South Africa is favored by a great number of expatriates as one of the greatest countries for living abroad. Expatriates, or people from other countries who have moved to another for work or relocation, ranked South Africa as the best country for settling down, taking up a hobby or pursuing a passion. According to expats from all around the world, South Africa is simply a great place to live.
HSBC Bank International commissioned a survey, researching the experiences and perspectives of more than three thousand expats living in fifty different countries around the globe. The overall results indicate that South Africa is favored by expats over the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
South Africa came in second place for the best place to make local friends and third in social life, ease of finding a residence, organizing schools and the overall quality of life. South Africa comes in at number four for the best accommodations.
The acting chief of the International Marketing Council of South Africa, Paul Banister, believes that the natural friendliness and warm welcome of the nation plays a major role in making it so easy for expats to integrate into the communities. Mercer conducted a cost of living survey that indicated that Johannesburg is one of the most cost efficient cities for an expatriate to reside.
According to Paul Banister, the global competitiveness of the country is considered the "vital measure of success" of the country's national brand. Currently, South Africa is rated to be number thirty-five on the list for competitive index and global reputation. The country made the move up from the number thirty-seven spot because of social cohesion, creation of an environment that creates jobs and sustainable GDP growth. Within the next ten years, South Africa plans to make it to the top twenty on the list.
The nation of South Africa is made up of over fifty million people, all of different cultures, religions, origins and languages. According to 2001 Census statistics, the people of South Africa classify themselves into five different racial categories, including "unspecified/other"; however, these results attracted negative response and were omitted. In 2008, South Africa had a yearly population growth of about 0.501%, which was mainly due to immigration.