South Africa Population 2017

56,763,248

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 Population History

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.

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 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.

South Africa Population in 2018Source: Michael Denne from Hobart, Australia

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 SpokenTswana, Tsonga, Zulu, Northern Sotho, Swazi, English, Xhosa, Southern Sotho, Southern Ndebele, Venda, Afrikaans
BordersBWA, LSO, MOZ, NAM, SWZ, ZWE
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude-2924
Currencies UsedZAR

South Africa Population Density

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
Botshabelo309,714
Brakpan305,692
Witbank262,491
Richards Bay252,968
Vanderbijlpark246,754
Centurion233,386
Uitenhage228,912
Roodepoort225,000
Paarl190,000
Springs186,394
Carletonville182,304
Klerksdorp178,921
George174,582
Midrand173,009
Westonaria156,831
Middelburg154,706
Vryheid150,012
Mossel Bay150,000
Orkney145,801
Kimberley142,089
eMbalenhle141,741
Nigel140,644
Mpumalanga140,121
Bhisho137,287
Randfontein133,654
Worcester127,597
Rustenburg124,064
Polokwane123,749
Potchefstroom123,669
Virginia122,502
Brits122,497
Nelspruit110,159
Phalaborwa109,468
Queenstown105,309
Kroonstad103,992
Bethal101,919
Mokopane101,090
Mabopane97,417
Kutloanong95,008
Stellenbosch94,263
Stilfontein93,110
Delmas92,046
Grahamstown91,548
Warmbaths90,210
Louis Trichardt86,854
Dundee84,413
Piet Retief84,349
Phuthaditjhaba84,258
Bethlehem83,654
Mthatha78,663
Sasolburg77,016
Mmabatho76,754
Oudtshoorn76,708
Standerton74,021
Bothaville71,934
Upington71,373
Parys71,319
Schweizer-Reneke70,214
Ga-Rankuwa68,767
Saldanha68,284
Barberton67,927
Lichtenburg65,863
Heidelberg64,199
Knysna63,106
Graaff-Reinet62,896
Fochville62,416
Atlantis60,266
Stanger59,899
Fort Beaufort58,419
Kraaifontein57,911
Heilbron55,196
Viljoenskroon54,955
Port Shepstone52,793
Vryburg49,588
Wolmaransstad49,366
eSikhawini49,265
Balfour46,008
Mondlo44,922
Beaufort West44,737
Aliwal North44,436
Thohoyandou44,046
Volksrust43,378
Wesselsbron42,552
Ceres41,596
Ermelo41,124
Senekal39,584
Thaba Nchu38,616
Ekangala37,650
Giyani37,024
Stutterheim35,510
Harrismith35,108
Malmesbury34,991
Theunissen34,718
Margate34,407
Butterworth34,353
Lebowakgomo33,308
Cradock32,898
Richmond32,445
De Aar32,318
Retreat32,289
Allanridge31,700
Nkowakowa30,138
Grabouw29,885
Howick28,725
Driefontein28,127
Empangeni28,093
Bronkhorstspruit27,343
Siyabuswa26,236
Mpophomeni26,229
Cullinan25,490
Kokstad25,373
Hermanus25,153
Lady Frere25,041
Duiwelskloof24,572
Scottburgh23,949
Hennenman22,847
Pampierstad21,800
Lydenburg21,695
Ulundi20,753
Modimolle20,527
Komatipoort20,508
Secunda20,418
Umkomaas20,410
Messina20,191
Queensdale20,009
Plettenberg Bay19,445
Kruisfontein18,991
Middelburg18,164
Port Alfred17,959
Warrenton17,946
Zeerust17,708
Christiana17,523
Lansdowne17,399
Ladybrand17,228
Ballitoville17,218
Bloemhof17,122
Tzaneen16,954
Reitz16,637
Somerset East16,155
White River15,954
Hendrina15,871
Rondebosch15,158
Kriel15,055
Berea15,000
Bredasdorp14,936
Vredendal14,806
Eshowe14,786
Vrede14,622
Claremont14,531
Ekuvukeni14,331
Mahikeng14,000
Greytown13,912
Swellendam13,674
Glencoe13,547
Jan Kempdorp13,485
Ga-Kgapane13,000
Hoopstad12,663
Breyten12,550
Burgersdorp12,548
Mankoeng12,499
Sundumbili12,455
Zastron12,449
Colesberg12,423
Deneysville12,397
Clocolan12,318
Adelaide12,212
Koster12,126
Brandfort12,091
Whittlesea12,080
Belfast11,916
Elliot11,836
Jeffrey's Bay11,698
Thulamahashi11,655
Barkly West11,621
Koppies11,445
Villiers11,240
Prieska11,236
Winburg11,072
Ilinge10,899
Marquard10,839
Ventersburg10,698
Vredefort10,649
Springbok10,438
Thabazimbi10,365
Kirkwood10,148
Mooirivier10,132
Danielskuil10,123
Molteno10,078
Orange Farm10,000
Rosebank10,000
Ritchie9,960
Alice9,788
Kathu9,219
Dordrecht9,123
Kuruman9,093
Calvinia8,146
Hardys Memories of Africa7,500
Willowmore7,100
Constantia6,922
Port Saint John's5,939
Carnarvon5,785
Newlands5,343

South Africa Population Clock

What is the population of South Africa (as of 11/15/2017)?56,763,248
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2017)56,717,156
Births Per Day603
Deaths Per Day379
Net Migrations Per Day 110
Net Change Per Day 334
Population Change Since January 1st106,546

South Africa Population Indicators

IndicatorValue
Crude Birth Rate 19.879 births/thousand
Crude Death Rate 12.5 deaths/thousand
Crude Net Migration Rate 0.72 people/thousand
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes) 57.852 years
Male Life Expectancy 55.797 years
Female Life Expectancy 59.541 years
Total Fertility Rate 2.292 children/woman
Net Reproduction Rate 0.997 surviving daughters/woman
Sex Ratio At Birth 1.03 males per female
Infant Mortality Rate 33.542 deaths/1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality 42.901 deaths/thousand
Mean Age at Childbearing 27.834 years
Rate of Natural Increase 7.118
Death Before 40 Probability (Total) 22.843%
Death Before 40 Probability (Male) 22.339%
Death Before 40 Probability (Female) 23.315%
Death Before 60 Probability (Total) 48.326%
Death Before 60 Probability (Male) 50.48%
Death Before 60 Probability (Female) 46.332%
Median Age (Total) 26.8 years
Median Age (Female) 27 years
Median Age (Male) 26.5 years

South Africa Population History

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Growth Rate
201756,717,15649.08%50.92%461.28%
201555,291,22549.10%50.90%451.40%
201051,584,66349.10%50.90%421.11%
200548,820,58649.08%50.92%401.32%
200045,728,31549.07%50.93%371.67%
199542,088,16549.12%50.88%342.30%
199037,560,52549.38%50.62%312.17%
198533,730,14849.64%50.36%282.54%
198029,760,47149.73%50.27%242.57%
197526,212,40549.92%50.08%212.79%
197022,839,45149.99%50.01%192.75%
196519,942,30349.93%50.07%162.70%
196017,456,85550.00%50.00%142.57%
195515,376,82950.15%49.85%132.44%
195013,628,42850.39%49.61%110.00%

South Africa Population Projections

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Growth Rate
202058,721,22949.03%50.97%480.00%
202561,790,03648.97%51.03%511.02%
203064,465,55348.93%51.07%530.85%
203566,880,28448.92%51.08%550.74%
204069,076,39048.92%51.08%570.65%
204571,045,89048.94%51.06%580.56%
205072,754,58348.94%51.06%600.48%
205574,195,13448.94%51.06%610.39%
206075,366,85748.91%51.09%620.31%
206576,287,42148.87%51.13%620.24%
207076,962,55248.83%51.17%630.18%
207577,391,68448.81%51.19%630.11%
208077,593,42248.79%51.21%640.05%
208577,582,11048.79%51.21%64-0.00%
209077,379,50048.78%51.22%63-0.05%
209577,008,16148.77%51.23%63-0.10%
Data Sources
  1. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.
  2. GeoNames Gazetteer