This is who is emigrating from South Africa – and where they are going

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Data published by StatsSA through its Community Survey 2016, shows how many South Africans emigrated over the past 10 years, between 2000 and  2016.

According to the stats body, the biggest proportion of emigrants over this period left during 2015 – 25.7%. In 2014, the proportion was 11.1%, and in 2013, it was 8.8%. So far in 2016, the proportion of total emigrants over the past 10 years is 9.7%.

City Press put the number of South African emigrants at 102,793 people over the past 10 years.

StatsSA data shows the overseas (non African) destinations of emigrants over the period 2006 to 2016. The highest proportion of emigrants moved to Australia at 26.0% followed by United Kingdom and United States at 25.0% and 13.4% respectively.

Top 10 overseas destinations of South African emigrants

# Country %
1 Australia 26.0%
2 United Kingdom 25.0%
3 United States 13.4%
4 New Zealand 9.5%
5 Germany 6.0%
6 American Samoa 4.4%
7 United Arab Emirates 4.2%
8 Cuba 4.0%
9 Canada 3.0%
10 China 2.0%

Data on emigrants which left the country between 2001 and 2016 show that most emigrants were aged between 25 and 29 years old and left South Africa between 2011 and 2015, with the highest proportion leaving in 2015, StatsSA said.

Gauteng reported the highest proportion of emigrants. The highest proportion of emigrants moved to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Australia. Individuals emigrated for a wide variety of reasons which included employment, study and business.

 

Migration lawyer Chris Watters told City Press that the findings by StatsSA relating to age correlates with his experience – that the bulk of emigrants are aged between 25 and 39, majority (54%) are male, and most (36%) are from Gauteng.

Migration Network Australia’s Marlene Prentice told the paper that the majority of her clients are white, qualified and skilled.

However, Prentice added: “Over the past 12 months I have seen a drop in age of people wanting to emigrate. The enquiries from the age group 22 to 30 are becoming significant.

“Although the majority of enquiries are from white and Indian people, I have this year started receiving enquiries from black professionals.”

 

The stats body unveiled its community survey for 2016 showing that the country’s population has reached 55.7 million in 2016 – up from 40.6 million in 1996.

  • 2001 – 44.8 million
  • 2011 – 51.8 million
  • 2015 – 54.9 million
  • 2016 – 55.7 million

Breaking down the population by racial segments, the data showed that the country’s white population has declined from 4 586 838 in 2011, to 4 516 691 in 2016 – a loss of 70,147 people (-1.5%).

The black population has increased by nearly four million over the same period – from 41 000 938, to 44 891 603 people (+9.5%).

The coloured population has increased to 4 869 526  from 4 615 401 people (+5.5%), while the Indian/Asian population has grown to 1 375 834, from 1 286 930 people in 2011 (+6.9%).

Race Group Census 2011 % of population CS 2016 % of population Change (pop. numbers)
Black 41 000 938 79.2% 44 891 603 80.6% +9.5%
Coloured 4 615 401 8.9% 4 869 526 8.8% +5.5%
White 4 586 838 8.9% 4 516 691 8.1% -1.5%
Indian/Asian 1 286 930 2.5% 1 375 834 2.5% +6.9%
Other 280 454 0.5%
Total 51 770 560 100.0% 55 653 654 100.0% +7.5%

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