According to the United Nations, humanity has been on the move since the beginning of time and now more than ever people are emigrating to countries other than the one in which they were born.
This is also true for many South African nationals who have chosen to leave the country and start a new life elsewhere.
The UN states that some of the reasons why people continue to emigrate include looking for better economic opportunities, studying, escaping conflict and persecution or large-scale human rights violations and others move in response to adverse environmental factors, including climate change and natural disasters.
Most South Africans move for economic opportunities, to join family or to study. As a result, there are many South African expats all around the world.
Countries like the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States have the highest number of South Africans calling them home.
If you’re wondering which countries have the largest South African diaspora, here is a list of the top 10 countries where most South Africans have immigrated to.
Regions with significant populations:
1. United Kingdom
Data shows that the UK had a population of 217 181 South Africans living in the country as of 2021.
Data shows that Australia had a diaspora population of 206 730 living in the country as of 2022.
3. United States
Data shows that the United States has a population of 139 322 South Africans living in the country as of 2022.
4. United Arab Emirates
Data shows that the United Arab Emirates has a population of ~100 000 South Africans living there as of 2014.
5. New Zealand
Data shows that New Zealand has a population of 71 382 South Africans living in the country as of 2018.
Data shows that Canada has a population of 51 590 South Africans living in the country as of 2021.
Data shows that the Netherlands has a population of 41 300 South Africans living in the country as of 2023.
Data shows that Israel has a population of 22 315 South Africans living in the country as of 2021.
Data shows that Germany has a population of 20 378 South Africans living in the country as of 2020.
Data shows that Mozambique has 20 171 South Africans living in the country as of 2020.
According to Statista.com, language is also another primary driver of emigration for South Africans when they choose a destination.
Language is a factor that helps ease communication and integration for individuals within a new society.
Noticeably, the five leading destinations for South African emigrants had English as an official language.