E.g., 06/27/2017
E.g., 06/27/2017

Country Resource - South Africa

South Africa

ZA
  • Population......................................................................54,300,704 (July 2016 est.)
  • Population growth rate .............................................................0.99% (2016 est.)
  • Birth rate.....................................................20.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
  • Death rate................................................9.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
  • Net migration rate...............................-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
  • Ethnic groups..................................black African 80.2%, white 8.4%, colored 8.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (colored is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry) (2014 est.)

Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.

CIA World Factbook

South Africa is struggling to define a post-apartheid migration policy that is responsive to its changing role in Africa, the relationship between migration and development, and the country's rampant xenophobia, seen most graphically in May 2008. Jonathan Crush of the Southern African Migration Project reports on the latest developments.

Recent Activity

A woman sells West African clothing at a market in Washington, DC.

The population of sub-Saharan African immigrants in the United States has grown rapidly in recent decades, from 130,000 in 1980 to 1.7 million in 2015. The current flow of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa consists of skilled professionals, individuals seeking reunification with relatives, and refugees from war-torn countries. This article provides the latest data on immigrants from the region in the United States.

Systemic corruption has flourished in South Africa's asylum system due to large backlogs and rising demand. Though apartheid's end ushered in a progressive refugee law, inefficiency, administrative justice violations, and corruption have narrowed the humanitarian protection channel. Asylum seekers and refugees often face the stark choice of paying bribes to access services or risking deportation.

The past decade has brought tens of thousands of Chinese migrants to Africa, and well over half of all Chinese migrants to the continent head to South Africa. Yoon Jung Park of Rhodes University discusses the history of Chinese migration to South Africa, the various communities of Chinese currently residing in the country, and their levels of political, social, and economic integration.
Five factors, including wages and professional development, drive skilled people to migrate, and three reasons encourage them to return. Laura Chappell and Alex Glennie of ippr in London look at all of these factors and how motivations vary across different contexts and groups of migrants.
South Africa, Brazil, and Costa Rica—all destinations for migrants from the region—sought to make the lives of immigrants a little better in 2009.
Unfortunately, 2008 brought a new wave of xenophobia, most notably in South Africa and Italy.
South Africa is struggling to define a post-apartheid migration policy that is responsive to its changing role in Africa, the relationship between migration and development, and the country's rampant xenophobia, seen most graphically in May 2008. Jonathan Crush of the Southern African Migration Project reports on the latest developments.
Aderanti Adepoju of the Human Resources Development Centre in Lagos provides an overview of Africa's dynamic migration flows, examining trends ranging from feminization to diversification.