According to the Arab Youth Survey 2020, 42 percent of 18- 24-year-olds have considered emigrating to another country.
The survey, which interviewed 4,000 Arab youths from 17 countries, also found that 77 percent of all Arab youth say corruption is widespread in their country, and that 15 percent actively trying to leave amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey also found that unemployment is a top priority issue for youth, as 87% reported that it was difficult to find a job particularly during the pandemic, and that only half are confident in their governments to deal with unemployment.
Of those surveyed, 35 percent also reported being in personal debt, which is an increase from 21 percent in 2019.
“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,” Donna Imperato, Global CEO of BCW, said.
“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,” she added.
In 2019, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had the highest youth unemployment rate in the world, according to the World Bank.
Unemployment rates in the region have been the highest for over 25 years, elevated by a series of crises such as the 2008 financial crisis, 2011 uprisings, and armed conflict.