Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ/ ds

A total of 20,858 people moved out of Croatia in 2014 looking for work and a better life, and the latest survey by the posao.hr web portal shows that as many as 82% of the respondents are considering that possibility.

In 2014, 20,858 people left Croatia, in 2013 15,262 did so, and in 2012 the number of those who left was 12,877.

The survey, carried out by posao.hr from 2 to 9 October, covered 547 respondents and it shows that as many as 82% of them are thinking about leaving the country, with 32% not working actively on it and 22% only beginning to work on it.

Of all respondents, 28% are actively working on leaving the country, which indicates that their mind is made up. 12% of the respondents are not thinking about leaving Croatia at all, 6% said that most of the people they know are thinking or actively working on leaving, but that they are not thinking about it themselves.

"The quality of life is one of the reasons why many are staying, even with a lower income. Even though many people in Croatia are thinking about leaving the country, a smaller number decided to do so, mostly when they really cannot make their ends meet," posao.hr director Sasa Jurkovic said.

Most of the people who left the country in 2014 were aged 25-29, followed by the 30-39 age group and those aged 45-59.

The survey findings indicate that the number of those leaving the country is expected to increase and confirm that brain-drain is a Croatian reality, said posao.hr.

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