South Africa’s Population Growth and Migration Trends: A Closer Look

South Africa’s Population Growth and Migration Trends: A Closer Look

Census 2022 Reveals South Africa’s Population Growth

The latest population figures from Census 2022 were presented by Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke. These figures show significant growth in South Africa’s population over the past decade.

The results were officially handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa, and they indicate a population increase from 51.7 million in 2011 to over 62 million in 2022.

This represents a growth rate of 1.8% during the intercensal period.

Internal Migration Patterns: Dominant Provinces

Before delving into international migration, Maluleke provided insights into internal migration within South Africa.

The data revealed that two provinces remained dominant in terms of internal migration.

Gauteng, South Africa’s economic hub, continued to be the primary destination for internal migrants, receiving over a third of all internal migration flows.

The Western Cape followed with 15% of the internal migration.

Provinces Experiencing Outflow

During the intercensal period, four South African provinces experienced an outflow of people.

These provinces include Limpopo, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Free State. The reasons behind this outflow and its implications are significant aspects of the population dynamics.

Zimbabwe Leads in International Migration

Maluleke also highlighted the international migration stream, which is predominantly led by migrants from Zimbabwe.

Census 2022 revealed that there were more than 2.4 million international migrants in South Africa, constituting just above 3% of the total population.

A substantial majority of these migrants came from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, accounting for 86%. Zimbabwe stands out as the primary source of international migrants to South Africa, contributing 45.5% of the total.

Other significant sources include Mozambique with 18.7% and Lesotho with 10.2%.

Consistency in Sending Countries

The top five sending countries to South Africa have remained consistent since 2011. These countries are Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, and the United Kingdom.

The enduring prominence of these nations in South Africa’s migration landscape underscores their significance.

Census 2022: A Milestone

Census 2022 marks the fourth population and housing count in post-apartheid South Africa. The initial census was conducted in 1996, with subsequent censuses in 2001 and 2011.

The 2022 census provides valuable insights into South Africa’s population dynamics, internal and international migration, and their implications for the nation’s future.

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