Nicaraguans Happier To Stay Home: Emigration Down 10.3%

One of the main destinations of Nicaraguans is Costa Rica.
One of the main destinations of Nicaraguans is Costa Rica.

TODAY NICARAGUA – Are Nicaraguan’s more happy than ever at home? The System Monitoring Public Opinion (Sistema de Monitoreo de Opinión Pública) for April reveals a drop of 10.3% decrease in emigration.

According to the survey, conducted by M&R Consultores, only 36.1% of the respondents would leave the country now. In December, the number was 46.4%.

This is the lowest figure recorded since June 2003, when 65.3% responded positively to the question about their willingness to emigrate.

The survey takes in the response of 1.700 Nicaragaun residents over the age of 16, between March and April, from a poll in both rural and urban areas of the country. The results have a margin of error of 2.33%.

Eduardo Baumestier, a sociologist and expert on migration, explains the decrease is due to the seasonal nature of migration in the region.

According to the expert, emigration is strongest at the beginning and in the second half of the year, mainly due to the demand for agricultural labour.

“It’s typical of seasonal migration,” said Baumestier, explaining that this time of year is considered a dead time because there is less work in agriculture. For example, in the beginning of the year and near the end there is coffee and sugar cane crop, periods of emigration not only in Nicaragua, but throughout Central America.

In sectors like construction, for example, the dynamics is different, says the expert.

When asked why they want to leave their country, 28.2% of the respondents said the main factor was their desire to start a business. In December the number was 37.5%.

Other reasons for emigration include, the need to raise money for debt repayment, unemployment, perceived lack of opportunities, buy a house and education, among others.

One of the main destinations of Nicaraguans is Costa Rica. Nicaraguans make up the single largest group of foreigners living and working in that country, legally and illegally.