Jamaica Has No Future if its Young People Want to Leave

A report published not too long ago indicated that nearly half of all Jamaican young people are willing to give up their citizenship to go overseas is not surprising but deeply troubling.

What is alarming about this figure, is that so many young persons do not see any future in this country. We have had this brain drain for a very long time now but to see empirical evidence of this makes for a chilling reading.

The consequences of this alarming finding are numerous but two stand out. One, the effect it will have on voting and the other, the effect it will have on the future of this country. We are already aware of  the small percentage of young persons that are going to the polls, at each election over the last 20 plus years.

There has been a lot of analysis done on why this is so and one of the main reasons is young people see no hope of change anywhere, and they will gladly go overseas to explore other opportunities. This has led to the present government being elected to office with about 25% of the voters registered to vote.


What we have is, in voter support terms,  a minority government. When you have a segment of your population that numbers in the region of over 600,000 so turned off by the political process, that almost 300,000 are willing to give up all rights, and sever all legal connections to get out of their country, it should be a wake-up call to our politicians.

young people want to migrate to other countries for opportunities
Image Source: www.lcjrun.pl

Politicians must work assiduously to instill hope in the minds of our young people. No society can develop properly , if so many young people have no desire to live in their own country. The brain power of these young people is going to be used in the service and development of other countries. No country wants that. The nature of hopelessness transcends political boundaries and party lines.

I’m quite sure many of those who want to leave this country are supporters of the PNP. That should be a sobering reminder to the PNP supporters who send obnoxious emails to persons who dare criticize their beloved party that their government is contributing handsomely to the constant brain drain of this country, because of their poor stewardship. This pervasive feeling of hopelessness has driven many into criminality; a primary example being  – the often times lucrative – Lotto Scamming.

The Government must help to restore the hope to the young people in this country by creating conditions that will enable them to create wealth for themselves and to enjoy a better standard of living. That’s the only way we will see the young people becoming more involved in the political process. We cannot continue to have so many persons wishing they were never born here.

 The future of Jamaica is at stake here if so many people want to leave. It is said at all times that the future of the country is the young. Now if so many young persons want to leave then what type of future will we have? The sad thing is that so many people in power just do not understand that simple fact. Create jobs for people and they will work.

While the Finance Minister is continues to talk about passing IMF tests, the fact is that passing these tests will not ease the frustration and hopelessness that the majority of young people are feeling in this country. Our collective future is at stake here. We need our university graduates to stay in Jamaica and build Jamaica. We need our young professionals execute their revolutionary ideas in this country.

We cannot hope that they will stay here out of patriotism and suffer when there is better elsewhere to be had. Patriotism and hunger doesn’t work. Too many of our country’s resources are wasted on unnecessary things. For example the ongoing Tivoli Gardens enquiry that was slated to finish with a budget of 50 million has far exceeded that and is still growing by the day. All that money could have been used to lend to young people to start up ventures that will help them to stay here.


Another example is the NHT Outameni issue that we saw recently where over 200 million was wasted. That money could have been used to help out struggling businesses and those that want to start new ones. We cannot continue to allow government policies to inhibit the growth of our Nation and the security of our future, by alienating such a substantial part of the population. The vision 2030 dream cannot be attained if we continue to lose our finest and brightest.

It’s time to bring back the hope to the young and to be brutally frank the PNP cannot do that job.

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Michelle Levy-Kirlew
8 years ago

The grass is not always green on the other side

Zavii Sims
8 years ago

Shake my hand sir!

Omar Spence
8 years ago

This demographic shift thhat comes with the brain drain strongly favors the PNP, they are not going to change their approach at all. Current conditions weed out all the thinkers and leave the ones who will believe anything and will vote their future away for a box lunch and a beer. This is a decompensated state that continues to worsen itself with each passing election cycle.

Racquel Whyte
8 years ago

Though the PNP will not achieve the 2030 vision, because that’s what it really is, just a vision and not a reality, the JLP will not achieve it either. This is what breeds the hopelessness, and motivates those who know that there is ‘better’, to go find ‘better’. Unfortunately, the ‘better’ just happens to be located outside of the borders of Jamaica. We want to believe that our politicians can do better but the many years of struggle and downward spiral has proven they will not achieve better. Too much corruption where there should be none. Both parties are guilty.… Read more »

Tenece Christie
8 years ago

It’s rather disheartening that aftering running our country in a rut for over 18 years this ruling party was allowed the opportunity to continue to do so but what’s even worst is the lingering fear that the opposition awaits their reign only to continue that trend. We can’t blame our young people for losing hope

Colleen Smith Hall
8 years ago

Very soon the only persons that will be left in Jamaica are the politicians, the very rich, the homeless and the criminals! What should the young people do when they spend millions of dollars to study and there is no jobs for them here to do?

Champs Ashman
8 years ago

So True PNP need to get it together in the Country To Allow the Young People To Stay &Build up JAMAICA Every one Overseas Love JAMAICA So Why Let Our Little Beautiful Country Go To Rot May God Change The Minds Of the PNP To Look To The Future Of The Young People Bless

Ashley Foster
8 years ago

no party will make a difference. …. the damage is already done there are no jobs and the country is drowning violence. … its just too late for jamaica.

Errol Smith
8 years ago

We must face the fact that it is not just a matter that the PNP cannot do the job….neither can the JLP. How long is it taking for us to face the fact that the PNP and JLP are both irrelevant to the 21st century ? Both political parties are totally outdated, plus the fact that the imbedded concept of PNP and JLP have planted tribalism in the minds of the people, the vast majority of which have been kept ignorant in order to manipulate them politically. What we have to do is search for a new system that is… Read more »

Caffrey Capri I-Davis
8 years ago

This article is true: Young people don’t see any future opportunities in Jamaica, and will gladly go overseas to look for better opportunities.
I am 1 of the. The government and the state of our island is going downhill, and even the politicians themselves don’t realize this until the last minute.

P-Lord M-Four Carbine Swiz

If i was to write something about jamaica this would be it.

Roshane Fx Rhule
8 years ago

I’m one of those young person as well. If a country can’t implement systems for greater work force, proper housing and schooling why stay there?…Nevertheless we were shipped here so it’s nothing for us to ship ourselves to somewhere else to better ourselves and family.

Berneta Layne
8 years ago

It’s a disgrace if I could get my whole family even my dogs from there I would .i am sure an uprising will hit that country shortly

Kris Wilson
8 years ago

Its sad that you see stories like this and persons in the Government are totally blind to the reality, You need to help students with Education and have Jobs readily available. Most students come out of University and can’t even get into a entry level job because most Jobs now ask for at least 4 to 5 Years experience. When you take stock there is no job here that is capable of such a thing. So students waste 4 years of their lives, running up SLB loans and debts on themselves only to be trapped in the hole that the… Read more »

Carol Robinson-Samuels

I don’t think this is a one party problem. The problem with most governments, and not just Jamaica is that too much time and money is wasted trying to make the other party looks bad. Both parties should work together for the good of all citizens. Young people are graduating, and can’t find jobs. Why wouldn’t they want to leave? They could at least try to control the crime to make the country more attractive to companies, and individuals who wants to do business there. That’s a hard one, because of all the corruption.

Raymond de Grave
8 years ago

young Jamaicans should never make a mistake of denouncing their own home citizenship because you can not call your second home… home. because countries outside there keep on changing their immigration policies ..or else you will be stateless and your own country will be taken up by other people and they will never allow you back.

Richard Deleon
Richard Deleon
3 years ago

So, this article was first published in 2015 (as per the comments). We are now under JLP government, my question is : Has anything changed? Is the Brain Drain any less? Does the average young person aspire to stay in Jamaica? I just visited last month and can personally testify to the indiscipline and lawlessness. Once quiet clean towns like Mandeville and Spaldings are indescribable chaos. So, you tell me, how are we better off.