SA’s population up almost two million in two years as it nears 60 million

SA’s life expectancy at birth for 2020 is estimated at 62.5 years for males and 68.5 years for females.The infant mortality rate for 2020 is estimated at 23.6 per 1,000 live births.
Image: 123rf/ rawpixe

There are about 59.62 million people living in SA, an increase of 1.89 million in the past two years, Stats SA said on Thursday.

Most of the people are female: 51.1%, or about 30.5 million.

The findings were contained in the 2020 midyear population estimates which revealed that Gauteng remains the country’s most populous province, with about 15.5 million people, accounting for 26% of the population.

KwaZulu-Natal is next, with about 11.5 million people (19.3%). Meanwhile, the Northern Cape remains the province with the smallest population with only about 1.29 million people (2.2%).

The study found that about 28.6% of the population is younger than 15 years. The majority live in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The elderly population, 60 and above, number about 5.4 million and account for 9.1% of the population.

Of the elderly, the highest percentage — 24.1% (1.31 million) — reside in Gauteng. Stats SA said the proportion of elderly people aged 60 and older is increasing over time.

Some of the key findings of the report are:

  • Migration is an important demographic process, as it shapes the age structure and distribution of the provincial population. For the period 2016-2021, Gauteng and Western Cape are estimated to experience the largest inflow of migrants of about 1,553,162 and 468,568 respectively.
  • Life expectancy at birth for 2020 is estimated at 62.5 years for males and 68.5 years for females.
  • The infant mortality rate for 2020 is estimated at 23.6 per 1,000 live births.
  • The estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is about 13% of SA’s population. The total number of people living with HIV (PLWHIV) is estimated at 7.8 million in 2020. For adults aged 15-49 years, an estimated 18.7% of the population is HIV-positive.

By Nonkululeko Njilo

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