Wednesday 7 September 2022



ABOUT one million Zimbabweans are living in the diaspora while over 200 000 children are born outside the country with the highest being in South Africa, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has revealed.

According to the 2022 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Results on Immigration Dissemination presented yesterday by ZimStat director general, Mr Taguma Mahonde, South Africa is a major destination for Zimbabwean immigrants.

The report provides an overview of information on migration from the 2022 Population and Housing Census (PHC).

Experts define migration as a process of moving from one district or province to another (internal migration) and from one country to another (international migration). Migration, along with fertility and mortality, are important components of population dynamics. In-migration boosts the population while out-migration decreases it.

Data on internal and international migration along with fertility and mortality is also fundamental to preparing accurate population estimates for planning purposes.

In his presentation, which was delivered virtually, Mr Mahonde said there were 908 913 Zimbabweans living outside the country with South Africa having the highest number at 773 246.

“The data indicates that the most emigrants from Zimbabwe were based in the southern Africa region and in particular South Africa with 773 246 and Botswana with 47 928. For overseas countries, the United Kingdom had 23 166 emigrants,” said Mr Mahonde.

He said there were 536 998 males and 371 915 females living in the diaspora. Mr Mahonde said there were over 200 000 people born outside Zimbabwe with Matabeleland South province contributing 23 000.

“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 the foreign-born population were recorded in Harare Province, 37 209,” said Mr Mahonde.

“During the 2022 Population and Housing Census, data on international migration was collected for persons who moved into Zimbabwe from other countries and from Zimbabwe to other countries.

“The data collected enables the production of statistics on the stock of foreign-born population (country of birth), stock of foreigners (citizenship) and emigrants.”

According to ZimStat, Mozambique has 38 915 people born outside Zimbabwe, with Malawi having 15 307, Botswana 12 113, Zambia 11 367 and the United Kingdom 2 452.

Mr Mahonde said Matabeleland South province households experienced the highest loss of members due to emigration.

“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 percent respectively,” said Mr Mahonde.

“Data indicates that most emigrants from Zimbabwe were based in the southern African region and in particular South Africa.”

He added that professionals, service and sales workers and craft and related trades workers accounted for 58 percent of the emigrants.

Males dominated the number of emigrants at 59 percent with females at 41 percent while the highest proportion, 28 percent of emigrants, were aged between 20 and 24.

“The number of emigrants declined by age and very few emigrants, two percent emigrated after attaining age 50 years and above,” said Mr Mahonde.

“The highest percentage, 17 percent (153 384 of emigrants) was from Masvingo. Mashonaland Central Province accounted for the least percentage of emigrants (three percent or 23 050 emigrants). There were more male than female emigrants for each of the 10 provinces.”

The reasons for emigration, according to ZimStat, were mainly linked to employment with a sharp increase in last year.

During deliberations, there were suggestions that the emigrants must be known whether they are legal or illegal and whether or not those born outside Zimbabwe are now citizens in their adopted country. Chronicle


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