Mixed with over a dozen African languages for over two centuries, spiced by imports from British, Dutch and Portuguese colonies, South African English has its own rich, varied and sometimes weird flavour.
The population of each of South Africa’s nine provinces varies enormously. According to Statistics South Africa’s 2017 population estimates, the most populous provinces are Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and the emptiest the Northern Cape and Free State.
South Africa’s story of HIV and Aids starts with tragic arrogance, in a new democracy suddenly threatened from an unexpected direction. Then came activism and tenacity by ordinary citizens. Today, the country has one of the world’s biggest public health programmes.
This is an animation to break your heart. In any unequal society, the privileged live long lives and everyone else much shorter lives.
Charting South Africans’ life expectancy is to track the country’s modern history. In 1960, when the state was grimly implementing apartheid laws, an average newborn child was expected to have a lifespan of only 52 years – 50 years for boys. In 2015, life expectancy was 62 years.
The distribution of South Africa’s population groups reveals the country’s history. Find out more with these maps of where black, coloured, Indian and white South Africans live today, according to the 2011 census.
Each of South Africa’s 11 languages has a fascinating vocabulary, with some words and phrases influenced by other languages, and many unique to that language. Learn a little South African with these animations.
Where are South Africa’s poorest places? Two maps find the patterns of poverty: one shows the share of households living in poverty in each municipality, the other the number of poor people living there. And an animation tries to make sense of the maps.
Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 and died, aged 95, on 5 December 2013. His large and flourishing family tree remains, growing from three wives and six children to 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and on, into the next generation.
A comprehensive timeline of the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – revolutionary, soldier, political prisoner, president of South Africa, statesman and global icon of social justice.
South Africa has 56.5-million people, according to 2017 estimates. The 2011 census puts it at 51.5-million. Black South Africans make up around 81% of the total, coloured people 9%, whites 8% and Indians 3%.
The South African Multidimensional Poverty Index looks at how poverty reveals itself in people’s health, their level of education, the dwelling they live in, how they cook their food, the water they drink …
Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo were friends for six decades, from student days through their law firm, then imprisonment and exile until the final victory over apartheid.
South Africa has held three official censuses in its recent democratic history: in 1996, 2001 and 2011. The censuses have revealed both a growing population – from 41 million to 52 million – and a significant shift in the country’s racial profile.
Robert Sobukwe was one of South Africa’s greatest but forgotten heroes of the struggle for human rights and nonracialism.
The Eastern Cape is South Africa’s poorest province, both in its percentage of poor households and the number of its people who live in poverty. The province with the smallest share of households in poverty is the Western Cape.
Black men have the shortest lives, and white women the longest. Find out more about the country’s population structure with this infographic charting the realities of age, race and sex in South Africa.
In 2017 South Africa was home to 56.5-million people. Black South Africans were the majority at 45.7-million – 80.8% of the total. There were 5-million coloured people (8.7%), 4.5-million whites (7.9%) and 1.4-million Indian South Africans (2.6%).