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 a population of 56.5-million people – the fourth-largest population in Africa and the 25th-largest in the world. Black South Africans make up around 81% of the total, coloured people 9%, whites 8% and Indians 3%.
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%).
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.
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.
This is an animation to break your heart. In any unequal society, the privileged live long lives and everyone else much shorter lives.
The story of HIV and Aids in South Africa is one of tragic arrogance, of a hopeful new democracy suddenly threatened from an unexpected direction, of activism and tenacity and, eventually, of one of the largest public health programmes in the world.
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.
Nelson Mandela’s large and growing family tree includes three wives, six children, 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
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.
Robert Sobukwe was one of South Africa’s greatest but forgotten heroes of the struggle for human rights and nonracialism.
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.
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.
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.
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.