1 of Every 8 Young Bulgarians Plans to Emigrate
One of every eight young people in Bulgaria has concrete plans to leave the country in a search for better live in the near future, data from the draft National Strategy for Youth in 2010-2020 of the Education Ministry reveals.
The data also shows that the number of young people not at all interested in politics is constantly on the rise and has reached 61% (from 32% in 1998) while youth organizations are not attractive to them – 5 years ago, 7% of young people had affiliations to such organizations with the percentage currently down even more, while only 2.2% have a party membership.
On the other hand side, young people are showing the most interest in sports clubs and fan clubs of professional sports teams, but are more active when it comes to the environment and human right issues.
After a slump of emigration plans in 2002 – 2006, today there is a trend of a growing desire of young people to leave the country, especially in the 20 – 29-year-old group. Data, however, shows that those are mainly people with lower education unlike the previous emigration boom when the most educated and qualified left the country. 25% of Bulgaria’s youth are interested in short-term jobs abroad – mostly those with average qualifications and/ or without work experience.
The interest towards reading is also slumping with one of every five young people not owning a single book. Only 16% of students, 29% of college students, 13% of the working youth and 8% of the unemployed read serious books.
The share of those using a computer daily is also low, compared to other EU countries – 57% among those between 16 and 24 years of age, compared to the EU average of 73%, and 42% and 64% respectively for the 25-34 age group.
Young people in Bulgaria show a trend of entering the labor market among the latest in the EU – the average EU age for getting a steady job is 20, while in Bulgaria it is 22. (In comparison the numbers are 23 for Romania and Hungary, 16 for the Netherlands, 17 for the UK, 20 for Lithuania, 21 for the Czech Republic.)
Most young Bulgarians say they lack motivation over the low pay and bad work conditions and do not have practical experience after graduating. The majority prefers to develop their own business in order to have more money and no boss.
People in Bulgaria between the ages of 15 and 30 live longer with their parents compared to the EU average – 28 for women and 32 for men with lack of money to buy or rent their own place stated as the main reason.
The average age to get married is also up with more and more young people, including women, seeing marriage as obsolete and unnecessary. The number of divorces among young people is up as well as it is the use of alcohol (in 2010, 52% of those between the ages of 15 and 24 drank – up 12% compared to 2009) and of tobacco (31% in the same age group). The illegal drug use is 3% - up from 1% in 2005, but compared to other EU Member States, Bulgaria along with Greece, Cyprus and Malta have the lowest levels of illegal drug abuse.
17 500 young people between 14 and 29 years of age receive court verdicts each year which is 58% of all verdicts.
The Strategy aims at increasing youth employment, education and political activity, at encouraging a healthy way of life, community service, and lowering the school drop-out rate.
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