43 per cent of Nigeria’s adult population desire to migrate abroad according to the latest Gallup Poll based on a rolling average of interviews between 2013 and 2016. This was a slight increase from the 41 per cent who said they desired to move abroad the last time the poll was done between 2010 and 2012.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the percentage of those who desired to migrate was 31 per cent, meaning that the Nigerian figure was 12 per cent above the African average. In the world, Gallup found 14% of adults (nearly 710 million people) who say they would like to move to another country if they had the opportunity.
Why this matters
The desire of Nigerians to migrate abroad is an ongoing national crisis. Last year, 26 Nigerian girls who were seeking to move to Europe drowned in the Mediterranean Sea and were buried by Italian authorities. And in the past two months, the federal government has repatriated hundreds of stranded Nigerians from Libya.
Not the worst
Nigeria is however not the country whose citizens desire the most to leave. It is number 12. Another African country, Sierra Leone, topped the chart according to the Gallup poll, with 62 per cent desiring to emigrate, up from 51 per cent the last time the poll was conducted.
The other countries in the top 15 include: Haiti (56 per cent), Albania (56 per cent), Liberia (54 per cent), Congo Kinshasha (50 per cent), Dominican Republic (50 per cent), Honduras (48 per cent), Armenia (47 per cent), Syria (46 per cent), El Salvador (46 per cent), Ghana (45 per cent), Nigeria (43 per cent), Jamaica (40 per cent), Congo Brazzaville (39 per cent) and Togo (39 per cent).
The U.S. is the most desired destination country for potential migrants as it has always been since Gallup began tracking these patterns. 21 per cent of potential migrants name the U.S. as their desired future residence. Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France, are the other countries that make up the top 5 preferred destination countries.