Guyanese statistics indicated an average of 6,080 declared emigrants a year between 1969 and 1976, increasing to an average of 14,400 between 1976 and 1981. Figures for 1976 showed 43 percent of the emigrants going to the United States, 31 percent to Canada, 10 percent to Britain, and 9 percent to the Caribbean. Deteriorating economic conditions caused emigration to increase sharply in the 1980s. Unofficial estimates put the number leaving the country in the late 1980s at 10,000 to 30,000 annually. Many of these emigrants were reported to be middle-class professionals, largely Indo-Guyanese, who opposed government policies that favored employment of Afro-Guyanese in the public sector. This emigration resulted in a significant loss of skilled personnel.
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