Ramaphosa vows SA will create more jobs as Census reveals population has risen by 10.3m since 2011

President Cyril Ramaphosa (right) receives the Census 2022 national results from the Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke (left) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Photo: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa (right) receives the Census 2022 national results from the Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke (left) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Photo: GCIS

Published Oct 11, 2023


President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed that the government will implement evidence-driven policies to drive economic growth and create jobs as South Africa’s population has increased by 10.3 million since 2011.

This comes as Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) yesterday released the results of its Census 2022, showing that the population of South Africa increased from 51.7m in 2011 to more than 62m in 2022; a growth rate of 1.8% in the intercensal period.

This is the largest percentage change in population size since 1996.

StatsSA said 50.5 million of South Africa's population were black Africans.

The median age nationally has increased by six-years, from 22-years-old in 1996 to 28-years-old in 2022.

The South African population and housing census provides a mechanism for the country to take stock of the population and housing numbers every 10 years.

This was the fourth census undertaken since the advent of democracy in 1994, and, as such, it contributes to a vast body of knowledge that describes the state and the progress of our nation.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Union Buildings yesterday, Ramaphosa commended StatsSA for placing an absolute premium on the credibility and integrity of the data and adhering to international best practice.

Ramaphosa said this was South Africa’s first-ever digital census, compiled from data collected from everyone within the borders of the country, after StatsSA adapted to digitisation of the entire census process due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the Census 2022 gave the government the information we need to implement its programme of action in a targeted, evidence-driven manner.

“The data contained in a census is one of the most crucial planning, monitoring and evaluation tools for governments. It informs the planning, budgeting and policy-making work of government at the most fundamental level,” Ramaphosa said.

“We have long said that one of our priorities in building a capable, ethical, developmental state is to ensure that policy-making is evidence-driven.

“Policy-making that is not informed by accurate data can result in inefficiency in the allocation of resources, under-estimation of the needs of citizens, poorly planned programmes and poor financial management.”

Internal migration results showed that two provinces still dominate internal migration in South Africa, with Gauteng remaining the dominant migration stream, receiving more than a third of all internal migrants, followed by Western Cape with 15%.

As a result, Gauteng remains the largest province in South Africa, with 15.1m people. The province has grown by 2.8m from 2011 to 2022.

Census 2022 also showed there were more than 2.4m international migrants, which equates to just above 3% of the total population.

Most of these came from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region dominated by Zimbabwe, followed by Mozambique and Lesotho.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said the population shifts over the years were noticeable as the number of people in the country grew by 19.8 percentage points between 2011 and 2022.

“The population of South Africa as of 2 February 2022 was 62.027 million. It's a population increase of nearly 20% between 2011 and 2022,” Maluleke said.

“KwaZulu-Natal as of 1996 was the most populous province, followed by Gauteng. In 2011, it was overtaken by Gauteng, as we can see Gauteng went all the way 2022 sitting at 15.1 million, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 12.1 million.”