Could there be any plausible reasons why citizens of a rich developed country would want to emigrate?

I need reasons strong enough that country would constantly suffer from large emigration.

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    $\begingroup$ Since people do, I think this in insufficiently researched. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jul 9 '17 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ Deleted my comments since it has been answered apparently, but I will still leave my link here: reuters.com/article/us-spain-population-idUSKCN0ZG1SC $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jul 9 '17 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ It's usually recommended to wait at least 24 hours before accepting an answer, so as not to put off further people from answering the question. $\endgroup$ – adaliabooks Jul 9 '17 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ I am curious why this is downvoted / close voted. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jul 9 '17 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ This should not be downvoted, it is not too broad and specific answers can be had. Just because the question is short does not make it broad, in fact it is quite pointed. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Jul 9 '17 at 23:39

There are several, very different, possible reasons; I will just sketch a few, bear in mind several variations are possible for each one.

  • Lack of liberty: Nation is rich, but also very structured (caste/guild system) so people is forced on a predefined path; those who don't like it are forced to leave. This has the additional bonus any incoming people would be unable to do any well-payed work (thus severely limiting immigration).
  • Militaristic (variation of the above): highly aggressive Country where majority (if not all) are forced to personally participate to wars; normally such countries are supported by heavy propaganda that pushes citizens to want to participate, but You can think about some fail of it (either internally or because some effective counter-propaganda from neighboring Countries). In this case emigration is seen as desertion.
  • High demographic pressure: A rich, but very small country (island?) with a very high density; people is literally stepping on each other's toes. Think about Japan-on-steroids where people have to take turns to sleep in coffin-size "capsules".
  • Disease: some reason (pollution, radiation, bacteria...) that takes a constant toll. This has the adverse effect there would be a constant immigration of people wanting to get rich, betting they can do it before disease can get at them.
  • Bad neighbors: the country is rich but near one of those militaristic expansionists we spoke about earlier. Its richness pays mercenaries to keep it safe... for the time being, but fear is mounting.
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    $\begingroup$ Plus none of these things have to actually be true, people just need to believe they are to have an effect. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 9 '17 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ In the realm of lack of liberty: Criminalization of homosexuality, atheism or failing to adhere or pay tribute to the State Religion. Note that when homosexuality is criminalized, some parents choose to leave with their homosexual children, rather than risk the consequences to their children. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Jul 9 '17 at 22:49
  • Even better prospects elsewhere.
  • Lack of political or religious freedom, or disagreement with the political system.
  • Insufficient long-term economic prospects, even if things look fine now. (For instance fear of an aging population, raising tax burdens to pay pensions, etc.)
  • High cost of living and bad weather. (Look at the number of UK pensioners going to southern Europe.)
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    $\begingroup$ You might want to add religious freedom as well. $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Jul 9 '17 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ @PyRulez, good point, but I consider the freedom of religion to be a political freedom as well. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Jul 9 '17 at 16:08

Money isn't everything, you know. Suppose the non-rich country offers a better quality of life than the rich one? Basically the same reason I choose to live in a non-rich state (and in a rural area) despite the fact that I would have made a lot more money if I'd stayed in Silicon Valley.

Beyond that, with telecommuting you don't have to live where you work. I've worked in the US while living in Europe, and vice versa. So if you can telecommute, you can live in a nice but job-free place, while working in a nasty but high-paying one.

A final reason, and one that a number of people actually do, is that retiring in a place with a low cost of living lets your money go futher. A pension that is barely sufficient in the US or Britian goes a lot further in say Costa Rica or Spain.


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