Study: Youth not planning to live abroad in the future

03.10.2019 | 11:53

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The survey carried out by the Estonian National Youth Council and the Government Office revealed that more than half of Estonian youth between the ages of 13-30 also  want to live and work in Estonia in 2035, while seeing our society in the future as being open, free of preconceptions, and environmentally conscious.

The section of the recent survey conducted by the Estonian National Youth Council concerning the strategy ‘Estonia 2035’ reveals that only 18 per cent of young people wish to live and work outside of Estonia in a couple of decades. Nearly half (49%) of young people see themselves living and working in Estonia in 2035, and in addition more than one third (37%) believe that they will want to live here but will be working in jobs permitting mobility and travel.

‘In discussions regarding the strategy ‘Estonia 2035’  the concern has been repeatedly expressed in various regions of Estonia that today’s youth do not see their future in Estonia, which, on the one hand, has an impact on the accelerating rate of ageing of the population while also taking away talented young people. Therefore the results of the study are also a very important addition to our strategy, corroborating the fact that the wish of young people to go abroad is slowly decreasing,’ commented Deputy Director Eili Lepik of the Strategy Unit of the Government Office.

Estonian National Youth Council project manager Aivar Kamal added that there were also young people who were not planning on working at all in the future. ‘Alongside those young people, who mostly see themselves living and working in Estonia 15-16 years from now, are those who plan to be materially secure by that time and not work at all,’ said Kamal, adding that the survey also revealed that 15 per cent of young people see themselves being active in the same region that they hail from in 2035.

The values of young people in connection with Estonia of the future coincide, for the most part, with the results of the spring Estonia-wide gathering of ideas by the Government Office and the Ministry of Finance. ‘The recent survey shows that three main keywords for youth in Estonia in the year 2035 are openness and tolerance, being environmental awareness, and security,’ noted Project Manager Kamal.  ‘What is interesting is that among 13-17 year olds the unrivalled leader is a clean natural environment.’

Based on the nationwide ‘Estonia 2035’ idea collection carried out in Estonia during spring of this year, the 14,000 people surveyed want a secure and free society, and a clean natural environment. ‘Young people have a very clear emphasis on the question of the preservation of nature and climate change, and are rather unable to think about our country not being free and independent,’ added Government Office representative Eili Lepik. ‘The finding of a young person who is 17 years of age – who says that the most covered up of future topics is the environment – may be cited as a particularly good example of the summary of the survey.’

The survey by the Estonian National Youth Council was completed within the framework of the European Commission’s project EU Youth Dialogue and, in addition to Estonia 2035, also encompasses topics such as future work, E-government, opportunities at home and the quality thereof, and the European Union. Across Estonia a total of 1608 young people between the ages of 13-30 participated in the survey.

Additional information about the survey homepage of the Estonian National Youth Council.

More about the strategy ‘Estonia 2035’.

Additional information:
Eili Lepik, Deputy Strategy Director of the Government Office, e-mail:; tel.: 506-7123
Aivar Kamal, Project Manager at the Estonian National Youth Council, e-mail:, Tel.: 5666-6300