1 in 5 working South Africans are serious about emigrating

In a recent survey by infoQuest/TrendER, a leading South African online research company, about 5% of working South Africans claim that they have applied for residency in another country, have been accepted and will be emigrating soon. Three hundred working respondents were interviewed across the country. ‘If we extrapolate this to the actual numbers, 5% of approximately 15 million working South Africans indicates a staggering number of 750 000 South Africans getting ready to leave imminently,’ says Claire Heckrath, Managing Director of infoQuest.

Another 14% are seriously thinking about emigrating and have made enquiries or submitted applications, while one in three working South Africans say that they have thought about emigrating but have not taken any action yet. About one in two working South Africans are happy to remain in the country and have not thought about leaving.

There are some demographic differences between the different categories of respondents and their views on emigration. These are highlighted below:

Younger families in the middle-income bracket are more likely to be the ones to emigrate. Also, those currently employed part-time in South Africa are more likely to leave, probably spurred on by their need for more secure job opportunities. Those in the higher income groups are also less likely to emigrate. ‘There is no doubt that the emigration rate is a real concern for South Africa,’ says Heckrath, ‘and sadly the economic pressures, as well as some of the other infrastructure challenges such as loadshedding, are making it difficult to promote positivity currently within our country.’

infoQuest/TrendER will continue to monitor these emigration sentiments and will provide updates periodically.

About the Author



Infoquest is a subsidiary of TrendER, infoQuest was established in 2006 and is a leading South African online research company, also operating in Africa. They have the longest running consumer panel in SA, with approximately 40 000 panellists .