This is South Africa, by numbers

A rock at sunset

Today, instead of writing something I have thought about or encountered, let’s take a look at South Africa thanks to a variety of sources.

The population of South Africa is 57,680,807 as of September 2020. This means there are 45.3 people for every 1km2.

This population figure is 0.74% of the world population which is currently 7,833,592,676 and places South Africa 25th on the list of populated countries. Our nearest neighbours in terms of population are Italy (60,037,142) and Myanmar (56,238,536).

In terms of land, South Africa ranks at 25th in the world in country size at 1,221,037km2 – with the nearest neighbours in size being Mali (1,240,192km2) and Colombia (1,141,748km2).

When it comes to land versus our population density, Italy is 71st in land mass at 301,339km2 and Myanmar is 29th with 676,578km2. Looking at it the other way around, Mali is 60th in terms of population with 20,515,293 people and Colombia is 29th and has 50,776,070 people.

In 2018 South Africa topped the list of all countries globally of people living with HIV/Aids at 7.7 million. The closest figure to this was Mozambique at 2.2 million with India third at 2.1 million.

SA’s GDP growth rate was pegged in 2017 at 1.3%, higher than of Aruba while lower than that of Sudan.

The country claims Christianity as its overwhelming religion of choice at 81.2 percent while Judaism is the smallest religion at 0.1%.

In the municipal elections of 2016, there were 26,384,470 registered voters and 58% (15,290,820) of these voted.

The most popular spoken language in SA is Zulu, followed by Xhosa and then Afrikaans. English is only sixth on the list at 8 percent. A full 41.3% of the households in SA are headed by women and 111,471 households are headed by someone younger than 18.

The average household income in South Africa, the average, is R29,400. That’s per year … and covers 19 percent of the country’s households. The closest to this is the R10-20,000 range which covers 17 percent and R40-75,000. The only other category to challenge these household income figures is from the unemployed households which earn nothing in a year – and that’s 15 percent.

When it comes to internet access, 45% of the country accesses the internet via cellphone. In terms of literacy, 94,3% of the population are able to read and write. The total life expectancy figure in South Africa at birth is currently 49,3 years – the global figure is 71.

The figures provided here are from the linked sources above, you can click on those links to see expanded and more complete information on the country. To better understand South Africa it would be helpful to absorb these facts and consider the country’s place in the world to gain a better perspective.

On a final note, you heard about the earthquake off the South African coast yet? It happened 7:10pm on Saturday, 26 September, measuring at a magnitude of 6.2 (considered “strong”) and at a depth of 10km, 2,000km off-shore in a SSE direction off the Cape Town coast. Interestingly it appears that while there were reports of a quake felt in the Cape Town area, it was from a local event and not this large reported quake.

Author: Morné Condon

Automotive journalist in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, following new models, old cars, car clubs and motorsport. My interests are not restricted to the automotive environment, although this is where I am mostly to be found.

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