The number of Egyptians leaving the country increased by 17% in 2014 compared to the preceding year, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said in its latest report.
In 2014, the number of Egyptians acquiring “migrant status” reached 505, whilst in 2013, the number stood at 430.
Speaking to Daily News Egypt, several young people cited unemployment, the security situation and lack of public services as main reasons for emigrating from Egypt.
“I left Egypt because I realised that I couldn’t find a decent job in my field, without having connections,” said Ahmed Bahgat, a 29-year-old Egyptian emigrant currently residing in the US. “Without connections, my chances of getting paid a decent living wage are slim to non-existent.”
The number of males gaining the approval to emigrate reached 446, marking 88.3% of the total, while 59 (or 11.7%) females left the country.
In August 2014, CAPMAS revealed that the youth unemployment rate reached approximately 29% in 2014, compared to 23.7% in 2013.
Youths between the ages of 18 and 29 represent 23.7% of the country’s population, 51.1% of whom are males and 48.9% females, the report indicated. At the time of publication, the report also noted that the unemployment rate stood at 36.4% amongst males university graduates and post graduates. Meanwhile, 14.7% of illiterate and intermediate male graduates were unemployed.
Unemployed females however marked a higher rate of 57.2% amongst graduates and 13.7% for illiterate females.
CAPMAS’s recent report showed that the number of those leaving the country having Bachelors’ degrees represents 50.5% of the total number in 2014, reaching 245 migrants.
The most popular destination for Egyptians leaving the country was Italy, the report said, adding that Europe ranked as the most popular destination, followed by the US and then Arab countries.
“The labour market in Egypt doesn’t provide me with a good living status. The Egyptian currency value keeps deteriorating making low incomes have an even lower value,” Mahmoud Mostafa, an Egyptian resident seeking immigration, said.
Unemployment is apparently not the only reason why some Egyptians seek to leave their home country. The security instability Egypt is currently experiencing also has a vital role in encouraging residents to leave.
Sara El-Esawee, a former Al-Arish resident now living in Belgium, told Daily News Egypt that the constant volatility in the town is a main reason she left and is not looking back.
“The main thing that humans look for in a place is safety, and it is not there, every time I left the house I felt like I was going to die and I live in constant fear on my life and my children’s,” she elaborated.
Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, militant operations against army and police personnel have increased in Al-Arish leading to scores of civilian, official, militant casualties.
Al-Arish has also been subjected to a curfew since last October due to the restive situation in North Sinai.
Egyptian security forces have made almost monthly arrests of hundreds of Egyptians attempting to illegally migrate by sea or land, often headed to Libya and Italy.