Census: SA is getting older!

There are 51 770 560 of us, and we are watching TV in more homes, surfing the internet on our cellphones, speaking mostly isiZulu and getting a little older.

But many more children are being orphaned.

The population is about 2 percent more than Stats SA’s most recent population estimate, the mid-year estimate last year, and about 7 million more than the last census in 2001.

Even the country got a little bigger – expanding from 1 219 602 square kilometres to 1 220 813 sq km.

This wasn’t due to the quiet annexure of any foreign land, but Stats SA explained that it was “the shift of the national boundary over the Indian Ocean” in northern KwaZulu-Natal to cater for iSmangaliso Wetland Park.

Slightly more half of today’s population are women and about eight out of every 10 people are black African.

isiZulu is the most widely spoken language – the home language of just over one in five people – followed by isiXhosa, then Afrikaans, then English. About 0.5 percent of people use sign language.

The median age is about 25 years old, a bit older than the 22 years of 1996. The median is the point in the middle – half the population is thus above 25 years old and half is below.

We are growing a little older, and regarded as an intermediate aged country.

Deaths seemed under-reported with only 4 percent of households reporting at least one death in the past year, said Stats SA, ascribing this to “respondent fatigue” as it was the last question on the census questionnaire.

But there are many more orphans.

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