South Africa Demographics

Population of South Africa (2023)

View live population, charts & trends: Population of South Africa

South Africa Population
Yearly Change
+ 0.87%
Global Share
Global Rank

Median Age

The median age in South Africa is 27.6 years (2023).

Fertility in South Africa

A Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1 represents the Replacement-Level Fertility: the average number of children per woman needed for each generation to exactly replace itself without needing international immigration. A value below 2.1 will cause the native population to decline

pregnant_woman Total Fertiliy Rate (TFR)
(Live Births per Woman, 2023)

Life Expectancy in South Africa

See also: Countries in the world ranked by Life Expectancy

Both Sexes
62.9 years
(life expectancy at birth, both sexes combined)
65.7 years
(life expectancy at birth, females)
59.9 years
(life expectancy at birth, males)

Infant Mortality Rate and Deaths of Children under 5 Years Old in South Africa

Infant Mortality
(infant deaths per 1,000 live births)
Deaths under age 5
(per 1,000 live births)

South Africa Urban Population

Currently, 69.0 % of the population of South Africa is urban (41,711,727 people in 2023)

Population Density

The 2023 population density in South Africa is 50 people per Km2 (129 people per mi2), calculated on a total land area of 1,213,090 Km2 (468,376 sq. miles).

Largest Cities in South Africa

1 Cape Town 3,433,441
2 Durban 3,120,282
3 Johannesburg 2,026,469
4 Soweto 1,695,047
5 Pretoria 1,619,438
6 Port Elizabeth 967,677
7 Pietermaritzburg 750,845
8 Benoni 605,344
9 Tembisa 511,655
10 East London 478,676
11 Vereeniging 474,681
12 Bloemfontein 463,064
13 Boksburg 445,168
14 Welkom 431,944
15 Newcastle 404,838
16 Krugersdorp 378,821
17 Diepsloot 350,000
18 Randburg 337,053
19 Botshabelo 309,714
20 Brakpan 305,692
21 Witbank 262,491
22 Richards Bay 252,968
23 Vanderbijlpark 246,754
24 Centurion 233,386
25 Uitenhage 228,912
26 Roodepoort 225,000

See also



Population Pyramid

A Population pyramid (also called "Age-Sex Pyramid") is a graphical representation of the age and sex of a population.


  • Expansive - pyramid with a wide base (larger percentage of people in younger age groups, indicating high birth rates and high fertility rates) and narrow top (high death rate and lower life expectancies). It suggests a growing population. Example: Nigera Population Pyramid
  • Constrictive - pyramid with a narrow base (lower percentage of younger people, indicating declining birth rates with each succeeding age group getting smaller than the previous one). Example: United States
  • Stationary - with a somewhat equal proportion of the population in each age group. The population is stable, neither increasing nor decreasing.



Dependency Ratio

There are three types of age dependency ratio: Youth, Elderly, and Total. All three ratios are commonly multiplied by 100.

Youth Dependency Ratio
Definition: population ages 0-15 divided by the population ages 16-64.
Formula: ([Population ages 0-15] ÷ [Population ages 16-64]) × 100

Elderly dependency ratio
Definition: population ages 65-plus divided by the population ages 16-64.
Formula: ([Population ages 65-plus] ÷ [Population ages 16-64]) × 100

Total dependency ratio
Definition: sum of the youth and old-age ratios.
Formula: (([Population ages 0-15] + [Population ages 65-plus]) ÷ [Population ages 16-64]) × 100

NOTE: Dependency Ratio does not take into account labor force participation rates by age group. Some portion of the population counted as "working age" may actually be unemployed or not in the labor force whereas some portion of the "dependent" population may be employed and not necessarily economically dependent.