Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya are the biggest sources of nearly 1.5 million people who have left sub-Saharan Africa for Europe and the United States since 2010, researchers said on Thursday.
And according to a study by the Pew Research Centre, a polling and demographic research group in Washington, millions more are making plans to go to Europe and the U.S.
The study says the large-scale movement of people out of sub-Saharan Africa has grown steadily nearly every year since 2010.
Global migration overall has strained resources in host countries that are struggling to shoulder the costs. In some places, migration has fueled political tensions and calls for the closing of borders.
The study attributes the migration to countries with better job prospects, better wages as well as escaping from dangers of conflict, political instability and modern day slavery.
Millions more people from the Sub-Saharan region indicated that they would leave if they could, according to Pew findings from six countries.
“The survey results do indicate a certain restlessness among people who want to leave their countries or plan to in the next years,” Phillip Connor, senior researcher of the report, told the Reuters news agency.
But not all of those will necessarily follow through and move, he added.
According to the report, more than third of people surveyed in Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria said they had actual plans to move in the next five years.
6 percent of Ghana’s population which is about 2 million people applied for a U.S. diversity lottery in 2015, it said.
The lottery which is restricted to 50,000 people worldwide also drew strong interest in the Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
While covering the first round of 2018 elections in Sierra Leone, CGTN learnt of unemployment levels in the country which stand at around 70-percent. Thousands of young people say they have no choice, but to leave Sierra Leone in search of opportunities elsewhere. And many pay a terrible price. CGTN’s Susan Mwongeli caught up with some of those who had tried moving to Europe for better opportunities.
Europe had an influx of at least 1 million people from sub-Saharan Africa most of whom headed to the United Kingdom, followed by France, the report said. Most were asylum applicants.
The report also says that more than 400,000 sub-Saharan migrants went to the United States.
Data used in the study was obtained from Eurostat, a European statistical agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. State Department, and its own polling.
Many more people – nearly 5 million – have moved to other sub-Saharan countries since 2010, mostly as refugees, the report said.