Cape Town - 130213 - Population Growth Statistics for the Western Cape have revealed that the white and coloured populations are on the decline - Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Cape Town - The white and coloured populations of the Western Cape have shrunk, while the number of black Africans in the province has grown by nearly 7 percent over the past decade.

This was revealed on Wednesday in a presentation to the province’s social development standing committee.

According to the statistics, based on the 2011 Census, the Bitou and Overstrand municipalities were the fastest-growing regions of the Western Cape.

The population of the two municipalities grew by 160 percent and 120 percent respectively between 2001 and 2011. The growth has been mainly attributed to migration by jobseekers from the Eastern Cape.

The percentage of coloured people in the Western Cape dropped from 53.9 percent in 2001 to 49.6 percent in 2011 and the white population from 18.4 percent to 16 percent while the black population increased from 26.7 percent to 33.4 percent. The Indian population grew from 1 percent to 1.1 percent over the same period.

Gavin Miller, a chief director in the Social Development Department, told the committee that 16 percent (894 289) of the 5.8 million people living in the Western Cape were born in the Eastern Cape, 3 percent (167 524) in Gauteng and 1 percent (61 945) in KwaZulu-Natal. Four percent (260 952) of the province’s population was born outside South Africa.

“So only 71.9 percent of the Western Cape’s population was born in this province.”

On the subject of school attendance among children aged seven to 16, Miller said 94.8 percent of pupils in the Western Cape were in school.

“This is slightly below the national average of 95.4 percent,” he said.

Twenty-four percent of coloureds aged 20 and up in the province had completed matric, compared to blacks (28.5 percent), Indians (34.6 percent) and whites (39.6 percent).

“Looking at the labour market status among those aged 16 to 64 years in the province, two million people are employed, 552 733 are unemployed, 122 753 are discouraged workseekers (want to work, but do not look for work) and 1.3 million are economically inactive,” he said.

The statistics also showed that one in seven people in the Western Cape live in an informal dwelling.

Robert MacDonald, head of the province’s social development department, said the data was “very important” for provincial government departments.

“We will definitely be using this information for our forward planning,” MacDonald said.

Cape Argus