Jobless youngsters turn back on Portugal

news: Jobless youngsters turn back on Portugal

The number of people leaving Portugal in 2011 increased by 85% compared to 2010 and were mostly aged between 25 and 29.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) revealed that 43,998 people, including foreigners and citizens of Portugal, left the country last year representing an increase of 20,238 on the previous year.

Of the total number of emigrants, 41,444 were Portuguese and 2,554 were foreigners.

In 2010, emigrants were aged between 20 and 34.

Out of the 23,760 emigrants in 2010, a total of 19,418 went to another country in the European Union (EU) and 4,342 moved to other countries outside the EU.

Thousands of children and teenagers also emigrated, often with parents, between 2010 and 2011.

The INE estimates the departure in 2011 of 3,315 adolescents aged between 15 and 19, 1,326 children up to four years, 1,302 children aged between five and nine and 1,479 aged between 10 and 14.

According to data provided by the Emigration Centre, Angola, the UK, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Brazil and the Netherlands are the countries that have received more Portuguese emigrants.

Smaller numbers of Portuguese have chosen Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Macau, Austria, South Africa, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.

The lack of job opportunities and the high unemployment rate within the country are blamed for the increased exodus of Portuguese seeking a more stable economic life.

The government has been heavily criticised for not creating better conditions to keep youngsters in the country, offering them little or no prospects for the future.

Meanwhile, to make matters worse, recently-announced increases to tuition fees at universities have been slammed when fewer students are enrolling in higher education, due to financial difficulties.

This is being pointed as another reason for youngsters to want to leave Portugal, but this time to study abroad.

Another aspect of concern is a social security system that is at risk in the wave of a growing ageing population.