The annual SA mid-year head count was released this week by Stats SA showing that we’ve officially hit the 60 million mark and cemented our place in the world’s top 25 most populated places. And as always, keen-eyed reporters are interpreting the ‘fact’ that the non-Black population has decreased by around 17 000 individuals to the idea that privileged people are flocking off.
That may well be true (as is the effect of a low birth/death ratio in that segment) and we can hardly afford to lose another 17 000 high income taxpayers BUT in BrandMapp 2021, we measure an even more disturbing trend: the appetite for young, qualified people of all ethnicities to head for the hills. When asked what the likelihood of them emigrating is, a massive 31% of millennials (under 35s) with a university degree said likely or very likely, together with 19% of the general population. Another 25% said ‘unsure’ which basically means they’re just looking for half an excuse.
At the risk of stating the obvious, remember that 83% of those young people are classified as previously disadvantaged. So even if there’s debate around whether or not they will be able to leave, financially or otherwise, how hectic is it that more than half of our brightest young people of the born-free generation, have got their bags packed and their passports ready.