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How many South Africans live in Australia?

By February 24, 2023Newsletter

How many South Africans live in Australia?

February 24, 2023


Australia is an excellent country to immigrate to, but starting over in a new country can be a daunting experience. We all have an innate need to belong. If you’re thinking about immigration to Australia from South Africa or you just landed, it’s only natural to wonder whether there is a South African community you can easily fit into in the country.

This guide explores how many South Africans live in Australia, why South African immigration to Australia is appealing, and where they live.

Number of South Africans living in Australia

According to Statista, the South African population in Australia was around 200,000 by 2020. Also referred to as Aussiekaners, a combination of Australian and Afrikaners, Australia’s South African community has grown and thrived in recent decades thanks to the increasing South African immigration to Australia.

Australia is home to the second largest concentration of South Africans in the global diaspora, ranking second to the United Kingdom, with around 247,000 South African immigrants. The South African population in Australia ranks as the seventh largest migrant community in Australia, equating to 2.6% of Australia’s overseas-born population and 0.8% of Australia’s total population.

Reasons for South African immigration to Australia

With such a high South African population in Australia, some people miss family and friends and migrate to join families already living there. However, this is not the only reason. Some of the significant reasons for South African migration to Australia include the following:

Job opportunities

A real worry among South Africans is unemployment, with a large share of the labour force available for and seeking employment going long periods without work. In contrast, Australia boasts a healthy and growing economy with endless job opportunities.

Australia has low unemployment figures, mainly consisting of the country’s large aging population, those who can’t work and children under 18 years who aren’t allowed to work. There are more jobs in Australia than there are people to fill them, and this is a significant driver of immigration to Australia from South Africa.


Australia has high standards of education with an impressive number of study options for overseas students. Australia’s education system is ranked among the best in the world, making it a popular destination for international students. Education can drive South African immigration to Australia thanks to over 40 government-funded universities well-known for their reputation and cutting-edge research.

Bursaries and scholarships granted to international students by the Australian government are a driver of immigration to Australia from South Africa, with Australian qualifications boasting international recognition.

Safety and security

Australia ranks among the safest countries in the world to live and work in. It’s known for low crime rates and a culture of self-discipline among the citizens. Unlike South Africa, where people regularly speed past red lights and homes are hidden behind barbed wire fences and high walls, Australia is more peaceful, secure and disciplined.

Australians self-police and hold each other accountable, acting maturely and respecting each other and the law. You can stroll in the middle of the night without worrying about safety and even sleep with your doors unlocked. Acts like vandalism or disorderliness are rare, and this can account for most of the South African migration to Australia.

Responsible use of taxes

You’ll likely not feel a pinch paying your taxes on time if every penny goes towards benefiting the entire community. Although it’s not perfect, the Australian government does its best to ensure public funds go to good use. Infrastructure investments, servicing, maintenance and upkeep are at the forefront, even in small towns.

Australia features advanced and complete developments like top-quality roads, international standard transport systems like buses and trains and some of the world’s best-equipped hospitals and schools.

Political and social stability

There’s no doubt that South Africa is a great country. However, the truth is that there is always a persistent feeling of social and political instability driven by inequality, unemployment and poverty. Such issues exacerbated by corruption, violence and poor governance have been significant factors in immigration to Australia from South Africa.

Australia is considered low-risk regarding social, political and economic instability, making it very attractive for South Africans who wish to conduct their businesses or raise families without constant worry.

Tolerant and multicultural society

Australia boasts a robust multicultural heritage and is one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, with people from over 100 countries migrating and living there. Aussies are friendly and welcoming, with 26.3% of the population consisting of overseas-born immigrants.

Australia recognises and takes pride in the contribution of migrants to the country. Their migration system aims to attract the best and brightest from anywhere in the world, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to find a highly skilled South African population in Australia.

Where do most of the South African population in Australia live?

South African migrants have settled throughout Australia, with Sydney being home to more South Africans in absolute terms. However, you can feel the presence of South Africans more keenly in smaller cities like Perth and Brisbane. Perth is often synonymous with Australia as a whole in South Africa. Many people have epitomised it in the expression ‘Packing for Perth’, generally used in South African slang to refer to South African migration to Australia.

In Australia, Perth is symbolic among the expatriate South African community as a place with a large South African population. Factors that influence where South African migrants choose to live include the location of family members, proximity to people with the same ethnic background, and economic attractiveness or employment opportunities.

There are substantial populations of South Africa-born migrants in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane who have followed friends and family who moved before them. You can connect with them in Facebook groups like Aussikaners, which has 13.2 members.

Is there a famous South African living in Australia?

There is more than one famous South African living in Australia. These include:

  • Wendy Botha – The four-time world surfing champion first won as a South African, then three more times as an Australian citizen.
  • Scherri-Lee Biggs – This South African-Australian model, dancer, tv host and beauty pageant was Miss Australia in 2011.
  • M Coetzee – This South African- Australian novelist won the 2003 Nobel Prize in literature.

Consider your emigration options with the help of FinGlobal

If you’re wondering how many South Africans in Australia are ready to welcome you and make you feel at home, the number is more than enough. The South African population in Australia is around 200,000, so you’ll not feel alienated, no matter your reasons for migrating.

At FinGlobal, we understand that the process of emigrating is daunting enough. The last thing you need is the added stress of confusion around financial emigration and how to ensure your financial situation is in order. While you’re thinking about finding your feet, let us take care of the rest. We have a decade of experience in providing advice on various financial aspects linked to emigration. For more assistance and guidance, contact us today. You can send us an email or give us a call, so that one of our consultants can take you through the process, every step of the way.