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Western Cape women live 10 years longer than those in the Free State - and 10 other things we've learned from new population data

Business Insider SA
 Jul 23, 2018, 05:26 PM

Statistics South Africa on Monday released its latest population estimates for the country. It reported that there are currently 57.73 million people living in South Africa.

Here are some of the key findings:

1. More than 51% of South Africans are female, and black people represent 80% of the population

Mid-year population estimates by population group and sex, 2018 (Statistics SA)


2. Gauteng has by far the most residents

Gauteng has a population of 14.7 million - compared to KwaZulu-Natal  (11.4 million) and Western Cape (6.6 million).


3 The number of older South Africans is on the increase 

Population growth rates by selected age groups over time, 2002–2018 (Statistics SA)

The growth rate in the number of elderly South Africans has almost doubled since 2002. This group is currently expanding by 3.21% a year. 


4. One in ten people in the Eastern and Northern Cape is elderly

Proportion of elderly aged 60+. (Statistics SA)


5. A third of Limpopo's population is younger than 15

Population under 15 years of age. (Statistics SA)


6. Gauteng women have the fewest children (on average, only two each)

Provincial average total fertility rate, 2016–2021 (Statistics SA)

On average, South Africa's fertility rate is 2.4 - which is on par with countries like India (2.4), Mexico (2.24)  and Indonesia (2.1), but much higher than Brazil (1.7). The local fertility rate is less than half of that in other African countries like Mozambique (5.07) and Zambia (5.63). 


7. Life expectancy for South African men and women still differs by more than 6 years

Life expectancy by gender over time, 2002–2018 (Statistics SA)

Life expectancy at birth declined between 2002 and 2006, in largely due to the impact of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. It has since recovered thanks to health programmes to prevent mother to child transmission as well as access to antiretroviral treatment.

Life expectancy at birth for 2018 is currently estimated at 61.1 years for males and 67.3 years for females. This is far lower than Brazil (average life expectancy for both sexes of 75), Libya (72.7), Iraq (68.9) and India (68.3).


8. Western Cape women live on average a decade longer than those in the Free State

Provincial average life expectancy at birth - females. (Statistics SA)
Provincial average life expectancy at birth - males. (Statistics SA)

The latest figures show huge discrepancies between life expectancy in different provinces.


9. The number of South African births are the lowest in a decade

Births and deaths for the period 2002–2018 (Statistics SA)

Also, the number of Aids-related deaths have halved in a decade. 


10. One in five women (between 15 and 49 years) is HIV positive 

HIV population over time, 2002–2018 (Statistics SA)

Some 13% of the total population is HIV positive. HIV prevalence among the youth aged 15–24 has declined over time from 6.7% in 2002 to 5.5% in 2018. 


11. More than half a million migrants from other countries settled in the Western Cape and Gauteng

Estimated provincial migration streams 2011–2016 (Statistics SA)

Statistics SA projects that Gauteng will receive 483,451 migrants from outside SA in the five years to 2021. The Western Cape is projected to received 117,805.

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