Johannesburg Population 2017

Johannesburg has an estimated 2016 population of 4.4 million, while the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area has a population estimated at 8 million, unofficially. If the metropolitan area is defined loosely to include areas like the West Rand and Lenasia, the population is about 10.5 million. The city proper has a population density of about 2,900 people per square kilometer (7,400/square mile).

Interestingly, Johannesburg has the largest man-made forest in the world with about 6 million trees.

Johannesburg Demographics

The most common racial groups in Johannesburg are Black African (76.4%), Coloured (5.6%), White (12.3%) and Indian/Asian (4.9%). About one-third of the population speaks a Nguni language, 25% speaks a Sotho language, 18% speaks English, 7% speak Afrikaans and 6% speak Tshivenda.

About 7% of the population of Johannesburg are illiterate, and 3.4% have a primary education. 66% of households are headed by a single person, and 29% of residents in JHB live in an informal dwelling.

Around 53% of the residents of Johannesburg belong to a mainstream Christian church while 24% are not affiliated with any religion. 14% are members of African Independent Churches, 3% are Muslim, 1% are Jewish and 1% are Hindu. There is also a sizable Mormon population in Johannesburg of around 49,000, and it is the site of the first LDS Temple in Africa.

Johannesburg Population Growth

Johannesburg grew overnight when gold was discovered in 1896, drawing people from around the world. By 1931, the population had reached 400,000, which then doubled during the Second World War. In 1995, the UN estimated the Johannesburg metropolitan area had a population of 1.8 million. Johannesburg experienced some decline in the 1990s, although is is now experiencing rapid growth once more.

According to the City of Johannesburg, the city needs a plan for a population growth of about 66% in the next 30 years, which includes plans to improve access to clean water, energy and the management of waste and sanitation. Johannesburg is projected to grow to 6.5 million by 2040.

Johannesburg Population in 2017Source:

Johannesburg Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
203011,573,0004.90%541,000
202511,032,0006.50%671,000
202010,361,0005.50%538,000
20179,823,0004.50%424,000
20159,399,00017.60%1,407,000
20107,992,00018.80%1,266,000
20056,726,00020.00%1,121,000
20005,605,00023.80%1,076,000
19954,529,00022.10%820,000
19903,709,0007.60%263,000
19853,446,0007.60%244,000
19803,202,0007.60%227,000
19752,975,0007.60%211,000
19702,764,00013.70%332,000
19652,432,00013.80%295,000
19602,137,00013.70%257,000
19551,880,00013.70%227,000
19501,653,0000.00%0
Johannesburg Population Growth

Johannesburg's 2017 population is now estimated at 9,823,000. In 1950, the population of Johannesburg was 1,653,000. Johannesburg has grown by 424,000 in the last year, which represents a 4.50% change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Johannesburg, which typically includes Johannesburg's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Data Sources
  1. Statistics South Africa - Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality statistics
  2. Joburg Tourism - Population and people of the city of Johannesburg