Censuses remain the major source on population Information

Quick Fact: The Black African population group constitutes the largest proportion of the South African population at 81,4% followed by coloureds (8,2%), white (7,3%) and Indian/Asian (2,7%). 48,5% of the population is male and 51,5% is female.


A population and housing census is the foremost exercise in the ten-year cycle of the statistical programme of a country, presenting an opportunity to obtain data on key indicators on population size and composition.

Censuses remain the major source on population Information, the basis for population denominators for basic health and socio-economic indicators. Population size and composition for all levels of geography at a specified time facilitate effective planning and policy formulation.

South Africa’s population is not evenly distributed across provinces, districts including metropolitan areas and local municipalities. Any population development initiatives are informed by population dynamics including population size, age-sex structure and composition of a locality as well as other characteristics such as sociocultural and economic circumstances.

Inability to produce accurate, reliable information on population and its characteristics as well as living circumstances of such population is not only detrimental to development but also to the wellbeing of a country’s citizenry.

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