moving to south africa emigration

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Emigration: Four reasons why fewer people are moving to South Africa

According to HSBC, moving to South Africa isn’t as popular as it used to be among the international community. Here’s why our emigration appeal is struggling.

moving to south africa emigration

Photo: Adobe Stock

Let’s get one thing straight: Mzansi is a beautiful country with a lot to offer, especially for those choosing to migrate here. However, it seems fewer people are moving to South Africa, as a recently-released HSBC report put it third-bottom in a list of popular emigration destinations.

Of the 31 countries surveyed, SA ended up in 29th – propped up only by Japan and Brazil. The result marks South Africa’s worst performance on the HSBC Expat Report since its inception in 2013.

Most popular destinations for emigration

It turns out Singapore is now the most popular destination for people wanting to work abroad. Not for the number of movers, but for the quality of life. The South-Asian country has more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world, and those who get the chance to move there very rarely pass up the opportunity.

New Zealand and Germany were the next-favourite destinations, with Canada and Bahrain completing the top five. As Africa’s only representative on the list, we were hoping for a more favourable result…

  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. Germany
  4. Canada
  5. Bahrain
  6. Australia
  7. Sweden
  8. Switzerland
  9. Taiwan
  10. United Arab Emirates
  11. France
  12. India
  13. Indonesia
  14. Spain
  15. Malaysia
  16. Mexico
  17. Hong Kong
  18. Ireland
  19. Vietnam
  20. Russia
  21. Thailand
  22. United Kingdom
  23. United States
  24. Turkey
  25. Poland
  26. Saudi Arabia
  27. China
  28. Philippines
  29. South Africa
  30. Japan
  31. Brazil

What is putting people off moving to South Africa?

There are four metrics where South Africa performed in particularly poor fashion. Sadly, our safety rating was the worst of all 31 countries. Interestingly, the work-life balance in this country has also come under the microscope – Mzansi has been identified as the second-worst place for “closeness to your partner”.

Economic confidence (30th) and the political situation (29th) were very much in the relegation zone, too. The two effectively go hand-in-hand, as a volatile climate of politics is a sure way to spook foreign investors.

All of these factors are having an effect on the international clout this country is capable of having. However, you may also feel like taking this list with a pinch of salt when you realise HSBC put South Africa in the bottom-five for “culture” – a judgement that has touched us all on our studios.