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5 factor personality model and emigration: uncovering the link

By May 24, 2024FinGlobal, Newsletter

5 factor personality model and emigration: uncovering the link

May 24, 2024


Are you curious about the connection between personality traits and the likelihood of emigration? The Big Five personality traits offer fascinating insights into this intriguing topic.

Understanding the 5 factor model of personality

The Big Five personality traits represent a highly regarded model for understanding human character. These five characteristics are:

  1. Openness to Experience: This trait reflects an individual’s curiosity, creativity, and willingness to explore new ideas and experiences.
  2. Conscientiousness: People high in conscientiousness tend to be organized, responsible, and goal-oriented.
  3. Extraversion: Extraversion refers to an individual’s sociability, assertiveness, and tendency to seek stimulation from the external world.
  4. Agreeableness: Agreeable individuals are often cooperative, empathetic, and concerned with maintaining positive relationships.
  5. Neuroticism: This trait reflects an individual’s emotional stability and tendency to experience negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, and sadness.

The link between Big Five Personality Traits and emigration

Recent research has shed light on the fascinating connection between the Big 5 personality characteristics and the likelihood of emigration. Let’s dive into the findings:

Openness to experience and emigration

Individuals who score high on openness to experience are more likely to consider emigration. Their curiosity and desire for novel experiences may drive them to explore new cultures and opportunities abroad. They are often more adaptable and willing to embrace change, making the transition to a new country less daunting.

Conscientiousness and emigration

Conscientiousness has been found to have a negative correlation with emigration. Highly conscientious individuals tend to value stability, predictability, and long-term planning. They may be less inclined to uproot their lives and face the uncertainties associated with moving to a new country.

Extraversion and emigration

Extraversion has shown a positive correlation with emigration. Extroverted individuals are often more confident and outgoing, making it easier for them to establish new social connections in a foreign environment. They may also be drawn to the excitement and stimulation of exploring new cultures and meeting new people.

Agreeableness and emigration

Agreeableness has not shown a significant correlation with emigration in most studies. However, some research suggests that highly agreeable individuals may be more inclined to follow the lead of others, such as family members or friends, when considering emigration.

Neuroticism and emigration

Neuroticism has been found to have a negative correlation with emigration. Individuals high in neuroticism may be more anxious about the uncertainties and challenges associated with moving to a new country. They may also struggle with the emotional upheaval of leaving behind familiar surroundings and support systems.

Implications and Future Research

Understanding the connection between the Big Five personality traits and emigration has important implications for individuals, organizations, and policymakers. For individuals considering emigration, self-awareness of their personality traits can help them make informed decisions and prepare for the challenges ahead.

Organisations involved in international recruitment or relocation can use this knowledge to better support their employees and tailor their services to individual needs. Policymakers can also benefit from considering the role of personality traits in shaping migration patterns and developing policies that support successful integration.
While the research on personality traits and emigration is still evolving, it is clear that the Big 5 personality characteristics offer valuable insights into this complex phenomenon. As more studies are conducted, we can expect to gain a deeper understanding of how personality influences the decision to emigrate and the experiences of those who do.


The Big Five personality traits provide a fascinating lens through which to examine the connection between personality and emigration. By understanding how traits such as openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism influence the likelihood of emigration, we can better support individuals, organizations, and communities navigating this life-changing decision.

As research in this area continues to grow, it is essential to approach the topic with curiosity, empathy, and a commitment to supporting those who choose to embark on the journey of emigration. By doing so, we can foster a more inclusive and connected world, where individuals can thrive regardless of where they call home.

Expert advice for SA ex-pats right here at FinGlobal

If you’re considering moving out of the country or are based abroad and need help with your financial and tax emigration needs, look no further than FinGlobal. It offers bespoke services from emigration experts to suit your situation and needs and ensure your move and stay abroad are as smooth as possible.

FinGlobal helps you make the most of your international experience and is well-positioned to ensure a successful process thanks to over ten years of experience helping thousands of clients in over 105 countries with different financial and general emigration aspects.

Contact FinGlobal today to discuss your unique queries by calling +27 28 312 2764 or emailing info@finglobal.com.

**Sulette Ferreira is a migration therapist in private practice. You can contact her at info@drsulette.com.


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