South Africa is facing a skilled-worker ‘brain drain’ as 7% of whites have emigrated since 2002.
Figures published in BizNews have highlighted South Africa’s overall population growth since 2002, and life expectancy has risen to 64 (up from 53) in that time.
The rollout of free antiretroviral treatments for HIV and AIDS patients has made a huge difference to SA’s health landscape, and the country is now home to more than 56m citizens; it’s highest ever total.
However, as the population rises, there is a hole right in the middle of that data – the white population is somewhat shrinking, as the calls to find ‘a home from home’ have grown ever stronger and convinced more to leave.
How many whites live in South Africa?
The net emigration of Whites is estimated at 327,000, or about 7% of the population. This has left the number of Whites in 2017, of 4.49m, down by -62,000 in the last 15 years.
In contrast, there has been a 10.18m increase in the Black African population, to 45.11m at present and a 1.05m increase in the Coloured population, up to 4.96m, in mid-2017.
The research was carried out by Econometrix’s chief economist Azar Jammine: He feels that the whites leaving the country are able to do so because their skill sets are attractive to lucrative foreign businesses:
“There is an argument for being very concerned about the decline in the population of Whites due to emigration. Many of those who emigrate are drawn presumably from the most highly skilled sections of society and their departure from the workspace is likely to impact negatively on the capacity of the economy to grow at a faster rate.”
“It is debatable whether the inflow of skilled persons from the rest of the African continent is sufficient to counteract the outflow of skills from large-scale emigration of Whites.”
South Africans working abroad
The growth rate in the population of persons between the ages of 15 and 34 has fallen from 2.48% to just 0.18% over this period. With education standards languishing, current figures suggest we will have less people available to adequately carry out the services SA needs to function