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