Population in South Africa now at 58.8 million

For 2019, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) estimates the mid-year population at 58.78 million.

Gauteng comprises the largest share of the population, with approximately 15.2 million people (25.8%) living in this province.

KwaZulu-Natal is the province with the second largest population, with an estimated 11.3 million people (19.2%).

With a population of approximately 1.26 million people (2.2%), Northern Cape remains the province with the smallest share of the population.

The black South African population is in the majority (47.4 million) and constitutes approximately 81% of the total South African population. The white population is estimated at 4.7 million, the coloured population at 5.2 million and the Indian/Asian population at 1.5 million.


According to Stats SA’s data, while the rising population numbers are due to rising fertility numbers and a larger ageing population, South Africa is also estimated to see a net addition of around 1 million foreign nationals in the 2016 to 2021 period.

Gauteng, the Western Cape and Limpopo are the provinces where most of these international migrants will settle – with over half a million landing in Gauteng.

Provincial populations are also affected by internal migration – or ‘semigration’ – where Gauteng and the Western Cape are the largest recipients on in-migrants, the stats group said.

Over the period, Gauteng is expected to see a net addition of 1.07 million people moving into the province, while the Western Cape will receive 316,000 people.

The Eastern Cape and Gauteng experienced the largest number of outflow of migrants. Due to its relatively larger population size, Gauteng achieved the highest number of in- and out-flows of migration.

Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape provinces received positive net migration over all 3 periods.

For all periods, the number of international migrants entering the provinces was highest in Gauteng, with Western Cape ranking second.

“Inter-provincial as well as international migration patterns significantly influence the provincial population numbers and structures in South Africa,” Stats SA said. “Migration is an important demographic process, as it shapes the age structure and distribution of the provincial population. ”

Read: Here’s how much South Africa’s population would change if everyone who wanted to leave actually did

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Population in South Africa now at 58.8 million