South Africa - Urban population

The value for Urban population in South Africa was 36,505,690 as of 2016. As the graph below shows, over the past 56 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 36,505,690 in 2016 and a minimum value of 8,110,012 in 1960.

Definition: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverages.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects.

See also:

Year Value
1960 8,110,012
1961 8,352,572
1962 8,594,274
1963 8,844,433
1964 9,100,711
1965 9,361,694
1966 9,626,435
1967 9,895,795
1968 10,172,330
1969 10,459,660
1970 10,758,220
1971 11,061,000
1972 11,376,660
1973 11,701,900
1974 12,031,920
1975 12,363,460
1976 12,694,530
1977 13,026,540
1978 13,363,710
1979 13,712,170
1980 14,080,610
1981 14,494,150
1982 14,924,800
1983 15,366,360
1984 15,808,770
1985 16,284,370
1986 16,834,730
1987 17,382,830
1988 17,939,900
1989 18,523,840
1990 19,146,230
1991 19,808,850
1992 20,497,480
1993 21,204,770
1994 21,903,210
1995 22,571,810
1996 23,201,690
1997 23,799,550
1998 24,376,550
1999 24,952,690
2000 25,542,270
2001 25,995,130
2002 26,549,410
2003 27,129,580
2004 27,727,710
2005 28,343,110
2006 28,977,420
2007 29,631,430
2008 30,306,440
2009 31,001,300
2010 31,718,380
2011 32,458,100
2012 33,221,920
2013 34,006,630
2014 34,815,270
2015 35,648,310
2016 36,505,690

Development Relevance: Explosive growth of cities globally signifies the demographic transition from rural to urban, and is associated with shifts from an agriculture-based economy to mass industry, technology, and service. In principle, cities offer a more favorable setting for the resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas. Cities generate jobs and income, and deliver education, health care and other services. Cities also present opportunities for social mobilization and women's empowerment.

Limitations and Exceptions: Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverage. There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. Some define urban areas based on the presence of certain infrastructure and services. And other countries designate urban areas based on administrative arrangements. Because of national differences in the characteristics that distinguish urban from rural areas, the distinction between urban and rural population is not amenable to a single definition that would be applicable to all countries. Estimates of the world's urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. Because the estimates of city and metropolitan area are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. The indicator is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." The population of a city or metropolitan area depends on the boundaries chosen.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual

Classification

Topic: Environment Indicators

Sub-Topic: Density & urbanization