Almost one in two people in Ireland has a friend who has emigrated in the past five years, according to the latest survey by digital research agency Sponge It.

According to the ‘State of the Nation’ survey, 49 percent of people said they had at least one friend who has emigrated since 2007. Another 39 percent of respondents say that an extended relative has left Ireland to find work in the last five years.

On a positive note, half of those who took part in the survey said they think Ireland will be out of recession by 2016.

Some key findings of the survey include:

-    More than half said they would describe Ireland as ‘corrupt’.
-    9/10 people were unsure about their future employment.
-    One third said they are confident about their job security.
-    Unemployment and a lack of job prospects pose a serious threat to health and happiness for four out of ten people.
-    50 percent said they had no income left over at the end of the month.
-    Only 44 percent of participants think Ireland is a place of opportunity.
-   72 percent think their lives will improve in 5 years’ time.

When asked how they would spend any Lotto winnings, the most popular response was to look after family members. Paying off mortgage debt and personal loans was the second most popular and travelling the world was the third.

As part of their research, Sponge It interviewed 872 people between 20 June and 10 July 2012.

“Ireland is not out of the woods yet, but it is the hard-working Irish population that will bring the country out of recession by 2016,” says Ger Farrell, director of Sponge It.

Most Irish have had a good friend emigrateGoogle Images