The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) has issued statistics on emigration and immigration noting that South Africa, Botswana and the United Kingdom are the major destinations for Zimbabweans.
ZIMSTAT estimates that 908 913 Zimbabweans are scattered across the world. There is, however, a huge variance between the figure and the estimates made before.
During the 2nd in the SAPES Trust Policy Dialogue series held on the 25th of June 2020, Dr Ibbo Mandaza estimated the population of Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora between 4 and 5 Million, if not more. He added, “In other words, at least 25% of the Zimbabwean population is in the Diaspora.” That’s the publicly held view.
According to the ZIMSTAT report, South Africa is the major country of residence for Zimbabwean nationals with 85 per cent of the total population in the diaspora.
Botswana comes at a distant second with 5 per cent while the UK is in the 3rd position with 3 per cent.
The majority of people who left the country had completed lower secondary education (Ordinary Level), according to the ZIMSTAT report.
Most of the Zimbabweans in the diaspora left the country at the turn of the millennium when the economy nosedived. Some also fled political violence which was committed mainly by members of the ruling ZANU PF and war veterans on members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which was founded in 1999.