Top reason Kuwaitis desire to migrate from their homeland and other interesting findings

  • Desire to migrate low among Kuwaiti citizens. Only 8 % of citizens in Kuwait report wanting to leave their country.
  • Age and Education main factors affecting decision to migrate. Kuwaitis who are under 40 years of age are twice as likely to want to migrate than those who are ages 40 +. Higher educated citizens are four percentage points more likely to indicate a desire to migrate when compared to those with a basic education. There is no significant difference between men and women or across income levels.

  • Corruption driving migration. The predominate reason Kuwaitis seek to leave their homeland is corruption (26%). Other commonly cited reasons include pursuing educational opportunities (20%), or economic conditions (12%).

  • North America, Europe, and other MENA countries top destinations. 32% of Kuwaitis who have considered leaving list North America as their preferred destination. The second most commonly favored destination is Europe, cited by 23% of potential migrants. And, 13% of Kuwaitis say they wish to migrate to other GCC countries while 25% say MENA countries other than GCC.
  • Small number of Kuwaitis would migrate illegally. Among potential migrants, only 9% of Kuwaitis say they would consider leaving without the required papers. 

These are among the key findings on migration from a nationally representative public opinion survey conducted in Kuwait by the Arab Barometer from 22 April to 11 June 2019. The survey conducted 1,374 face-to-face interviews in the respondent’s place of residence. It has a margin of error of ±3% and a cooperation rate of 41%.