Western Cape

Western Cape expecting population to grow by 700 000 in five years

Having one of the lowest unemployment rates in South Africa makes the Western Cape an attractive proposition as a place for people to move.

Western Cape

The Western Cape Department of Social Development’s population projections for the province indicates it will grow by 700 000 people over the next five years.

Western Cape Provincial Population Unit

The comprehensive data was collected by Western Cape Provincial Population Unit, which is housed within the Province’s Department of Social Development. Its key function is to assist government departments and municipalities to integrate population variables into development planning and to inform policymaking and programme design.

On top of the population increase, the unit’s latest report shows more than 65 percent of people in the Province, or 4.43 million, reside in the City of Cape Town.

“The Western Cape is the third largest province in South Africa with an estimated 6.76 million people – 11.5% of South Africa’s total population – and 1.9 million households with an average household size of 3.6 people in 2019,” a statement from the Western Cape Department of Social Development read.

“The estimated number of children (0-17 years old) are 30.3% (2.05 million) of the population, the youth (18-34 years old) make up 29.6% (2 million) of the province, and the elderly (65+ years old) 6.1% (414,774) of the population.

Factors in expected growth

The report found that the Western Cape receives the second most people incoming from other provinces and countries after only Gauteng.

“Migration from Gauteng and from outside South Africa to the Western Cape is expected to increase in the next decade. Although the younger population still makes up the largest part of the total dependent population, the rise in old aged dependency, those 65 years and older are visible,” the statement continued.

The official unemployment rate in the province is also one of the lowest in the country, which likely plays a huge role in anyone’s decision to move there. Especially in a country that struggles with joblessness as much as South Africa does.

“Under the leadership of Minister Fernandez, the Western Cape Department of Social Development remains dedicated to helping those in need of social services, in particularly, those who are poor and vulnerable people who have been affected by socio-economic and structural challenges; combined with social ills such as escalating crime trends, violence particularly high rates of sexual violence, issues around child protection and family structure, and substance abuse,” the statement concluded.