South Africa Population 2020 (Live)

59,310,744

Based on current projections, South Africa’s population will continue to grow until 2082, reaching just over 80 million people before plateauing and slightly declining the rest of the century. South Africa’s population growth rate is currently 1.28% per year.

South Africa’s birth rate is 19.995 births per 1,000 people and its death rate is 9.3 deaths per 1,000 people. The birth rate is more than double the death rate in South Africa. Additionally, the fertility rate is 2.372 births per woman, well above the population replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. While the birth and fertility rates are both high, they have each decreased annually, indicating the slowing of South Africa’s population growth.

South Africa Population Growth

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 Projections

Population Growth is expected to continue in South Africa, although at a slower rate than in the past century, with the growth rate going below 1% annually by 2026. By 2020 the population is forecast to be 58,721,229 and 64,465,553 by 2030.

The current population of South Africa is 59,310,744, based on projections of the latest United Nations data. The UN estimates the July 1, 2020 population at 59,308,690.

South Africa Growth Rate

South Africa Population 2020 (Live)

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

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 kilometer 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.

Largest Cities in South Africa

South Africa is home to many large cities, all of which are known for their beauty and rich cultural diversity. Johannesburg is the largest with a population of 4.4 million, located in the Gauteng Province. Capetown and Ethekwini are a close second and third, with populations of 3.7 million and 3.4 million, respectively. The cities of Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay also have populations exceeding one million.

South Africa Population Density Map

Source:
Year Population Growth Rate Density (km²) Population Rank Density Rank
202059,308,6901.28%48.8925162
201958,558,2701.32%48.2724162
201857,792,5181.37%47.6424161
201757,009,7561.43%47.0024161
201656,207,6461.48%46.3324163
201555,386,3671.58%45.6624164
201051,216,9641.36%42.2224162
200547,880,6011.26%39.4726160
200044,967,7081.65%37.0727161
199541,435,7582.40%34.1627159
199036,800,5092.40%30.3428161
198532,678,8742.73%26.9428162
198028,556,7692.54%23.5428163
197525,195,1872.68%20.7729161
197022,069,7762.63%18.1929163
196519,384,8412.54%15.9830162
196017,099,8402.38%14.1031165
195515,206,5022.21%12.5431162
195013,628,4280.00%11.2331161

South Africa Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population Growth Rate Density (km²) Population Rank Density Rank
202059,308,6901.28%48.8925162
202562,802,6831.15%51.7724161
203065,956,0810.98%54.3725161
203568,818,9870.85%56.7324161
204071,375,3050.73%58.8424160
204573,619,5430.62%60.6924160
205075,517,9200.51%62.2525158
205577,034,7420.40%63.5025160
206078,172,0480.29%64.4427162
206578,973,2830.20%65.1027160
207079,498,8470.13%65.5327159
207579,817,9550.08%65.8027158
208079,986,0930.04%65.9429158
208580,013,7070.01%65.9630158
209079,887,790-0.03%65.8529158
209579,604,598-0.07%65.6230156

South Africa Population by Year (Projections)

South Africa Population Pyramid 2020

South Africa Population by Age

There are 38,670,564 adults in South Africa.

South Africa Population Pyramid

Based on current projections, South Africa’s population will continue to grow until 2082, reaching just over 80 million people before plateauing and slightly declining the rest of the century. South Africa’s population growth rate is currently 1.28% per year.

South Africa’s birth rate is 19.995 births per 1,000 people and its death rate is 9.3 deaths per 1,000 people. The birth rate is more than double the death rate in South Africa. Additionally, the fertility rate is 2.372 births per woman, well above the population replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. While the birth and fertility rates are both high, they have each decreased annually, indicating the slowing of South Africa’s population growth.

South Africa Population Growth

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 Projections

Population Growth is expected to continue in South Africa, although at a slower rate than in the past century, with the growth rate going below 1% annually by 2026. By 2020 the population is forecast to be 58,721,229 and 64,465,553 by 2030.

About South Africa

  1. Statistics South Africa
  2. UN World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    <p>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.</p>

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer