An estimated total of 95,158 whites have left South Africa since 2011, according to a new Statistics SA report released on Thursday.
According to the 2015 mid-year population estimates, in the same period 1,067,937 Africans and 40,929 Asians migrated to South Africa.
The figures took into account total departures and total arrivals over the period.
Statistician-general Pali Lehohla, speaking at the release of the 2015 mid-year population estimates in Pretoria, suggested that while Stats SA had not done any migration studies, it could be assumed the estimates were influenced by employment opportunities.
“It can be assumed and working from theory, migrants tend to go where there is employment and looking at the age structure of Gauteng, you can conclude reasonably well it’s because of the supposed job opportunities that are there, that migrants are coming in,” he said.
Touching on white migration, Lehohla said there was a trend among white children, who had just finished matric, to go elsewhere to gain some experience.
“They are better connected and I think that’s why, and also I think there is migration of white people out for a number of reasons.”
For example, a lot of white engineers had found employment in Dubai. The United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom were among the countries South African whites had migrated too.
While over 95,000 whites had left South Africa since 2011, according to Stats SA’s estimates, white migration has slowed.
Between 1986 and 2000, 304,112 white South Africans left the country. Between 2001 and 2005, 133,782 whites emigrated, dropping to 112,046 between 2006 and 2011.
This meant between 2011 and 2015, 16,888 fewer whites left South Africa.
The immigration of Indians and Asians to South Africa had increased since 2001, with the same applying to Africans.
Between 2001 and 2005, 23,335 Indians and Asians had immigrated to South Africa, with 769 038 Africans doing the same.
Between 2006 and 2010, 34,689 Indians and Asians, and 922 884 Africans, had migrated to South Africa.
South Africa’s population was estimated at 54 956 900 in 2015, with 80.5% (44,228,000 people) being African. Coloureds comprised 8.8% (4,832,900) of the population, whites 8.3% (4,534,000), and Indians and Asians 2.5% (1,362,000).
Among the provinces, 24% (13,200,300 people) of South Africa lived in Gauteng, the country’s most populated province.
The next most populated was KwaZulu-Natal at 19.9% (10 919 100), followed by the Eastern Cape at 12.6% (6,916,200), Western Cape with 11.6% (6 200 100), and Limpopo with 10.4% (5,726,800).
Mpumalanga had 7.8% (4,283,900) of South Africa’s population, North West 6.7% (3,707,000), Free State 5.1% (2,817,900), and the Northern Cape 2.2% (1,185,600), the least populated province in South Africa.
“Gauteng is the most preferred province for migration, and migration out of Gauteng, [people] are leaving but they are largely out-weighed by those coming in,” Lehohla said.
“Gauteng, Western Cape, Mpumalanga and the North West are the provinces receiving quite a lot of population. Limpopo and the Eastern Cape experienced the largest outflow.”