South Africa - Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

The value for Population density (people per sq. km of land area) in South Africa was 47.63 as of 2018. As the graph below shows, over the past 57 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 47.63 in 2018 and a minimum value of 14.45 in 1961.

Definition: Population density is midyear population divided by land area in square kilometers. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin. Land area is a country's total area, excluding area under inland water bodies, national claims to continental shelf, and exclusive economic zones. In most cases the definition of inland water bodies includes major rivers and lakes.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization and World Bank population estimates.

See also:

Year Value
1961 14.45
1962 14.81
1963 15.19
1964 15.58
1965 15.98
1966 16.39
1967 16.82
1968 17.26
1969 17.72
1970 18.19
1971 18.68
1972 19.19
1973 19.71
1974 20.24
1975 20.77
1976 21.30
1977 21.83
1978 22.37
1979 22.94
1980 23.54
1981 24.18
1982 24.85
1983 25.55
1984 26.25
1985 26.94
1986 27.61
1987 28.27
1988 28.94
1989 29.62
1990 30.34
1991 31.09
1992 31.88
1993 32.67
1994 33.44
1995 34.16
1996 34.82
1997 35.44
1998 36.01
1999 36.55
2000 37.07
2001 37.57
2002 38.04
2003 38.51
2004 38.98
2005 39.47
2006 39.97
2007 40.49
2008 41.04
2009 41.61
2010 42.22
2011 42.87
2012 43.55
2013 44.26
2014 44.96
2015 45.66
2016 46.33
2017 46.99
2018 47.63

Development Relevance: Population estimates are usually based on national population censuses. Estimates for the years before and after the census are interpolations or extrapolations based on demographic models. Errors and undercounting occur even in high-income countries; in developing countries errors may be substantial because of limits in the transport, communications, and other resources required conducting and analyzing a full census. Population density is a measure of the intensity of land-use, and can be calculated for a block, city, county, state, country, continent or the entire world. Considering that over half of the Earth's land mass consists of areas inhospitable to human inhabitation, such as deserts and high mountains, and that population tends to cluster around seaports and fresh water sources, a simple number of population density by itself does not give any meaningful measurement of human population density. Several of the most densely populated territories in the world are city-states, microstates, or dependencies.[6][7] These territories share a relatively small area and a high urbanization level, with an economically specialized city population drawing also on rural resources outside the area, illustrating the difference between high population density and overpopulation.

Limitations and Exceptions: Current population estimates for developing countries that lack recent census data and pre- and post-census estimates for countries with census data are provided by the United Nations Population Division and other agencies. The cohort component method - a standard method for estimating and projecting population - requires fertility, mortality, and net migration data, often collected from sample surveys, which can be small or limited in coverage. Population estimates are from demographic modeling and so are susceptible to biases and errors from shortcomings in the model and in the data. Because the five-year age group is the cohort unit and five-year period data are used, interpolations to obtain annual data or single age structure may not reflect actual events or age composition. The quality and reliability of official demographic data are also affected by public trust in the government, government commitment to full and accurate enumeration, confidentiality and protection against misuse of census data, and census agencies' independence from political influence. Moreover, comparability of population indicators is limited by differences in the concepts, definitions, collection procedures, and estimation methods used by national statistical agencies and other organizations that collect the data.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Population density is midyear population divided by land area in square kilometers. This ratio can be calculated for any territorial unit for any point in time, depending on the source of the population data. Populationestimates are prepared by World Bank staff from variety of sources. They are based on the de facto definition of population and include all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship, within the physical boundaries of a country and under the jurisdiction of that country's political control. Refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum are considered part of the population of their country of origin. Population numbers are either current census data or historical census data extrapolated through demographic methods. The count also excludes visitors from overseas. Population density is calculated by dividing midyear population by land area in a country. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship - except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin. Land area is a country's total area, excluding area under inland water bodies, national claims to continental shelf, and exclusive economic zones. In most cases the definition of inland water bodies includes major rivers and lakes.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

Classification

Topic: Environment Indicators

Sub-Topic: Density & urbanization