The desire to emigrate in Sub-saharan Africa

Publication date:
Mark Hugo Lopez, director, Global Migration and Demography, Pew Research Center

A large number of adults in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania would like to leave their home countries, according to a series of national surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2017. Many of those surveyed said they hope to move within the next five years, with their preferred destinations Europe and the United States. The factors possibly driving this desire are: demographics, the economy, political instability, conditions and expectations in their countries, conflict and immigration policy worldwide. As a result, Sub-Saharan Africa is poised to emerge as one of the world’s top sources of migrants in the coming decades, though there is no guarantee these potential migrants will manage to leave Africa or even their localities.

Key Words:  Immigration, intention to migrate, sub-Saharan Africa, demography


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