Although recent data on the number of skilled South African professionals leaving the country is a bit sketchy, Stats SA data revealed that 7 005 professionals emigrated in 2002 and 2003.

“Brain drain”,the term used for the loss of local skilled individuals migrant to other countries, has been a contentious topic for decades in South Africa.

Migrating locals have given various reasons for leaving the country to look for greener pastures,including the crime rate, Black Economic Empowerment policies and remuneration.

According to a map created by data journalists at Code for South Africa (Code4SA), the UK is by far the most popular destination for highly skilled locals (unsurprisingly).

The map shows a total of over 47 000 highly-skilled South African professionals who migrated out of the country by September last year to 23 countries (it’s not clear to which date the data is dated back to).

The UK recorded 18 581 professionals living and working there, with a massive 10 988 people working as teachers, 3 659 working as life science professionals and 265 working as general managers in the top three most popular professions.

Australia is the second most popular destination, recording 13 060 professionals.

Click on each country to view more details.

[Source – Code4SA, image – Wikimedia Commons]