Pretoria Population 2021

2,655,282
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Pretoria's 2021 population is now estimated at 2,655,282. In 1950, the population of Pretoria was 275,331. Pretoria has grown by 89,622 since 2015, which represents a 3.49% 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 Pretoria, which typically includes Pretoria's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Pretoria is a city located in the Gauteng Province in South Africa. Pretoria is one of three capital cities in the country and is the seat of the government’s executive branch. As of 2016, the urban area of Pretoria has a population of 2.125 million.

The South African city of Pretoria is not just one of the country’s capitals, but it also is the center of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. The city itself has over 700,000 inhabitants, while the much-larger urban area has a population of 2,125,000. Pretoria has built a reputation around higher education and research, as it is the home of three universities and hosts the South African Bureau of Standards.

Pretoria Size and Population Density

The city of Pretoria occupies 687.54 kilometers squared (265.46 square miles). The population density comes to approximately 1,100 residents per square kilometer (2,800 residents per square mile).

Pretoria Demographics

Pretoria is located north of Johannesburg and lies between the Bushveld and Highveld. It stretches across approximately 1,644 kilometers. The city itself has a population that exceeds 700,000, and the urban population exceeds 2 million.

According to data from 2011, the primary ethnicity was white, comprising 52.5% of the population. Black Africans accounted for 42% of the population, followed by Coloured at 2.5%, Indian or Asian at 1.9% and Other at 1.2%. This is a significant change from 2001 data, which had Whites listed as 67.7% of the population and Black Africans accounting for just 24.5%. When the township populations are considered, whites become a minority in Pretoria, although the city still has the largest white population in sub-Sahara Africa.

The primary language spoken in the area is Afrikaans. Other languages include Sepedi, Xitsonga, Sesotho and English, amongst others. The religion is varied across the area, and Pretoria is the site of churches, mosques, synagogues and a Jewish temple. In addition to being the seat of the country’s executive branch of government, the de facto capital city also hosts foreign embassies, and has the second largest number of embassies in the world behind the United States. The city is the site of many official government offices, including the office of South Africa’s president, which is located in the Union Building. Pretoria is considered a major commercial and industrial center, and its main industries include manufacturing in railroads, automobile and machinery and iron and steel casting.

Pretoria History

The river valley that was to one day become Pretoria was settled around 1600 by the Southern Transvaal Ndebele. However, Zulu raiders forced settlers to abandon their villages in 1832. Boer families came into the area around 1840 to settle in the Fountains Valley. When independence was declared in 1852, the area became a prime spot for weddings, baptisms and communions.

The city of Pretoria was not founded until 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius. The city was named after his father, Andries, a Voortrekkers hero who led the Battle of Blood River. When it was founded, the city had a population of about 300 people.

In 1856, the city began to take shape. It earned the nicknames “city of roses” and “Jacaranda city” because of the trees and flowers that bloomed in the temperate climate. After the British annexed the area, migrants began to come in, increasing the population. Pretoria earned city status in 1931, and when South African became a republic 30 years later, the city maintained its role as administrative capital.

Pretoria Population Growth

Because of its role in politics and its thriving industries, the population of Pretoria is expected to grow at a steady rate over the next few decades. The 2016 population of 2.1 million is estimated to climb to 2.3 million in 2020, while it is expected to exceed 2.7 million by 2030.

Pretoria Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
20353,442,0471.28%43,452
20343,398,5951.31%44,003
20333,354,5921.35%44,588
20323,310,0041.39%45,249
20313,264,7551.43%46,129
20303,218,6261.49%47,327
20293,171,2991.57%49,083
20283,122,2161.68%51,651
20273,070,5651.83%55,248
20263,015,3172.03%59,903
20252,955,4142.27%65,515
20242,889,8992.55%71,799
20232,818,1002.86%78,332
20222,739,7683.18%84,486
20212,655,2823.49%89,622
20202,565,6603.76%93,048
20192,472,6123.96%94,262
20182,378,3504.55%103,474
20172,274,8764.55%98,972
20162,175,9044.55%94,667
20152,081,2374.55%90,547
20141,990,6904.55%86,608
20131,904,0824.55%82,840
20121,821,2424.55%79,236
20111,742,0064.54%75,686
20101,666,3204.54%72,399
20091,593,9214.54%69,159
20081,524,7624.55%66,337
20071,458,4254.54%63,366
20061,395,0594.54%60,612
20051,334,4474.54%57,901
20041,276,5464.55%55,538
20031,221,0084.54%53,051
20021,167,9574.23%47,395
20011,120,5623.41%36,976
20001,083,5863.42%35,853
19991,047,7333.42%34,620
19981,013,1133.42%33,476
1997979,6372.58%24,612
1996955,0250.42%4,022
1995951,0030.42%3,999
1994947,0040.42%3,982
1993943,0220.42%3,960
1992939,0620.42%3,955
1991935,1072.59%23,627
1990911,4803.62%31,834
1989879,6463.61%30,680
1988848,9663.62%29,691
1987819,2753.62%28,614
1986790,6613.62%27,615
1985763,0462.51%18,678
1984744,3681.99%14,526
1983729,8421.99%14,224
1982715,6181.99%13,946
1981701,6721.98%13,655
1980688,0171.99%13,427
1979674,5901.99%13,146
1978661,4441.99%12,891
1977648,5531.98%12,621
1976635,9321.99%12,410
1975623,5221.99%12,152
1974611,3701.99%11,914
1973599,4561.98%11,666
1972587,7901.99%11,471
1971576,3191.99%11,231
1970565,0882.86%15,721
1969549,3673.02%16,087
1968533,2803.03%15,659
1967517,6213.02%15,178
1966502,4433.02%14,733
1965487,7103.02%14,282
1964473,4283.03%13,901
1963459,5273.02%13,475
1962446,0523.02%13,079
1961432,9733.25%13,625
1960419,3484.30%17,298
1959402,0504.30%16,562
1958385,4884.30%15,880
1957369,6084.29%15,205
1956354,4034.30%14,619
1955339,7844.30%13,997
1954325,7874.30%13,421
1953312,3664.29%12,850
1952299,5164.30%12,355
1951287,1614.30%11,830
1950275,3310.00%

Pretoria 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 - South Africa information, data and statistics
  2. Statistics South Africa - Census 2011 in brief - overview
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources