A Gallup pollster Thursday said that a record 20 percent of Russian respondents expressed a desire to leave the country if they could, The Moscow Times reports. The highest percentage of Russians willing to migrate had previously reached 17 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, official data, which critics claim vastly underestimate immigration figures, alleges that Russia' emigration numbers have reached a record for the sixth year in a row.
The public poll results represent a threefold increase from five years ago. The share of Russians willing to move to another country permanently has steadily grown since 2014, when only seven percent expressed such a desire. Young Russians between ages 15 and 29 were especially unsatisfied with life in Russia. An "unprecedented" 44 percent of the young population in the age group expressed a desire to leave.
Gallup notes that correlations between President Vladimir Putin's approval ratings and Russian attitude towards migrating puts him "at least partly to blame" for the new record.
Respondents expressed the desire to move to Germany or the United States the most, with 15 and 12 percent putting the country as their top choice, respectively.