Willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia: Does education matter?

A previous CRRC blog post showed how people’s willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia varied according to their belief in whether everything in life is determined by fate or people shape their fate themselves. The blog post concluded that compared to people who are not interested in temporary emigration from these countries, those who are tended to believe slightly more often that people shape their fate themselves.

There are a number of factors that contribute to an individual’s willingness to emigrate including political, economic, and social circumstances. Using data from CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey, this blog post looks at whether or not people who express a willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia differ from others in terms of their educational attainment. Importantly, though, this question does not measure actual emigration, but rather reported intentions that may or may not result in action.

In both countries, the share of people willing to temporarily emigrate is the highest among those who have tertiary education. Importantly, this finding is consistent over time.

Note: The answer options for the question, “What is the highest level of education you have achieved to date?” were grouped as follows: options “No primary education”, “Primary education (either complete or incomplete)”, “Incomplete secondary education”, and “Completed secondary education” were grouped into the category “Secondary or lower”. Options “Incomplete higher education”, “Completed higher education (BA, MA, or specialist degree)”, and “Post-graduate degree” were grouped into the category “Tertiary”.

People with either a close friend or a close relative living abroad at the time of survey fieldwork also report more often that they would leave Georgia for a certain period of time to live somewhere else. The findings are similar in Armenia. Importantly, when looking at this indicator of migration networks, there are, again, differences by level of education. As the chart below shows, in 2017, people with higher levels of education reported having close friends abroad more often than those with lower levels of education. This finding is also consistent for CB waves through the last decade.

As the findings presented in this blog post show, in both Armenia and Georgia, people having tertiary education report an interest in temporary emigration more often than those with lower levels of education. Importantly, a larger share of people with tertiary education also have relatives and/or friends living abroad. Thus they can rely both on relatively advanced knowledge, including knowledge of foreign language(s), and on the opportunities provided by migration networks.

To learn more about CRRC surveys, visit our Online Data Analysis portal.


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