Johannesburg Population 2021

5,926,668
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Johannesburg's 2021 population is now estimated at 5,926,668. In 1950, the population of Johannesburg was 910,550. Johannesburg has grown by 143,921 since 2015, which represents a 2.49% annual 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.

Johannesburg -- or Jozi, Joburg or JHB -- is the largest city in South Africa and the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in the country. Johannesburg is one of the largest 50 urban agglomerations in the world and the largest city in the world that is not located on a coast, lake or river. Johannesburg has an estimated population of 4.4 million in 2016.

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.

City Size and Population Density

The city proper has a population density of about 2,900 people per square kilometer (7,400 per square mile). The population is spread over a total surface area of 334.81 square kilometers (129.27 square miles).

Man-made Forest

Interestingly, Johannesburg has the largest human-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 the Sotho language, 18% speaks English, 7% speak Afrikaans, and 6% speak Tshivenda.

About 7% of the population of Johannesburg is illiterate, and 3.4% have only a primary education. A single person heads 66% of households, 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 that the Johannesburg metropolitan area had a population of 1.8 million. Johannesburg experienced some decline in the 1990s, although it 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 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
20357,461,1641.28%94,168
20347,366,9961.31%95,324
20337,271,6721.34%96,487
20327,175,1851.38%97,680
20317,077,5051.42%99,088
20306,978,4171.46%100,736
20296,877,6811.52%102,895
20286,774,7861.59%105,834
20276,668,9521.67%109,765
20266,559,1871.78%114,612
20256,444,5751.90%120,224
20246,324,3512.04%126,335
20236,198,0162.19%132,662
20226,065,3542.34%138,686
20215,926,6682.49%143,921
20205,782,7472.62%147,620
20195,635,1272.72%149,141
20185,485,9863.24%172,423
20175,313,5633.24%167,004
20165,146,5593.24%161,755
20154,984,8043.24%156,671
20144,828,1333.24%151,747
20134,676,3863.24%146,977
20124,529,4093.24%142,358
20114,387,0513.24%137,697
20104,249,3543.24%133,375
20094,115,9793.24%129,013
20083,986,9663.24%125,309
20073,861,6573.24%121,207
20063,740,4503.24%117,402
20053,623,0483.24%113,563
20043,509,4853.24%110,302
20033,399,1833.24%106,690
20023,292,4933.56%113,173
20013,179,3204.39%133,777
20003,045,5434.40%128,495
19992,917,0484.40%122,907
19982,794,1414.40%117,729
19972,676,4124.71%120,456
19962,555,9565.57%134,893
19952,421,0635.56%127,602
19942,293,4615.56%120,878
19932,172,5835.56%114,353
19922,058,2305.57%108,624
19911,949,6063.78%70,932
19901,878,6742.94%53,701
19891,824,9732.94%52,095
19881,772,8782.95%50,746
19871,722,1322.94%49,226
19861,672,9062.94%47,819
19851,625,0871.47%23,613
19841,601,4740.75%11,887
19831,589,5870.75%11,783
19821,577,8040.75%11,695
19811,566,1090.75%11,593
19801,554,5160.75%11,539
19791,542,9770.75%11,437
19781,531,5400.75%11,352
19771,520,1880.75%11,253
19761,508,9350.75%11,201
19751,497,7340.75%11,101
19741,486,6330.75%11,020
19731,475,6130.75%10,923
19721,464,6900.75%10,872
19711,453,8180.75%10,776
19701,443,0422.09%29,554
19691,413,4882.34%32,297
19681,381,1912.34%31,644
19671,349,5472.34%30,877
19661,318,6702.34%30,171
19651,288,4992.34%29,441
19641,259,0582.34%28,846
19631,230,2122.34%28,147
19621,202,0652.34%27,503
19611,174,5622.34%26,837
19601,147,7252.34%26,296
19591,121,4292.34%25,658
19581,095,7712.34%25,071
19571,070,7002.34%24,464
19561,046,2362.34%23,970
19551,022,2662.34%23,390
1954998,8762.34%22,854
1953976,0222.34%22,301
1952953,7212.34%21,850
1951931,8712.34%21,321
1950910,5500.00%

Johannesburg Population Data (Urban Area)

Name Population Growth 2021
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 - Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality statistics
  2. Joburg Tourism - Population and people of the city of Johannesburg
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources