South Africa's Population Now Over 50-Million

South Africa’s population has passed the 50-million mark, according to Statistics SA’s mid-year estimate for 2011, which puts the country’s population at 50.59-million.

Nearly one-third (31.3%) of the population is aged younger than 15 years, Stats SA said in a statement accompanying the release of the mid-year estimates on Wednesday, while approximately 7.7% (or 3.9-million) is 60 years or older.

About 52% (approximately 26.07-million) of the population is female, with life expectancy at birth for 2011 estimated at 59.1 years for women compared to 54.9 years for men.

The infant mortality rate for 2011 is estimated at 37.9 per 1 000.

Provincial populations

According to Stats SA, Gauteng province – the country’s smallest by land area – holds the largest share of the South African population, with around 11.3-million people (or 22.4% of the total) living in this province.

KwaZulu-Natal has the second-largest population, with 10.8-million people (21.4%) living in this province. With a population of approximately 1.1-million people, Northern Cape remains the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces, accounting for a mere 2.2% of the overall population.

“Migration is an important demographic process in shaping the age structure and distribution of the provincial population,” Stats SA said, estimating that around 215 000 people migrated from the Eastern Cape between 2006 and 2011, while Limpopo province experienced a net out-migration of about 140 000 people.

“During the same period, Gauteng and Western Cape are estimated to [have experienced] a net inflow of migrants of approximately 367 100 and 95 600 respectively.”

Stats SA noted that its estimates were arrived at using the “cohort-component methodology”, adding that while they were based on the latest available information, they “may change as new data become available”.