More Than 80% of Jamaican Youth Want to Migrate out of Country for Better Opportunities  

Air_Jamaica_Boeing_737-800_HeisterkampScores of young Jamaicans looking for better educational and employment opportunities would pack up and leave the island for anywhere but Afghanistan.

While studies over the years have confirmed that a high number of Jamaicans would be ready to migrate given the opportunity, a just-concluded mobile youth survey has found 81 percent of Jamaicans between the ages of 14 and 40 would leave at the drop of a hat — if not before.

The survey, commissioned by Respect Jamaica and the local office of UNICEF between February 29 and March 3, had 3,024 respondents from the Digicel customer base across the island.

It found that 75 percent of those between 14 and 19 years old would leave for better opportunities, 83 percent of young Jamaicans between the ages of 20 and 25 would also go, while 81 percent of those between 26 and 40 would seek out greener pastures overseas.

For Kemario Davis, who is in the 20-25 age group, the only country not on his migration radar is Afghanistan.

According to Davis, several of his friends are also looking to leave as the economic noose tightens around the country’s neck, crime and violence plague their everyday existence, and unemployment haunts them.

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