There are about 57.73-million people living in South Africa today‚ an increase of about a million from this time last year.
Statistics South Africa released the mid-year population estimates on Monday‚ revealing that Gauteng is the country’s most populous province with about 14.7-million people residing there. KwaZulu-Natal is in second place with about 11.4-million people. The Northern Cape has a population of about 1.23-million.
Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke explained that the organisation used the latest fertility‚ mortality and migration data to estimate the size of the population of South Africa for their mid-year population estimates. He further explained that births were the main driver of population growth in the country‚ with about 1.2-million births recorded since this time last year. About 200‚000 net migration and about 500‚000 deaths were also recorded over the same period.
The study found that women still make up about 51% of the population at 29.5-million while the proportion of elderly persons aged 60 and older was increasing over time. Of the elderly aged 60 years and older the highest percentage (24%)‚ or 1.18-million‚ reside in Gauteng.
There is an average of about a six-year gap in the life expectancy between males and females‚ with the country’s life expectancy for males estimated at 61.1 years and 67.3 years for females.
The Free State‚ however‚ has a significantly lower life expectancy than the average South African life expectancy – at 55 years for men and 62 years for women.
You will have to be in the Western Cape to live longer – up to 66 years if you are male and 72 years for females.
About 29.5% of the population is aged younger than 15 years and approximately 8.5%‚ or 4.89-million‚ is 60 years or older. The highest proportions of those younger than 15 years in South Africa live in Gauteng (21.1%) and KwaZulu-Natal (21%).
For the period 2016 to 2021‚ Gauteng and Western Cape are estimated to have experienced the largest inflow of migrants of approximately 1‚048‚440 and 311‚004 respectively.
“Gauteng has shown the greatest increase in population numbers‚ largely due to migration both inter-provincial and international‚” said Maluleke.
The province gains around half a million inter-provincial migrants over a five year period. Gauteng also receives around 50% of all international migration into South Africa.
The highest number of people who are streaming into the Western Cape are from the Eastern Cape.
While some believe that the Western Cape’s education was taking strain due to the large number of Eastern Cape “education refugees” – a term controversially used by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille – who move to the Western Cape for better education opportunities‚ StatsSA bosses explained that it was mostly people of the working age who moved between the two provinces‚ with children left behind in the Eastern Cape.
Asked by Correspondent to give a characteristic of the Eastern Cape migrant to the Western Cape and whether these were mainly children of school going age who sought better education opportunities‚ Diego Iturralde‚ the chief director for demographic analysis at Stats SA, explained that migrants were usually young people who are looking for opportunity whether be it the economic opportunity or education opportunities.
“The dynamic of the people from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape can also have their own characteristics but they would most likely fall within the ambit of the main characteristics of migrants within the country‚” he said.
But‚ Maluleke explained that previous surveys had shown that it was not largely children who migrated between the two provinces. He said the Eastern Cape to Western Cape migration patterns were similar to those of people moving from Limpopo to Gauteng.
“It is relatively younger people. It is not largely children. If you look at the age structure of the Eastern Cape‚ there are more children‚ the children are remaining behind [in the Eastern Cape]. It’s more like young people of working age just like with Limpopo to Gauteng‚” said Maluleke.
In terms of population groups‚ the study showed that black Africans accounted for 81% of the population of South Africa at 46.7-million. The coloured population accounted for 9% at 5.1-million‚ the white population accounted for 8% at 4.5-million and at 1.4-million‚ the Indian/Asian population accounted for 3% of the South African population.
“The black African population structure is more youthful when compared to that of the white population‚” explained Maluleke.
Population structures are driven by fertility‚ mortality and migration‚ he added.
The estimated HIV prevalence rate is approximately 13.1% among the South African population‚ which represents an increase from the 2017 figure of 12.9%. The total number of people living with HIV is estimated at about 7.52-million in 2018. For adults aged 15 to 49 years‚ an estimated 19% of the population is HIV positive.