The current mid-year population is estimated to be 60,14 million people. Picture: Supplied
The current mid-year population is estimated to be 60,14 million people. Picture: Supplied

A 3.1 and 3.8 year drop in life expectancy for men and women in SA

By Murphy Nganga Time of article published Jul 19, 2021

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Cape Town – While the pandemic has caused a significant increase in fatalities in the past year, according to Statistics SA (StatsSA), the current mid-year population is estimated to be 60.14 million people.

According to the report, life expectancy at birth for 2021 is estimated at 59.3 years for males and 64.6 years for females, which represents a drop of 3.1 and 3.8 years respectively compared with 2020. Crude death rate has also increased by 2.9 deaths per 1 000 of the population over the same period.

The report further shows the estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is approximately 13.7% among the South African population. The total number of people living with HIV is estimated at approximately 8.2 million in 2021. For adults aged 15-49 years, an estimated 19.5% of the population is HIV positive.

Chief director of Demographic Analysis, Diego Iturralde, said that HIV/Aids impacts the population from the perspective that it causes loss of life during one's economically active years.

“HIV/Aids is also a disease that has an impact on one's health with respect to other diseases such as TB, cancers, infectious diseases as well as non-communicable diseases by making you more vulnerable compared to someone with these diseases who is HIV negative,” said Iturralde.

According to the report, there's also been a decrease in international migration, which is reflective of the Covid-19 travel limitations and their consequent effect on migratory patterns from March 2020.

While migration is deemed essential for demographic activity since it affects the provincial population's age structure and distribution, Iturralde said that international migrants bring business elements that are beneficial to society and the economies well-being.

“International migration is not only a key demographic phenomenon but a developmental one too. International migrants bring with them entrepreneurial skills which contribute to our economy. Most international migrants come from the SADC region and the MYPE estimates that by the end of the 2016-21 period (which is now) we will have about 4 million foreign-born persons.”

“Population growth at a macro level creates economies of scale, whereas at a household level people choose family size based on their living conditions. Poor families choose bigger families as a safety net to provide care in their older years whereas wealthier families consider the marginal cost of raising a child so that he/she can be self-sufficient.

“The best way to create a sustainable environment for all is to empower women to take control of their bodies by using family planning mechanisms accessible to them is the best way in which population development can take place. Type of family planning is linked to what is accessible to a woman where she lives and based on her socio-economic circumstances,” said Iturralde.

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