Seven in 10 young Moroccans want to migrate, NGO report

Seven in 10 young Moroccans want to migrate, NGO report
2 min read
06 December, 2021
Morocco is plagued by high unemployment among youth, which makes up most of the population.
Morocco is the Arab country with the highest percentage of youth seeking to move abroad [Getty]

Seven out of ten young Moroccans say they would be happier if they moved abroad, according to a study published by the National Human Development Observatory, a Moroccan organisation, in partnership with the UN's Development Programme (UNDP). 

This figure makes Morocco the Arab country with the highest percentage of youth seeking to emigrate.

The same study found that seven in ten Moroccans were reluctant to marry and start families.

Unemployment in Morocco affects around 12 percent of the population but is much higher among youth (31 percent), university graduates (18.7 percent) and women across all age groups (16.5 percent).

Morocco is at the crossroads of one of the most circulated migration routes to Europe, and its coast guards regularly rescue migrants at sea. 

Most of those risking this sea route are migrants from sub-Saharan Africa seeking to reach the European Union through Spain, which is only 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Morocco.

But Moroccan youth themselves are also drawn to Europe due to the lack of economic opportunities they face at home.

Like many countries in the MENA region, nearly half of the population is under 30.

Moroccan authorities have repeatedly pledged to improve the conditions of young people in the country, but struggle to tackle high unemployment rates.

After a pandemic-driven contraction of 6.3 percent last year, the International Monetary Fund expects the Moroccan economy to grow by 5.7 percent this year.