to the top (52 %) when Arab youth across the region are asked which country their nation should emulate. Meanwhile, 97 % of Emiratis polled say they have never considered leaving the UAE for migrating to another country.

Donna IMPERATO, Global CEO, BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) said: “The findings of our Arab Youth Survey highlight the unique complexities, and opportunities, that must be addressed to meet the aspirations of young people in the Arab world”.

These insights on the region, one of the most diverse in the world and where the under-30s make up two-thirds of the population, form the basis of the communications counsel that we provide to our clients, including governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector” she added.

Sunil JOHN, President Middle East BCW and Founder of ASDA’A BCW, said: “As an independent study, the ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey has consistently delivered evidence-based insights on the hopes and frustrations of young people in the Arab world. Set against the backdrop of street protests and a sharp oil price decline that has led to acute government budget deficits, the study demonstrates the link between poor governance and lack of opportunities. The findings underpin the need for many parts of the MENA region to focus on and nurture its youth dividend or risk losing a generation of its brightest young people”.

This article was edited using the data from the,,,, and

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