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Big brain drain alert: Over 10% of educated South Africans want to emigrate

Over 10% of working-age South Africans are considering to emigrate for economic and well-being opportunities. Picture: Maria Tyutina/Pexels.

Over 10% of working-age South Africans are considering to emigrate for economic and well-being opportunities. Picture: Maria Tyutina/Pexels.

Published May 12, 2022

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Rustenburg – Over 10% of working-age South Africans are considering to emigrate for economic and well-being opportunities.

This is according to a study commissioned by the Inclusive Society Institute late last year.

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The study found that 11.13% of South Africans with higher education indicated that they were seriously considering emigrating to another country in the next year or two.

“For a country that is already experiencing a skills shortage, it would be a serious blow to the economy should an exodus of this magnitude suggested, materialise,” the study noted.

The survey also pointed out that the main reason for emigration was for economic opportunities and there was little evidence to suggest that the migration was driven by politics, race or cultural assimilation, only 1.76 of respondents stated political issues as the reason for them to want to emigrate.

Three of the top five reasons for emigration suggested that 25.68% of South Africans with higher education and 32.91% of high-income earners, cited better job opportunity as the rationale for their consideration, whilst 8.36% suggested overall better opportunity and 5.42% cited a better life or standard of living as the reason.

Just over 11% of white South Africans, indicated a slightly higher desire to emigrate, they were closely followed by black South Africans at 9.73%, Indian (9.76%) and coloured at 8.96% of coloured South Africans signalled their intention to emigrate.

South Africans in the 18 – 24 year old category considered emigrating more than three times than considered by those over the age of 50.

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The results of the survey show that as people get older, their intention to emigrate declines.

In the category 18 – 24 years, 15.91% were considering emigration. In the category 25 – 34 years, it reduced to 11.25%. In the category 35 –49 years this went down to 8.06%.

And in the category 50 years and older it was 4.76%.

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English-speaking countries were highly considered with 23.88% considering the US, 14.87% want to emigrate to the UK, 9.94% to Germany. 6.32% to Canada and 4.96% to Australia.

IOL

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