Over a third of South African youth may emigrate

Over a third of South African youth may emigrate

Over a third of South African youth may emigrate

A dramatic increase over the last three months in the number of young South Africans wishing to emigrate was revealed in a recent survey.

Some 36 per cent of those polled between the ages of 18 and 34 signalled their preference to live in another country, a significant increase from the results of the August poll. Strong racial variations were noted, with 56 per cent of young whites and 53 per cent of Indians wanting to emigrate, against 33 per cent of black youth and 43 per cent of coloureds.

The wish to leave the country was also linked to higher scores in the Living Standards Measure (LSM), with 41 per cent of those in the 7-10 LSM groups more likely to leave than stay. The USA was the favourite destination, with Australia coming a close second, especially with white respondees.

According to Shirley Wakefield, representing Pondering Panda, the company which undertook the survey, the findings are disturbing in that the numbers of those looking to emigrate have increased by almost 50 per cent. Of even graver concern, she added, is that those most likely to leave are those in higher socio-economic groups who possess the skills the country badly needs.

Wakefield continued that, although all those who wish to leave may not be able to, the survey shows a disturbing group state of mind put down to perceived poor prospects for South Africa’s future development. She feels that, if things don’t change, higher emigration numbers will result, exacerbating an already crucial skills deficit.

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