Nearly half of young Gazans looking to move abroad

New poll reveals the most popular destination of choice for Palestinians seeking to migrate abroad, one-out-of three Gazans and one-out-of five Palestinian in Judea and Samaria are hoping to emigrate.

By World Israel News Staff

Almost half of Gazans under the age of 30 are looking to move out of the coastal enclave, according to a new poll released last week.

The survey, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research from September 28th through October 8th, 2023, was released last Wednesday, revealing that a quarter of all Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza combined want to emigrate abroad.

More Gazans (31%) said they hoped to move abroad than Arabs in Judea and Samaria (21%).

Younger respondents were most likely to say they wished to emigrate, with nearly half (44%) of Gazans ages 18 to 29 saying they hoped to leave the area, compared to 28% of Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria under 30.

Among those over 30, just 23% in Gaza and 17% in Judea and Samaria said they wished to emigrate.

Men and women were essentially equally likely to say they wished to emigrate from Judea and Samaria (21% of men versus 20% of women), but  a major gender gap was revealed among Gazans, with 38% of men versus just 24% of women expressing a desire to live abroad.

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Interest in emigration has plateaued in recent years, the study found, after steady increases following the Second Intifada.

While just 18% of Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza combined wished to move abroad in 2006, that figure peaked at 28% in 2012 and 2016 before dropping off to 27% in 2019 and 25% in 2021 and 2023.

With most respondents polled before the October 7th invasion and prior to the Gaza war, those surveyed cited economic reasons as the top motivator for interest in immigration, with 45% naming it their top reason, followed by politics and educational opportunities which were tied at 13% each, followed in fourth place by “security reasons” with 12%.

The most popular destination abroad for those considering emigrating is Turkey, favored by 19% of Palestinians and 22% of those in Gaza; followed by Germany, the destination of choice for 13% of Palestinians; Canada with 11%; the U.S. with 10%; Qatar, with 9%; the United Arab Emirates with 5%; and  Saudi Arabia with 3%.