The number of Bulgarians wishing to leave the country permanently has increased threefold, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) said in a statement on May 17 2011.
After the country joined the European Union in 2007, about 326 000 Bulgarians said that they wanted to leave the country. Back then, only one in five said that they wished to emigrate permanently, but over the course of the past four years, their number has "increased dramatically", the report said.
In 2011, the number of want-aways, according to the BAS report, was about 456 000 and nearly half of them said that they wanted to leave for good.
The demand for higher wages and a better life were the main factors behind Bulgarians' desire to leave their country. The economic crisis, rising unemployment, low wages and Bulgarians returning from abroad "influencing their friends" are some of the other reasons cited by survey respondents.
"The bad news is that more than half of those who said they wanted to go abroad, said they don't want to return, ever," Vesselin Minchev from BAS was quoted as saying by Dnevnik daily.
An increasing number of Bulgarians wish to immigrate to the UK and Germany despite the labour restrictions in place, not the traditional destinations like Greece, Spain and the US, the report said.
According to the BAS report however, only about 10 per cent actually "commit" themselves and do leave the country.