People of South Africa

Demographics in South Africa

The people of South Africa are truly a blend of the most beautiful people from all over the world and is home to a wide variety of traditions, history and colourful cultures. Based on the last census the population is about 57 million  people of highly diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions. The last census was held in 2011 with the next one scheduled in 2021. * Since the election of 27 April 1994, South Africa has been divided into nine provinces.*

  1. Gauteng
  2. KwaZulu-Natal
  3. Mpumalanga
  4. Western Cape
  5. Limpopo
  6. Eastern Cape
  7. North West
  8. Free State
  9. Northern Cape
  • Gauteng comprises the largest share of the South African population, with approximately 14,7 million people (25,4%) living in this province.
  • KwaZulu-Natal is the province with the second largest population, with 11,4 million people (19,7%) living in this province.
  • Western Cape is the fourth largest of the nine provinces with an area of 129,449 square kilometres (49,981 sq mi), and the third most populous, with an estimated 6.6 million inhabitants in 2018. Two-thirds of these people live in the metropolitan area of Cape Town, which is also the provincial capital.
  • Northern Cape remains the province with the smallest share of the South African population with a population of approximately 1,23 million people (2,1%),

Life expectancy at birth for 2018 is estimated at 61,1 years for males and 67,3 years for females. The infant mortality rate for 2018 is estimated at 36,4 per 1 000 live births.*

Languages – How many languages are spoken in South Africa?

South Africa has eleven official languages. At least thirty-five languages indigenous to South Africa are spoken in the Republic, eleven of which are official languages of South Africa: South Africa has eleven official languages:

  1. IsiZulu 22.7%,
  2. IsiXhosa 16%,
  3. Afrikaans 13.5%,
  4. English 9.6%,
  5. Sepedi 9.1%,
  6. Setswana 8%,
  7. Sesotho 7.6%,
  8. Xitsonga 4.5%,
  9. siSwati 2.5%,
  10. Tshivenda 2.4%
  11. isiNdebele 2.1%.

Religious beliefs in South Africa

According to Stats SA’s Community Survey 2016, the distribution of religious beliefs in South Africa is as follows:

  • Christianity – 43 423 717
  • Islam – 892 685
  • Traditional African religion – 2 454 887
  • Hinduism – 561 268
  • Buddhism – 24 808
  • Bahaism – 6 881
  • Judaism – 49 470
  • Atheism – 52 598
  • Agnosticism – 32 944
  • No religious affiliation/belief – 5 964 892
  • Other – 1 482 210
  • Do not know – 704 358

Sources*:

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