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South Africa vs. Botswana

Demographics

South AfricaBotswana
Population
55,380,210 (July 2018 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

2,249,104 (July 2018 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

Age structure
0-14 years: 28.18% (male 7,815,651 /female 7,793,261)
15-24 years: 17.24% (male 4,711,480 /female 4,837,897)
25-54 years: 42.05% (male 11,782,848 /female 11,503,831)
55-64 years: 6.71% (male 1,725,034 /female 1,992,035)
65 years and over: 5.81% (male 1,351,991 /female 1,866,182) (2018 est.)
0-14 years: 31.48% (male 357,175 /female 350,775)
15-24 years: 18.7% (male 207,611 /female 212,874)
25-54 years: 38.88% (male 412,475 /female 462,013)
55-64 years: 5.61% (male 53,653 /female 72,617)
65 years and over: 5.33% (male 51,304 /female 68,607) (2018 est.)
Median age
total: 27.4 years (2018 est.)
male: 27.2 years
female: 27.6 years
total: 24.9 years (2018 est.)
male: 23.8 years
female: 26 years
Population growth rate
0.97% (2018 est.)
1.52% (2018 est.)
Birth rate
19.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
21.7 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate
9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate
-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.74 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 29.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 33.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26.5 deaths/1,000 live births
total: 28.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 31.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 64.1 years (2018 est.)
male: 62.7 years
female: 65.6 years
total population: 63.8 years (2018 est.)
male: 61.8 years
female: 66 years
Total fertility rate
2.26 children born/woman (2018 est.)
2.53 children born/woman (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
20.4% (2018 est.)
20.3% (2018 est.)
Nationality
noun: South African(s)
adjective: South African
noun: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
adjective: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
Ethnic groups
black African 80.9%, colored 8.8%, white 7.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2018 est.)

note: colored is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry

Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
7.7 million (2018 est.)
370,000 (2018 est.)
Religions
Christian 86%, ancestral, tribal, animist, or other traditional African religions 5.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other 1.5%, nothing in particular 5.2% (2015 est.)
Christian 79.1%, Badimo 4.1%, other 1.4% (includes Baha'i, Hindu, Muslim, Rastafarian), none 15.2%, unspecified 0.3% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
71,000 (2018 est.)
4,800 (2018 est.)
Languages
isiZulu (official) 24.7%, isiXhosa (official) 15.6%, Afrikaans (official) 12.1%, Sepedi (official) 9.8%, Setswana (official) 8.9%, English (official) 8.4%, Sesotho (official) 8%, Xitsonga (official) 4%, siSwati (official) 2.6%, Tshivenda (official) 2.5%, isiNdebele (official) 1.6%, other (includes Khoi, Nama, and San languages) 1.9% (2017 est.)
note: data represent language spoken most often at home
Setswana 77.3%, Sekalanga 7.4%, Shekgalagadi 3.4%, English (official) 2.8%, Zezuru/Shona 2%, Sesarwa 1.7%, Sembukushu 1.6%, Ndebele 1%, other 2.8% (2011 est.)
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.4%
male: 95.4%
female: 93.4% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.5%
male: 88%
female: 88.9% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: intermediate (2016)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2016)
degree of risk: high (2019)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2019)
vectorborne diseases: malaria (2019)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2016)
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2013)
Education expenditures
6.1% of GDP (2017)
9.6% of GDP (2009)
Urbanization
urban population: 66.9% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 1.97% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 70.2% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 2.87% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 81.4% of population
total: 93.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 18.6% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 99.2% of population
rural: 92.3% of population
total: 96.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.8% of population
rural: 7.7% of population
total: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 69.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 60.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 66.4% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 30.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 39.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 33.6% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 78.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 43.1% of population (2015 est.)
total: 63.4% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 21.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 56.9% of population (2015 est.)
total: 36.6% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - population
9.453 million Johannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni), 4.524 million Cape Town (legislative capital), 3.145 million Durban, 2.473 million PRETORIA (administrative capital), 1.242 million Port Elizabeth, 769,000 Vereeniging (2019)
269,000 GABORONE (capital) (2018)
Maternal mortality rate
119 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
144 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Health expenditures
8.2% (2015)
5.5% (2016)
Physicians density
0.91 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
0.37 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
28.3% (2016)
18.9% (2016)
Demographic profile

South Africa’s youthful population is gradually aging, as the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) has declined dramatically from about 6 children per woman in the 1960s to roughly 2.2 in 2014. This pattern is similar to fertility trends in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, and sets South Africa apart from the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, where the average TFR remains higher than other regions of the world. Today, South Africa’s decreasing number of reproductive age women is having fewer children, as women increase their educational attainment, workforce participation, and use of family planning methods; delay marriage; and opt for smaller families.

As the proportion of working-age South Africans has grown relative to children and the elderly, South Africa has been unable to achieve a demographic dividend because persistent high unemployment and the prevalence of HIV/AIDs have created a larger-than-normal dependent population. HIV/AIDS was also responsible for South Africa’s average life expectancy plunging to less than 43 years in 2008; it has rebounded to 63 years as of 2017. HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious public health threat, although awareness-raising campaigns and the wider availability of anti-retroviral drugs is stabilizing the number of new cases, enabling infected individuals to live longer, healthier lives, and reducing mother-child transmissions.

Migration to South Africa began in the second half of the 17th century when traders from the Dutch East India Company settled in the Cape and started using slaves from South and southeast Asia (mainly from India but also from present-day Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia) and southeast Africa (Madagascar and Mozambique) as farm laborers and, to a lesser extent, as domestic servants. The Indian subcontinent remained the Cape Colony’s main source of slaves in the early 18th century, while slaves were increasingly obtained from southeast Africa in the latter part of the 18th century and into the 19th century under British rule.

After slavery was completely abolished in the British Empire in 1838, South Africa’s colonists turned to temporary African migrants and indentured labor through agreements with India and later China, countries that were anxious to export workers to alleviate domestic poverty and overpopulation. Of the more than 150,000 indentured Indian laborers hired to work in Natal’s sugar plantations between 1860 and 1911, most exercised the right as British subjects to remain permanently (a small number of Indian immigrants came freely as merchants). Because of growing resentment toward Indian workers, the 63,000 indentured Chinese workers who mined gold in Transvaal between 1904 and 1911 were under more restrictive contracts and generally were forced to return to their homeland.

In the late 19th century and nearly the entire 20th century, South Africa’s then British colonies’ and Dutch states’ enforced selective immigration policies that welcomed "assimilable" white Europeans as permanent residents but excluded or restricted other immigrants. Following the Union of South Africa’s passage of a law in 1913 prohibiting Asian and other non-white immigrants and its elimination of the indenture system in 1917, temporary African contract laborers from neighboring countries became the dominant source of labor in the burgeoning mining industries. Others worked in agriculture and smaller numbers in manufacturing, domestic service, transportation, and construction. Throughout the 20th century, at least 40% of South Africa’s miners were foreigners; the numbers peaked at over 80% in the late 1960s. Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, and Eswatini were the primary sources of miners, and Malawi and Zimbabwe were periodic suppliers.

Under apartheid, a "two gates" migration policy focused on policing and deporting illegal migrants rather than on managing migration to meet South Africa’s development needs. The exclusionary 1991 Aliens Control Act limited labor recruitment to the highly skilled as defined by the ruling white minority, while bilateral labor agreements provided exemptions that enabled the influential mining industry and, to a lesser extent, commercial farms, to hire temporary, low-paid workers from neighboring states. Illegal African migrants were often tacitly allowed to work for low pay in other sectors but were always under threat of deportation.

The abolishment of apartheid in 1994 led to the development of a new inclusive national identity and the strengthening of the country’s restrictive immigration policy. Despite South Africa’s protectionist approach to immigration, the downsizing and closing of mines, and rising unemployment, migrants from across the continent believed that the country held work opportunities. Fewer African labor migrants were issued temporary work permits and, instead, increasingly entered South Africa with visitors’ permits or came illegally, which drove growth in cross-border trade and the informal job market. A new wave of Asian immigrants has also arrived over the last two decades, many operating small retail businesses.

In the post-apartheid period, increasing numbers of highly skilled white workers emigrated, citing dissatisfaction with the political situation, crime, poor services, and a reduced quality of life. The 2002 Immigration Act and later amendments were intended to facilitate the temporary migration of skilled foreign labor to fill labor shortages, but instead the legislation continues to create regulatory obstacles. Although the education system has improved and brain drain has slowed in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, South Africa continues to face skills shortages in several key sectors, such as health care and technology.

South Africa’s stability and economic growth has acted as a magnet for refugees and asylum seekers from nearby countries, despite the prevalence of discrimination and xenophobic violence. Refugees have included an estimated 350,000 Mozambicans during its 1980s civil war and, more recently, several thousand Somalis, Congolese, and Ethiopians. Nearly all of the tens of thousands of Zimbabweans who have applied for asylum in South Africa have been categorized as economic migrants and denied refuge.

Botswana has experienced one of the most rapid declines in fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. The total fertility rate has fallen from more than 5 children per woman in the mid 1980s to approximately 2.4 in 2013. The fertility reduction has been attributed to a host of factors, including higher educational attainment among women, greater participation of women in the workforce, increased contraceptive use, later first births, and a strong national family planning program. Botswana was making significant progress in several health indicators, including life expectancy and infant and child mortality rates, until being devastated by the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the 1990s.

Today Botswana has the third highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world at approximately 22%, however comprehensive and effective treatment programs have reduced HIV/AIDS-related deaths. The combination of declining fertility and increasing mortality rates because of HIV/AIDS is slowing the population aging process, with a narrowing of the youngest age groups and little expansion of the oldest age groups. Nevertheless, having the bulk of its population (about 60%) of working age will only yield economic benefits if the labor force is healthy, educated, and productively employed.

Batswana have been working as contract miners in South Africa since the 19th century. Although Botswana’s economy improved shortly after independence in 1966 with the discovery of diamonds and other minerals, its lingering high poverty rate and lack of job opportunities continued to push workers to seek mining work in southern African countries. In the early 1970s, about a third of Botswana’s male labor force worked in South Africa (lesser numbers went to Namibia and Zimbabwe). Not until the 1980s and 1990s, when South African mining companies had reduced their recruitment of foreign workers and Botswana’s economic prospects had improved, were Batswana increasingly able to find job opportunities at home.

Most Batswana prefer life in their home country and choose cross-border migration on a temporary basis only for work, shopping, visiting family, or tourism. Since the 1970s, Botswana has pursued an open migration policy enabling it to recruit thousands of foreign workers to fill skilled labor shortages. In the late 1990s, Botswana’s prosperity and political stability attracted not only skilled workers but small numbers of refugees from neighboring Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 52.5 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 44.8 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 12.9 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 55.1 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 49.3 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.8 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 17.3 (2015 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook