South Africa’s white population is still shrinking

 ·23 Jul 2018

Statistics South Africa has published it latest mid-year population estimates, showing that there are over 1.2 million more people in the country than a year ago.

Stats SA reported that South Africa’s population is now estimated at 57.7 million people, up just over 2% from the 56.5 million reported in 2017.

In the group’s breakdown of the data, it includes demographic shifts, showing how South Africa’s various population groups are changing.

The 2018 estimations show that there has been a turn in the white South African population numbers, which has seen steady decline over the past five years.

There are estimated to be 4.52 million white South Africans in the country in 2018, up from 4.49 million in 2017 – an increase of almost 27,000.

However, this swing is not enough to counter the shrinking of the white population in the country seen since 2013.

Between 2013 and 2018, Stat SA’s data shows that the white population in South Africa saw a net decline of 82,300 people.

The white population has also shrunk to its lowest proportion, now accounting for only 7.8% of the total population.

This decline stands in contrast to all other demographics in South Africa which show solid increases, year on year.

South Africa’s black African population has grown from 38.5 million people in 2008 to 46.7 million in 2018 (80.9% of the total); the coloured population has grown from 4.4 million people in 2008 to 5.07 million in 2018 (8.8%); and the Indian/Asian population has grown from 1.24 million people to 1.45 million people over the same period (2.5%).

According to the data, the shrinking population can largely be attributed to emigration, with Stats SA showing that over 612,000 white South Africans will have left the country since between 1985 and 2021 – 430,000 of which will have left in the 20 year period between 2001 and 2021 (at a rate of 21,000 a year, in-line with most of the population declines).

Between 2016 and 2021, South Africa is expected to have 1.02 million more people in the country due to migration.

As many as 1.072 million black Africans are expected to make South Africa home, along with 59,432 Indian or Asian people. 115,000 white South Africans are expected to migrate out of the country.

Read: South Africa’s population hits 57.7 million

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