South Africa Population 2018

57,608,757

The last national census of the South African population was carried out in 2011.

The findings in 2011 suggest that there had been a significant rise in numbers over the course of the previous ten years and that the South African population had finally hit the 50 million mark, making it the 24th largest country in the world as far as pure numbers are concerned. The estimate is 53.1 million, but because of other nations outpacing South Africa’s growth rate, this would drop the nation to 25th place for being the most populous.

South Africa Area and Population Density

At the 2001 Census, the final declared total for resident citizens in South Africa was 44,819,778. In terms of population density, that equated to 41.4 people living in every square kilometre of land (107.2 per square mile) and the country’s sparseness was highlighted by the fact that it was only the 169th biggest in the world for density alone.

South Africa Demographics Notes

Turning to demographics, the bureau in charge of providing statistics provided an estimate in 2010, which included five racial groups. Of the total South African population at the time, 79.4 percent declared themselves to be Black African while 9.2 percent were shown as White, 8.8 percent coloured and 2.6 percent Indian or Asian. There was a final category shown as unspecified / other but the results were negligible and as such were ultimately omitted.

The country uses 11 official languages, including Zulu, Xhosa, Africaans, English, Sepedi, Setswana, Sesotho, Xitsonga, Swati, Tshivenda, and Ndebele.

In terms of religions across the population, 81.2% of South Africans identify with a Christian based faith, 3.7% identify with other faiths, and 15% are not affiliated with any faith in particular.

The median age across the population is approximately 27.1 years of age.

South Africa Quality of Life

Accesibile and safe drinking water is a concern for 6.8% of the population, while 93.2% of the entire population have improved access to drinking water. In terms of access to sanitation facilities, the numbers shift quite a bit though. Only 66.4% of the population have access, while 33.6% still struggle with this facet of life.

18.8% of the population is estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, with approximately 7 million individuals affected.Roughly 94.4% of the population is determined to be literate by age 15 and the country spends about 5.9% of its GDP on education.

South Africa Population Growth and Immigration

The 2011 Census was carried out in October of 2011 and showed that the population had climbed to over 50.5 million people. That represents a rise of nearly six million people over the course of the previous ten years.

So what are the reasons for this increase? The question of immigration raises a contrasting set of views. The South African Migration Project has claimed that the country is more opposed to immigrants than anywhere else in the world. However, in 2008 it was revealed that over 200,000 refugees applied for asylum in South Africa, more than four times the number declared the year before.

Elsewhere, South Africa is also concerned about a skills drain which has seen many professionals, particularly those in the medical sphere, leave the country and seek a career elsewhere.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 27 seconds
One death every 58 seconds
One net migrant every 9 minutes
Net gain of one person every 46 seconds

South Africa Population in 2018Source: By Adamina (DSCN0961) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

South Africa Population Growth

There are no clear indicators to suggest that the population of South Africa won’t continue its growth and by the time the next Census is carried out in 2021, numbers could have reached sixty million.

About South Africa

Official NameRepublic of South Africa
Languages SpokenAfrikaans, English, Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude-2924
Currencies UsedSouth Africa Rand
DemonymSouth African

South Africa Population Density

South Africa Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Cape Town3,433,441
Durban3,120,282
Johannesburg2,026,469
Soweto1,695,047
Pretoria1,619,438
Port Elizabeth967,677
Pietermaritzburg750,845
Benoni605,344
Tembisa511,655
East London478,676
Vereeniging474,681
Bloemfontein463,064
Boksburg445,168
Welkom431,944
Newcastle404,838
Krugersdorp378,821
Diepsloot350,000
Randburg337,053
Botshabelo309,714
Brakpan305,692

South Africa Population Clock

The population of South Africa (as of 10/20/2018)?57,608,757
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)57,398,421
Births Per Day3,195
Deaths Per Day1,481
Net Migrations Per Day 164
Net Change Per Day 1,878
Population Change Since January 1st550,254

South Africa Population Estimator

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Estimate as of October 20th 2018 is: 57,601,164

South Africa Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
201857,398,42149.06%50.94%47.01251.20%
201756,717,15649.08%50.92%46.45251.25%
201656,015,47349.09%50.91%45.88241.31%
201555,291,22549.10%50.90%45.28241.40%
201051,584,66349.10%50.90%42.25241.11%
200548,820,58649.08%50.92%39.98241.32%
200045,728,31549.07%50.93%37.45271.67%
199542,088,16549.12%50.88%34.47262.30%
199037,560,52549.38%50.62%30.76282.17%
198533,730,14849.64%50.36%27.62282.54%
198029,760,47149.73%50.27%24.37282.57%
197526,212,40549.92%50.08%21.47282.79%
197022,839,45149.99%50.01%18.70292.75%
196519,942,30349.93%50.07%16.33292.70%
196017,456,85550.00%50.00%14.30312.57%
195515,376,82950.15%49.85%12.59312.44%
195013,628,42850.39%49.61%11.16310.00%

South Africa Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202058,721,22949.03%50.97%48.09250.00%
202561,790,03648.97%51.03%50.60241.02%
203064,465,55348.93%51.07%52.80250.85%
203566,880,28448.92%51.08%54.77260.74%
204069,076,39048.92%51.08%56.57250.65%
204571,045,89048.94%51.06%58.18260.56%
205072,754,58348.94%51.06%59.58270.48%
205574,195,13448.94%51.06%60.76290.39%
206075,366,85748.91%51.09%61.72290.31%
206576,287,42148.87%51.13%62.48280.24%
207076,962,55248.83%51.17%63.03280.18%
207577,391,68448.81%51.19%63.38300.11%
208077,593,42248.79%51.21%63.55300.05%
208577,582,11048.79%51.21%63.5432-0.00%
209077,379,50048.78%51.22%63.3732-0.05%
209577,008,16148.77%51.23%63.0733-0.10%
Data Sources
  1. Statistics South Africa
  2. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1951, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1985, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2011 censuses, adjusted for underenumeration, with official population estimates for 2014, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration. The populations of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei are included in the estimates.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer