Facts about South Africans Living in New Zealand

Articles > Facts about South Africans Living in New Zealand

The New Zealand 2018 census shows that there were 71,382 South Africans living in New Zealand as of 6th March 2018. This does not include the large number of South African Permanent Residents (those living in South Africa but born elsewhere) that have also emigrated from South Africa to New Zealand. The 2018 census shows that South Africans are the fifth largest immigrant group after the UK, China, India and Australia. In 2018, South African immigrants made up 1.53 % of New Zealand’s population, up from 1.36% in 2013.
Where do South Africans Live in New Zealand?
Figures from StatsSA show that South Africans’ first immigration choice is Australia, followed by the UK, the United States and then New Zealand. Figures show that 90% of South Africans living in New Zealand immigrated after apartheid ended.
2016 StatsSA Community Survey –
Percentage of emigrating South Africans

  • Australia – 26%
  • UK – 25%
  • New Zealand – 9.5%

2013 Census Figures (2018 figures not yet available): –
Distribution of South Africans

  • Auckland – 30,612
  • Waikato – 4,755
  • Wellington – 4.557
  • Canterbury – 4,107
  • Bay of Plenty – 2,655
  • Northland – 1,329
  • Manawatu-Wanganui – 1,329

The 2018 Census showed that almost ⅓ of South Africans working and living in New Zealand were professionals. 83% of the adult population had attained formal qualifications. There was a high proportion of South Africans employed in the medical profession, IT, insurance and publishing.
Safety and Security
South Africans often choose New Zealand because of its lack of crime and violence. Of course, like all countries, it does have crime but not on the scale of South Africa. In 2017, the Global Peace Index listed New Zealand as the second safest country in the world to live in. South Africa came in at number 123.
South Africans constantly complement New Zealand’s education system. In 2015 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) put New Zealand in the top 20 for “Average performance on international student achievement tests. The Global Human Capital Report of 2020 ranked New Zealand as 3rd in the world for preparing people for future work. In 2020, all of New Zealand’s universities could be found in the top 500 QS World University Rankings.
Most South Africans enjoy an outdoor lifestyle which is why they choose New Zealand. Braais and barbies are a regular feature of both the South African and the Kiwi way of life and both countries realise that watching the rugby isn’t the same if you don’t braai.
Some South Africans do battle with the New Zealand weather, especially those on South Island. Many of the houses just aren’t built for the cold and damp, which makes it tough for South Africans, especially those who’ve lived in Durban. However, all in all, South Africans are happy with their new lives in New Zealand and, as always, make the most of everything that’s on offer.