18% of Koreans mull emigration

October 31, 2013

By Kim Jae-won

18 percent of Koreans considered immigration seriously over the past year mainly due to sociopolitical instability and the economic downturn, a survey showed Thursday.

According to the survey conducted by Gallup Korea, 221 respondents, or 18 percent of 1,215 people aged 19 or older said they had weighed-up immigration seriously during the last 12 months.

Among the people who said so, 30 percent of them pointed out social and political instability as the key reason to leave the country, followed by the economic downturn with 19 percent. Seventeen percent of them said that they want to seek new opportunities in life, while 15 percent said that they would go abroad to give their children a better education.

By country, Australia topped the list of the most preferred destination for immigration with 16 percent, followed by Canada and the United States with 12 percent each, and New Zealand fourth with 4 percent. Australia was particularly popular among those in their 30s and 40s, while Canada was a dream country for those in their 50s. People in their 20s preferred the U.S. as the top destination for immigration.