Gauteng sets the pace as SA population reaches 63.1 million mark

The Western Cape exhibits steady growth, likely driven by economic factors.

The Western Cape exhibits steady growth, likely driven by economic factors.

Published Jun 20, 2024


South Africa’s population is expected to reach 63.1 million people by mid -2024 with Gauteng to remain the most populous province.

According to a Bureau of Market Research (BMR) report providing insights into distributional population figures, the provincial breakdown indicates that Gauteng remains the most populous province with an estimated population of 15.4 million people (24.3%).

The Northern Cape remains the least populous province with an estimated total population size of 1.4 million people (2.2%), as at mid-2024.

Dr Joshua Kembo and Professor Carel van Aardt from the BMR at Unisa, published the report recently on population projections for South Africa by province, district municipality, local municipality, main-place, and sub-place.

The percentages of the population group composition are estimated to be 81.8% for Black Africans and 2.7% for Indians/Asians at mid-2024, with women projected to constitute 51% of the population.

“The provincial population data reveals significant trends crucial for planning and development,” the report read. “Gauteng continues to grow robustly, maintaining its status as the most populous province.

“KwaZulu-Natal also shows consistent population growth. In contrast, the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape have experienced stable but slower growth, with the Northern Cape remaining the least populous province.

The Western Cape exhibits steady growth, likely driven by economic factors.

“The Western Cape exhibits steady growth, likely driven by economic factors. Mpumalanga and Limpopo have seen substantial growth, attributed to developing infrastructure and economic potential.

“These trends emphasise the need for tailored provincial policies to address specific needs and leverage opportunities, ensuring balanced and sustainable development across South Africa.”

The BMR report details that of the 30 largest metropolitan and district municipalities in South Africa as of mid-2024, the uThukela District Municipality (809 098 people) in KwaZulu-Natal ranked number 30, while the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (5 761 755 people) in the Gauteng Province ranked number one.

As of mid-2024, the local municipality with the largest population was Polokwane in the Limpopo, with 912 752 people.

In contrast, the least populous local municipality was Laingsburg in the Northern Cape, with 9 651 people, followed closely by Khâi-Ma (11 440 people), Kamiesberg (11 939 people), and Renosterberg (12 237 people), all located in the Northern Cape Province.

There was a noticeable increase in the older age groups, particularly those over 65 years.

“This segment has expanded, with a notable rise in the 65-69 age group and a stable, yet significant population, of those aged 80 years and above.

“The higher female representation in these older age categories highlights the need for gender-specific health and social services.

“The ageing population trend calls for proactive socio-economic planning to ensure sustainable development, balancing the needs of both the youth and the elderly,” the report read.

Cape Times

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