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Study identifies key factors which motivate emigration

Would you move for love, job opportunities or reliable insurance coverage?

Zurich study identifies key factors which motivate emigration

The global economy has had an impact on people’s motivations when considering a life changing move overseas. Job security and economic stability, along with reliable insurance coverage were all significant considerations before people packed their passports, according to an international survey commissioned by Zurich.

The survey, which was conducted in August and September this year and included over 7,750 individuals in 12 different countries, found the availability of reliable health insurance was more important than schools or pensions for those who were deliberating a move overseas.

When considering necessary “safety aspects” as part of their decision to emigrate, 22% of respondents chose reliable insurance coverage for illnesses and disability, compared with 20% who selected pensions and only 14% who opted for schools. The most important aspects were job security (43%), a low crime rate (39%) and political stability (38%). 12% were motivated by low exposure to natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and volcanos.

Interestingly, Australians and Mexicans indicated they were far less concerned about insurance (10% each), preferring to focus on low crime rates in comparison to Austrians who were more concerned about the availability of insurance than any other factor (49% of 500 respondents). Germans are also considerably more concerned than global averages (44%). Russians were most concerned about natural catastrophes (24%), in contrast to Spanish, Italian and Portuguese respondents at around 5% each.

The research also revealed that Australia and New Zealand rate as the second most appealing countries to start a new life at 29%. North America takes top spot at 31% while Austria, Germany and Switzerland appealed most to 28% of respondents and 24% opted for Nordic countries.

The condition of the global economy, particularly around employment opportunities, remains at the forefront of motivations when considering emigration. 49% of those surveyed selected either better job opportunities or unemployment at home as key factors in their deliberations with this trend being particularly pronounced in Southern Europe – over 70% of Spanish and Portuguese respondents were pre-occupied by (un)employment.

Executive General Manager, SME, Bobby Lehane, says the results from the survey are indicative of the current economic conditions. While it’s interesting to see what factors do motivate people to move, fundamentally the most important reasons that would lead respondents to consider leaving their home country are better job opportunities abroad and concern around unemployment at home.

“If we look at where skills demand and job creation will increase in the future, Australia might be considered even more attractive given we’re expecting significant employment growth. For example, demand for skills in health insurance and general insurance are predicted to grow by 15 per cent by 2017 according to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations."

“We need people now and even more in coming years. With the breadth of roles that insurance offers, there’s a place for many different skills and people in our industry. We want to attract the best people. We hope some of those looking to emigrate to Australia will consider a career in insurance."

“It’s also interesting to see that 22% of the overall respondents still saw reliable insurance coverage for illness and disability as a key factor when they considered a move to a new country. Circumstances can change at any time and it’s strong comfort to know they are properly protected regardless of what country they choose to live in,” says Bobby.

The results showed for people from countries with a healthy economy; relationships and love of adventure will often see them leave their home country rather than job opportunities. Austrians and Germans are most likely to emigrate for love, with 38% and 29% respectively citing the draw of a partner in a different country compared with only 12% of respondents globally.

Overall, over one-third of respondents (38%) are considering emigration or have already emigrated, although almost half of those (15%) feel too anxious to actually make the move. Of those not considering emigration, 17% believe they already live in the best country while a further 17% feel most secure at home.

Further information The survey was carried out between August and September 2013 by GfK Switzerland AG and GfK Global, tnsglobal (for Australia), Millward Brown (for Ireland) and bjconsult (for Morocco). From the overall sample of 7,754, a representative sample of 500 to 1,000 inhabitants per country was included. Countries surveyed were Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Russia, Ireland, Portugal, Morocco, Australia, Mexico and UK.

The survey can be downloaded at (in the news releases section under media).


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