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A Profile of South Africans who Immigrate to Australia

Young, skilled, educated, experienced and well paid, or self-employed, South Africans from all ethnic and cultural groups; this is the typical profile of South Africans packing their bags (or those who have already packed their bags) for Australia. 

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Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a big jump in the number of South Africans who have immigrated to Australia over the past few years.  In fact at the time of the last Australian Census in 2016 it was thought that 104 128 South Africans were living Down Under and that as many as 14 000 more would have immigrated there by the time you read this blog.

Profile of a South African in Australia

We know they are young and talented but stats reveal an interesting picture proving that South Africans who opt to leave the country don’t do so because they couldn’t care less about community and South African values and traditions, in fact they take these wonderful attributes with them.


Here’s the facts

  • The data indicated that as many 82.5% of migrants from SA had settled in the major cities. With most South Africans being drawn to Sydney, Perth and Melbourne (in that order).
  • Interestingly the research showed that more than 7,500 Zimbabweans lived in Perth in 2011
  • A report recently published by New World Wealth showed that white millionaire numbers have decreased dramatically in South Africa.  The report said that the country was home to 36,600 in 2007 but economic hardship and, primarily, immigration has dwindled the figure to only 21,200 in 2015.  Year-on-year, there were 10,900 fewer white millionaires in the country – a drop of 34%, the report said
  • Another report, this time by PPS, claims that young educated South Africans plan to leave the country to work abroad, rather than plough their knowledge back into the local economy.  They reason that South Africa would offer them only limited career opportunities and not enough international exposure
  • South African’s in Australia are highly educated people.  Thanks to Australia’s strict immigration rules you are only invited to apply for an Australian visa if you meet a number of strict criteria. 
  • In Australia South Africans are reputed as hardworking employees, dedicated family people, loyal friends and caring about their schools, communities and environment.

The majority of South African migrants living in Australia are well established in their adoptive Australian communities.  Those who are interested in applying for Australian citizenship are required to integrate into Australian society and Saffas (as South African’s are affectionately referred to) are happy to do it.  Some take longer to adapt to life in Australia but the overwhelming majority feel they made the right decision.


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