Demographics of South Africa

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Background

Until 1991, South African law divided the population into four major racial categories: blacks (African), whites, coloureds, and Asians. Although this law has been abolished, many South Africans still view themselves and each other according to these categories. Black Africans comprise about 79% of the population and are divided into a number of different ethnic groups. Whites comprise about 10% of the population. They are primarily descendants of Dutch, French, English, and German settlers who began arriving at the Cape in the late 17th century. There is a Portuguese minority — first group includes the descendants of the first European explorers, and second, the Portuguese who left the former Portuguese colonies of southern Africa (Angola & Mozambique) after their independence in the mid-70's. Coloureds are mixed-race people primarily descended from the earliest settlers, their slaves, and the indigenous peoples. They comprise about 9% of the total population. Most Asians descend from Indian indentured workers who came to South Africa in the mid-19th century to work on the sugar estates in Natal. Others include the descendants of Indian traders who migrated to South Africa at around the same time. They constitute about 3% of the population and are concentrated in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. There is also a small Chinese population (approximately 100 000).

Attitudes towards ethnicity

Education is in a state of flux. Under the apartheid system schools were segregated, and the quantity and quality of education varied significantly across racial groups. Although the laws governing this segregation have been abolished, the long and arduous process of restructuring the country's educational system is just beginning. The challenge is to create a single nondiscriminatory, nonracial system that offers the same standards of education to all people.

Statistics

File:South-africa-demography.png
Demographics of South Africa, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Population: 44,344,136 Estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: :30.3% (male 6,760,137/female 6,682,013)
15-64 years: :64.5% (male 13,860,727/female 14,750,496)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 893,360/female 1,397,403) (2005 est.)

Population growth rate::

-0.31% (2005 est.)
0.02% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:

18.48 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
20.63 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:

21.32 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
18.68 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:

-0.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
-1.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 61.81 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 65.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 57.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
61.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population:43.27 years
male: 43.47 years
female: 43.06 years (2005 est.)
total population: 45.43 years
male: 45.19 years
female: 45.68 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.24 children born/woman (2005 est.)
2.38 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:: 21.5% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:: 5.3 million (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 370,000 (2003 est.)

Nationality:

noun: South African(s)
adjective: South African

Ethnic groups (2001):

black 79.0%, white 9.6%, Coloured 8.9%, Indian 2.5%

Religions:

Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, other Christian 36%, Islam 1.5%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)

Languages:

11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu. Other spoken languages include San dialects, Portuguese, German, Hindi, Telugu and Gujarati.

Literacy:

definition:

age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86.4%
male: 87%
female: 85.7% (2003 est.)
total population: 85%
male: 86%
female: 85% (2000 est.)

Largest cities

The following is a list of the ten most populous cities/municipalities in the country, with their populations from the 2001 census.

Rank Municipality Population (2001) Population (1996) Percent Change
from 1996-2001
1. Johannesburg, Gauteng 3,225,812 2,639,110 22.2%
2. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 3,090,117 2,751,193 12.3%
3. Cape Town, Western Cape 2,893,251 2,563,612 12.9%
4. East Rand, Gauteng 2,480,282 2,026,807 22.4%
5. Pretoria, Gauteng 1,985,984 1,682,701 18.0%
6. Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape 1,005,776 969,771 3.7%
7. East London, Eastern Cape 701,881 682,287 2.9%
8. Vereeniging, Gauteng 658,422 597,948 10.1%
9. Bloemfontein, Free State 645,441 603,704 6.9%
10. Thohoyandou, Limpopo 584,469 537,454 8.7%

List of largest cities in South Africa by population

Comparison of Black African and White South African Demographics

Black African demographics

As of the census of 2001, there are 35,416,164 Black Africans and 8,625,050 Black African households residing in South Africa. The Black African population density is 29/km². The density of Black African households is 7/km². Black Africans make up 79.0% of the total population.

19.9% of all Black African households are made up of individuals. The average Black African household size is 4.11.

In South Africa the Black African population is spread out with 34.0% under the age of 15, 21.6% from 15 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 11.8% from 45 to 64, and 4.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age of a Black African is 21 years. For every 100 Black African females there are 91.1 Black African males. For every 100 Black African females age 18 and over, there are 86.2 Black African males.

In South Africa 0.7% of Black African residents speak Afrikaans at home, 0.5% speak English, 2.0% speak IsiNdebele, 22.3% speak IsiXhosa, 30.1% speak IsiZulu, 11.9% speak Sepedi, 10.0% speak Sesotho, 10.3% speak Setswana, 3.4% speak SiSwati, 2.9% speak Tshivenda, and 5.6% speak Xitsonga. 0.3% of the Black African population speaks a non-official language at home.

79.9% of Black African residents are Christian, 17.5% have no religion, 0.2% are Muslim, 0.0% are Jewish, and 0.0% are Hindu. 2.3% have other or undetermined beliefs.

22.3% of Black Africans aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 18.5% have had some primary school, 6.9% have completed only primary school, 30.4% have had some high school education, 16.8% have finished only high school, and 5.2% have an education higher than the high school level. Overall, 22.0% of Black Africans have completed high school.

31.1% of Black African housing units have a telephone and/or cell-phone in the dwelling, 57.2% have access to a phone nearby, and 11.7% have access that is not nearby or no access. 41.9% of Black African households have a flush or chemical toilet. 45.3% of Black Africans have refuse removed by the municipality at least once a week and 11.0% have no rubbish disposal. 17.9% of Black Africans have running water inside their dwelling, 51.7% have running water on their property, and 80.2% have access to running water. 39.3% of Black African households use electricity for cooking, 37.2% for heating, and 62.0% for lighting. 68.7% of Black African households have a radio, 44.2% have a television, 1.8% own a computer, 40.0% have a refrigerator, and 24.6% have a cell-phone.

28.1% of the Black African population aged 15-65 is unemployed.

The median annual income of Black African working adults aged 15-65 is R 12 073 ($1,803). Black African males have a median annual income of R 14 162 ($2,115) versus R 8 903 ($1,330) for Black African females. The annual income distribution in South Africa is:

White South African demographics

As of the census of 2001, there are 4,923,638 Whites and 1,409,690 White households residing in South Africa. The White population density is 4/km². The density of White households is 1.16/km². Whites make up 9.6% of the total population.

19.1% of all White households are made up of individuals. The average White household size is 3.05.

In South Africa the White population is spread out with 19.0% under the age of 15, 15.1% from 15 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age of a White is 35 years. For every 100 White females there are 94.0 White males. For every 100 White females age 18 and over, there are 91.1 White males.

In South Africa 59.1% of White residents speak Afrikaans at home, 39.3% speak English, 0.0% speak IsiNdebele, 0.1% speak IsiXhosa, 0.0% speak IsiZulu, 0.0% speak Sepedi, 0.0% speak Sesotho, 0.0% speak Setswana, 0.0% speak SiSwati, 0.0% speak Tshivenda, and 0.0% speak Xitsonga. 1.1% of the White population speaks a non-official language at home.

86.8% of White residents are Christian, 8.8% have no religion, 0.2% are Muslim, 1.4% are Jewish, and 0.0% are Hindu. 2.7% have other or undetermined beliefs.

1.4% of Whites aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 1.2% have had some primary school, 0.8% have completed only primary school, 25.9% have had some high school education, 40.9% have finished only high school, and 29.8% have an education higher than the high school level. Overall, 70.7% of Whites have completed high school.

95.4% of White housing units have a telephone and/or cell-phone in the dwelling, 4.4% have access to a phone nearby, and 0.2% have access that is not nearby or no access. 98.7% of White households have a flush or chemical toilet. 90.8% of Whites have refuse removed by the municipality at least once a week and 0.5% have no rubbish disposal. 87.2% have running water inside their dwelling, 95.6% have running water on their property, and 99.4% have access to running water. 96.6% of White households use electricity for cooking, 93.2% for heating, and 99.2% for lighting. 94.7% of White households have a radio, 92.6% have a television, 46.0% own a computer, 97.6% have a refrigerator, and 74.6% have a cell-phone.

4.1% of the White population aged 15-65 is unemployed.

The median annual income of White working adults aged 15-65 is R 65 405 ($9,769). White males have a median annual income of R 81 701 ($12,203) versus R 52 392 ($7,826) for White females. The annual income distribution of Whites in South Africa is:79

See also

af:Demografie van Suid-Afrika de:Bevölkerung Südafrikas pt:Demografia da África do Sul