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Fewer Nicaraguans Are Trying to Leave the Country

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Apr 20, 2016, 5:31 pm
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“To start a business” was the top reason that Nicaraguans said they were leaving. (La Prensa)

EspañolThe number of Nicaraguans that want to leave the country decreased by 10.3 percentage points this year, according to results from a public opinion poll taken in April.

The survey, conducted by M&R Consultants, reveals that only 36 percent of those questioned would currently leave the country if they could. In December of last year, that number was at 46 percent.

The figure is the lowest to date since June 2003, when 65.5 percent responded that they would like to leave.

The survey was taken between March and April, and included 1,700 Nicaraguans older than 16 in both urban and rural areas. The results were considered to have 95-percent reliability with 2.33-percent margin of error.

Shortening cycles

For Eduardo Baumestier, a sociologist and expert on immigration issues, the shift in survey results is due to natural ebbs and flows, rather than a concrete change in the country’s way of life.

“It is typical of migration, and especially of international immigration,” he explained.

One of the most intense periods, he added, is the second half of the year, principally because there is demand for agricultural work.

“At the start of the year, which is when coffee and sugar crops end, there is a period in which not only Nicaragua, but all of Central America begins to move, because that time has always been considered a dead period,” Baumestier said.

Doubts

Of those who were asked about immigration, 28.2 percent cited the desire to start their own business as a main motivation. The quantity of people immigrating for this reason also diminished by 7.3 percent in comparison to the December 2015 survey.

The need to collect money for paying debts doubled in the last trimester, according to the survey. In December, 7.6 percent of those questioned indicated that this was their main reason for wanting to leave the country.

Other reasons that appeared on the survey included unemployment (17.9 percent), getting money for debts (14.3 percent), the belief that there were a lack of opportunities (14.2 percent), to buy a house (10.3 percent) and education (9.9 percent), among others.

Source: El Nuevo Diario.

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.