Tens of Thousands of Bosnians Plan to Emigrate

Bosnia is one of the world’s leading countries in terms of emigration and the total number of Bosnians abroad amounted to around 1.7 million at the end of 2019, said the results of a study conducted by the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation called “Sustainability of emigration from Bosnia and Herzegovina”. 

“The emigration from Bosnia is not just the result of job search and efforts to ensure existence, that is, it is Bosnia is not just suffering from economic migration. It is conditioned by a combination of economic (lack of jobs, low wages, poor business environment), political (corruption and nepotism, crime, privileges, legal uncertainty, lack of rule of law, discrimination in human rights, political uncertainty, inefficient and inaccessible public administration) and social factors (poor treatment of work and workers, underdeveloped social services – health, education, welfare and pension system)”, the research states. 

According to this research, 87.3 percent of the interviewed people cited working conditions as the reason for leaving the country, followed by corruption and nepotism 77.4 percent, poor public services 73.9 percent, a better future for families and children 73.3 percent, the better quality of life abroad 65.8 percent, desire to achieve success and progress 63.9 percent, political uncertainty 62.9 percent, lack of perspective 61.4 percent, and fear of uncertainty 57 percent. 

During the observed four periods of migration, researchers observed a transformation of reasons for emigration, from existential to the factors of the well-being of individuals and entire families. Before leaving the country, 51.6 percent of respondents felt discriminated against. The most common form of discrimination was based on ethnicity (20.2 percent of respondents), political affiliation (17.6 percent), and the possibility of getting or starting a business (16.9 percent). 

One of the more important indicators of the quality of life abroad is the attitude of the respondents about the quality of life of children. Some 96 percent of respondents believe that the general quality of life of children abroad is better than in Bosnia. 

When it comes to those who plan to move out of the country, as many as 97.5 percent said they would take their children abroad, and 91.2 percent of respondents would not want their children to return to Bosnia. Most of them want to immigrate to Germany, followed by Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, USA, and Slovenia.

The reason – 99 percent of respondents believe the children’s quality of life is much better abroad than in Bosnia, the research said among other things. 

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