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Breaking…Shocking Migration Results Now Out: 900K Zimbabweans In Diaspora



The 2022 PHC recorded a total of 236,246 persons who were born outside the country. The highest number of the foreign-born population was born in South Africa, 137,594. Of the 137,594 persons born in South Africa, 23,476 persons were residing in Matabeleland South. The highest number of foreign-born population were recorded in Harare Province, 37,209. Of the 37,209 persons residing in Harare, 16, 018 were born in South Africa.



Emigrants Data on the number of persons who used to be members of the 2022 PHC households and were living outside the country was collected. It was not possible to count migrants whose households were no longer in existence during the time of the census. Households with emigrants constituted 13.6 percent (520,240) of all households enumerated during the 2022 PHC. Matabeleland South province had the largest proportion; 33 percent, of households that experienced loss of members through emigration while Matabeleland North and Masvingo provinces experienced a loss of 24 percent and 23




Age on Departure and Sex Composition of Emigrants Figure 8 shows the distribution of emigrants at the time of departure by age group and sex. A total of 908,914 people emigrated from Zimbabwe at the time of the census. There were more males, 59 percent than females, 41 percent among the emigrants at the time of their departure. For both males and females, the highest proportion, 28 percent of emigrants were from the 20 to 24 years age group (149,273 males and 101,534 females). The number of emigrants declined by age and very few emigrants, 2 percent emigrated after attaining age 50 years and above


Figure 9 shows the distribution of emigrants at the time of departure by province and sex. The highest percentage, 17 percent (153,384 of emigrants) was from Masvingo Province. Mashonaland Central Province accounted for the least percentage of emigrants (3% or 23,050 emigrants). There were more male than female emigrants for each of the 10 provinces.




Highest Level of Education Completed and Sex The highest proportion of emigrants, 64 percent, had completed lower secondary level of education followed by 18 percent who had completed primary level of education prior to their departure. The proportion of emigrants who had not completed any level of education prior to departure was 2 percent




The highest number of both male and female emigrants had completed lower secondary level of education. Except for the skills orientation Primary level of education, there were more males than females among emigrants at all levels of education at the time of departure,




Reasons for Emigrating Table 2 shows the distribution of emigrants by province and reason for emigrating. Most of the persons, 84 percent (761,548 out of 908,907) emigrated for employment reasons while 9 percent and 5 percent emigrated for family reasons and study/education respectively. Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces had relatively more people who had emigrated for employment purposes than other provinces. Harare and Bulawayo provinces had relatively more people who had emigrated for education or training purposes.




Employment, education/Training and Family were the 3 major reasons for emigrating from Zimbabwe for both males and females. Ninety percent of male emigrants and 75 percent of female emigrants departed the country in search of employment. There were relatively more females; 16 percent, than males; 4 percent who emigrated for family reasons. Overall, 9 percent of emigrants departed for family reasons




Employment, Education/Training and Family were the 3 major reasons for emigrating from Zimbabwe for both rural and urban areas.



Year of Departure from Zimbabwe and Country of Destination Figure 14 shows that the number of emigrants was increasing since the 1980’s. There was a sharp increase on the number of emigrants between 1980 and 1990 that was followed by a sharp decline between 1990 and 2000. There was a steady increase in the number of emigrants between 2001 to 2015 and thereafter there was a sharp increase that reached a peak in 2021.



The data indicate that the most emigrants from Zimbabwe were based in the Southern African region and in particular South Africa with 773,246 and Botswana with 47,928. For overseas countries, the United Kingdom had 23,166 emigrants.




Employment Status Ninety percent of the emigrants 10 years and above were not working at the time of departure.



Occupational Classification of Emigrants Professionals, Service and Sales workers and Craft and related trades workers accounted for 58% of the emigrants

Robert Tapfumaneyi