Life in South Africa
Arts and entertainment
Standard of living
The demographics of South Africa have an uncommon profile, marked by a heterogeneous population base, social issues brought on by the legacy of apartheid, divisions within ethnic groups, HIV/AIDS and emigration. Within the Rainbow Nation demography consequently plays a prominent role in public policy.
Black people compose about 79% (2007 Community survey.) of the population and represent different ethnic groups, including Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Tswana, Pedi, Sotho and Swazi, as well as recent immigrants from other parts of Africa (particularly Zimbabwe and Nigeria). White people compose 9.5% (2007 est) to 11% (CIA 2007), comprising of the descendants of Dutch, French, British, and German settlers who began arriving at the Cape from the late 17th century, immigrants from Europe who arrived in South Africa in the twentieth century, and Portuguese who left the former Portuguese colonies of southern Africa (Angola and Mozambique) after their independence in the mid-1970s. Coloureds (8.9%) are mixed-race people primarily descended from the earliest settlers, their slaves, and the indigenous peoples. The remaining 2.4% are categorised as 'Indian or Asian', including the descendants of Indian indentured sugar estate workers and traders who came to South Africa in the mid-19th (particularly around Natal), as well as a small Chinese population of approximately 100,000 people.
South Africa has relatively high rates of emigration (the vast majority of whom are White). According to OECD data, countries with a large number of South African immigrants (irrespective of naturalisation) include the United Kingdom (141,405, 2001 est), Australia (79,425, 2001 est), United States (68,290 est, 2000 est), Canada (37,680, 2001 est) and New Zealand (26,061, 2001 est). Smaller South African communities are in Portugal, Netherlands, Greece and Ireland .
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
Estimates are for 2001.
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better opportunities since the almost complete collapse of Zimbabwe's economy.
Black 79%, White 9.5%, Coloured 8.9%, Asian 2.6% (Community Survey, 2007)
Black 79%, White 9.6%, Coloured 8.9%, Asian 2.5% (Census 2001)
Black 76.7%, White 10.9%, Coloured 8.9%, Asian 2.5% (Census 1996)
Statistics SA assumes in some of their calculations that there are less than 2 million immigrants in South Africa. Other institutions, like the police and Médecins Sans Frontières place estimate the figure at 4 million.
The following is a list of the ten most populous cities/municipalities in the country, with their populations from the 2001 census. The actual cities have white majorities, however their neighboring townships (designated places for non-whites during Apartheid) have non-white majorities, but are still included inside the city municipality even though some might as far as 50km away from the city.
|Rank||Municipality||Population (2001)||Population (1996)||Percent Change
|Largest Ethnic group
(includes neighboring townships)
|Largest Ethnic minorities|
|2.||Durban, KwaZulu-Natal||3,090,117||2,751,193||12.3%||Black||Asian/Indian, White|
|3.||Cape Town, Western Cape||2,893,251||2,563,612||12.9%||Coloured||Black, White|
|4.||East Rand, Gauteng||2,480,282||2,026,807||22.4%||Black||White|
|6.||Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape||1,005,776||969,771||3.7%||Black||Coloured, White|
|7.||East London, Eastern Cape||701,881||682,287||2.9%||Black||White|
|9.||Bloemfontein, Free State||645,441||603,704||6.9%||Black||White|
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 South African population density is 29/km². The density of Black households is 7/km². Black South Africans make up 79.0% of the total population.
The percentage of all Black South African households that are made up of individuals is 19.9%. The average Black household size is 4.11 members.
In South Africa, the Black 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 females there are 91.1 Black males. For every 100 Black females age 18 and over, there are 86.2 Black males.
In South Africa, 0.7% of Black residents speak Afrikaans at home, 0.5% speak English, 2.0% speak Southern Ndebele, 22.3% speak Xhosa, 30.1% speak Zulu, 11.9% speak Northern Sotho, 10.0% speak Sesotho, 10.3% speak Tswana, 3.4% speak Swati, 2.9% speak Venda, and 5.6% speak Tsonga. 0.3% of the Black African population speaks a non-official language at home.
With regard to education, 22.3% of Black 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.
The percentage of Black South African housing units having a telephone and/or mobile phone in the dwelling is 31.1%. The percentage having access to a nearby phone is 57.2%, and 11.7% do not have nearby access or any access. The percentage of Black African households that have a flush or chemical toilet is 41.9%. Refuse is removed from 45.3% of Black African households by the municipality at least once a week, and 11.0% have no rubbish disposal. Some 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. The percentage of Black African households using electricity for cooking is 39.3%, for heating, 37.2%, and for lighting, 62.0%. Radios are owned by 68.7% of Black African households while 44.2% have a television, 1.8% own a computer, 40.0% have a refrigerator, and 24.6% have a mobile phone.
The unemployment rate of the Black population aged 15-65 is 28.1%.
The median annual income of Black working adults aged 15-65 is ZAR 12,073. Black African males have a median annual income of ZAR 14,162 versus ZAR 8,903 for Black African females.
As of July 2008, there were 5,265,300 Whites and over 1,500,000 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 11% of the total population.
The number of white South Africans having gone abroad is highly disputed. It has been stated to be as high as one million and as low as 500,000 when accounting for those who have returned to South Africa.
The percentage of all White households that are made up of individuals is 19.1%. The average White household size is 3.05 members.
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.
With regard to education, 1.4% of Whites aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 1.2% have had no more than some primary schooling, 0.8% have completed only primary school, 25.9% have had no more than 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.
The percentage of White housing units having a telephone and/or mobile phone in the dwelling is 95.4%. The percentage having access to a nearby phone is 4.4%, and 0.2% do not have nearby access or any access. The percentage of White households that have a flush or chemical toilet is 98.7%. Refuse is removed from 90.8% of White households by the municipality at least once a week, and 0.5% have no rubbish disposal. Some 87.2% of White have running water inside their dwelling, 95.6% have running water on their property, and 99.4% have access to running water. The percentage of White households using electricity for cooking is 96.6%, for heating, 93.2%, and for lighting, 99.2%. Radios are owned by 94.7% of White households while 92.6% have a television, 46.0% own a computer, 97.6% have a refrigerator, and 74.6% have a mobile phone.
The unemployment rate of the White population aged 15-65 is 4.1%.
The median annual income of White working adults aged 15-65 is ZAR 65,405. White males have a median annual income of ZAR 81,701 versus ZAR 52,392 for White females. The annual income distribution of Whites in South Africa is 79.
|Cape Colony||Natal||Transvaal||Orange River Colony||Total||Percent