Cape Town Population 2021

4,709,990
map placeholder

Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa behind Johannesburg, and it is the provincial capital of the Western Cape. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town is famous around the world for its beautiful harbor and is considered one of the best places in the world to visit.

Censuses

The most recent census in South Africa was completed in 2011. At this point, the population of Cape Town was counted as 3,740,026, with a growth rate of 2.57% over ten years. If this growth rate is sustained, it will put the 2018 population of Cape Town at somewhere around 3.81 million, which is a bit higher than the UN estimates.

City Size and Population Density

Cape Town is part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality, approximately 400 square kilometers in area with a population density of 1,530 people per square kilometer.

Cape Town has many notable neighborhoods. The Atlantic Seaboard to the west of Cape Town, for example, has some of the most expensive real estate in the country and the highest concentration of multimillionaires in the city. The Northern Suburbs are comprised mostly of Afrikaans-speaking people while the Southern Suburbs are mostly English-speaking people. The Cape Flats to the southeast of the central business district is often called "Apartheid's dumping ground" as it became home to people the apartheid government considered non-white.

Cape Town Demographics

Cape Town is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and is a significant destination for expatriates and immigrants.

The ethnic and racial composition of Cape Town is:

  • 42.4% "Coloured"
  • 38.6% "Black African"
  • 15.7% "White"
  • 1.4% "Asian or Indian"
  • 1.9% other

Apartheid in South Africa is still felt in Cape Town. The Apartheid system in the city designated the African population based on tribe, allocating every person to one of nine tribes. The racial category of " colored" is very contentious in the country, and it is often a way to lump together the rest of the population that does not fit into one of the nine tribes or identities. The colored population is mostly concentrated in the Western Cape, and many are descended from slaves brought to work on farms in the area during the 17th century.

The 2011 census also found that the share of colored people in the Western Cape fell from 54% in 2001 to 49.6% in 2011 while the white population dropped from 18.4% to 16%. The black population increased from 26.7% to 33.4% while the Indian population grew slightly to 1.1%.

Cape Town Population Growth

Cape Town was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 as a stopping point for ships traveling to the Dutch East Indies. The city grew relatively slowly until the 20th century, reaching a population of 171,000 in 1901. Since then it has increased by a consistent 2-3% annually to reach its current population of nearly 4 million.

Cape Town grew 2.6% from 2001 to 2011, reaching a metro population of 3.75 million. In 2013, the Western Cape was one of 4 provinces in South Africa that showed significant growth, with the Western Cape's population growing by nearly 1.5 million people over twelve years. The province's share of South Africa's population increased from 10.1% to 11.4% over this time.

Cape Town and the Western Cape are attracting many migrants, primarily due to the area being an employment hub. Unfortunately, Cape Town cannot keep up with the pace of migration for long as it puts a great deal of pressure on the city and businesses which provide jobs.

Year Population
20355,845,299
20345,771,533
20335,696,876
20325,621,348
20315,544,978
20305,467,695
20295,389,485
20285,310,214
20275,229,651
20265,147,499
20255,063,583
20244,977,833
20234,890,280
20224,800,954
20214,709,990
20204,617,560
20194,524,111
20184,430,367
20174,317,505
20164,207,519
20154,100,334
20143,995,880
20133,894,087
20123,794,887
20113,698,214
20103,604,132
20093,512,443
20083,423,209
20073,336,004
20063,251,136
20053,168,428
20043,087,933
20033,009,270
20022,932,714
20012,858,003
20002,785,032
19992,713,731
19982,644,349
19972,576,741
19962,510,985
19952,446,815
19942,384,371
19932,323,520
19922,264,303
19912,206,438
19902,155,016
19892,107,020
19882,060,157
19872,014,211
19861,969,351
19851,925,491
19841,864,617
19831,797,179
19821,732,267
19811,669,700
19801,609,474
19791,551,264
19781,495,234
19771,441,228
19761,389,244
19751,338,998
19741,290,636
19731,244,020
19721,199,148
19711,155,778
19701,114,033
19691,077,464
19681,042,788
19671,009,136
1966976,614
1965945,140
1964914,722
1963885,203
1962856,676
1961829,067
1960803,346
1959782,530
1958762,280
1957742,554
1956723,365
1955704,621
1954686,388
1953668,626
1952651,347
1951634,469
1950618,051

Cape Town Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
20355,845,2991.28%73,766
20345,771,5331.31%74,657
20335,696,8761.34%75,528
20325,621,3481.38%76,370
20315,544,9781.41%77,283
20305,467,6951.45%78,210
20295,389,4851.49%79,271
20285,310,2141.54%80,563
20275,229,6511.60%82,152
20265,147,4991.66%83,916
20255,063,5831.72%85,750
20244,977,8331.79%87,553
20234,890,2801.86%89,326
20224,800,9541.93%90,964
20214,709,9902.00%92,430
20204,617,5602.07%93,449
20194,524,1112.12%93,744
20184,430,3672.61%112,862
20174,317,5052.61%109,986
20164,207,5192.61%107,185
20154,100,3342.61%104,454
20143,995,8802.61%101,793
20133,894,0872.61%99,200
20123,794,8872.61%96,673
20113,698,2142.61%94,082
20103,604,1322.61%91,689
20093,512,4432.61%89,234
20083,423,2092.61%87,205
20073,336,0042.61%84,868
20063,251,1362.61%82,708
20053,168,4282.61%80,495
20043,087,9332.61%78,663
20033,009,2702.61%76,556
20022,932,7142.61%74,711
20012,858,0032.62%72,971
20002,785,0322.63%71,301
19992,713,7312.62%69,382
19982,644,3492.62%67,608
19972,576,7412.62%65,756
19962,510,9852.62%64,170
19952,446,8152.62%62,444
19942,384,3712.62%60,851
19932,323,5202.62%59,217
19922,264,3032.62%57,865
19912,206,4382.39%51,422
19902,155,0162.28%47,996
19892,107,0202.27%46,863
19882,060,1572.28%45,946
19872,014,2112.28%44,860
19861,969,3512.28%43,860
19851,925,4913.26%60,874
19841,864,6173.75%67,438
19831,797,1793.75%64,912
19821,732,2673.75%62,567
19811,669,7003.74%60,226
19801,609,4743.75%58,210
19791,551,2643.75%56,030
19781,495,2343.75%54,006
19771,441,2283.74%51,984
19761,389,2443.75%50,246
19751,338,9983.75%48,362
19741,290,6363.75%46,616
19731,244,0203.74%44,872
19721,199,1483.75%43,370
19711,155,7783.75%41,745
19701,114,0333.39%36,569
19691,077,4643.33%34,676
19681,042,7883.33%33,652
19671,009,1363.33%32,522
1966976,6143.33%31,474
1965945,1403.33%30,418
1964914,7223.33%29,519
1963885,2033.33%28,527
1962856,6763.33%27,609
1961829,0673.20%25,721
1960803,3462.66%20,816
1959782,5302.66%20,250
1958762,2802.66%19,726
1957742,5542.65%19,189
1956723,3652.66%18,744
1955704,6212.66%18,233
1954686,3882.66%17,762
1953668,6262.65%17,279
1952651,3472.66%16,878
1951634,4692.66%16,418
1950618,0510.00%

Cape Town Population Data (Urban Area)

Name 2021 Population 2021 Growth
Johannesburg5,926,6682.49%
Cape Town4,709,9902.00%
Ekurhuleni3,969,9371.94%
Durban3,176,2540.57%
Pretoria2,655,2823.49%
Port Elizabeth1,266,5331.02%
West Rand909,3011.30%
Soshanguve866,0051.48%
Vereeniging779,5300.71%
Buffalo City717,0671.20%
Bloemfontein577,5601.86%
Pietermaritzburg532,7661.11%
Rustenburg532,7114.58%
Witbank470,2493.51%
Polokwane444,8594.52%

Other Cities in South Africa

  1. Statistics South Africa - City of Cape Town data and statistics
  2. Western Cape Government - Regional development profile of the city of Cape Town

Sources