Fears over the future of oil and gas could persuade a large proportion of Aberdeen’s young workforce to leave the city.
The survey of 541 residents showed young professionals aged between 16-35 want to stay – but only if the opportunities are there for them.
The latest Northern Lights study by PwC Scotland was carried out before the EU referendum.
PwC said the findings reinforced calls to re-energise the region.
Erika Campbell, Aberdeen lead director for people and organisation at PwC in Scotland said: “The next generation of the region’s workforce – the people thinking about settling down, having families and making roots – are voicing their concerns with Aberdeen and the local economy.
“What our survey has revealed is that this is a generation who were attracted to Aberdeen for all the right reasons – a sense of community, location and the city being perceived as a place for young professionals – but they now worry if they have a future here or if they’ll send their children to school and university in the city.”
The survey found that 52% of 16-35 year olds have worked in Aberdeen for less than five years.
When asked about future career plans, 67% said they intended to move or were considering moving from Aberdeen in the next five years.
More than half said the uncertainty around oil and gas was the main motivator for this decision.