Also See: Major Cities in South Africa
Although the last national census of the South African population was carried out in 2011, the final results won’t be declared until later this year. Estimates are of the current population are available, but the last confirmed statistics currently available are the findings from the 2001 survey.
However, estimates for 2011 suggest that there has been a significant rise in numbers over the course of the last ten years and that the South African population has finally hit the 50 million mark, making it the 24th largest country in the world as far as pure numbers are concerned.
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 per cent declared themselves to be Black African while 9.2 per cent were shown as White, 8.8 per cent coloured and 2.6 per cent Indian or Asian. There was a final category shown as unspecified / other but the results were negligible and as such were ultimately omitted.
Population of South Africa 2011
The 2011 Census was carried out in October of last year and the results are expected later in 2012. However, early estimates are claiming that the population for South Africa in 2012 will climb to over 50.5 million people. If this is confirmed then that represents a rise of nearly six million people over the course of the last 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 Projections
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. For now however, the results of the 2011 survey are eagerly awaited and it remains to be seen whether the population of South Africa in 2012 has matched the projections.