World Population Day | Western Cape Government


World Population Day

10 July 2019

DSD seeks to raise awareness of population growth as forecast show an increase of 700 000 people over next 5 years.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has developed comprehensive population projections for the province. This data helps government to plan for expanded social services.

Social and Demographic forecast(s) indicate that the population in the Western Cape will increase by as much as 700 000 people over the next 5 years.

The Western Cape Provincial Population Unit is located within the Department of Social Development. The unit’s key function, among others, is to assist government departments and municipalities to integrate population variables into development planning.

On a regular basis, the unit develops a set of population projections/estimates at provincial, district and local municipality level using Statistics South Africa data to ensure that reliable and up-to-date information on population in the Western Cape is available in order to inform policy making and programme design.

The latest statistics indicate that more than 65 percent of people or 4.43 million people in the Province reside in the City of Cape Town. This is followed by the districts of the Cape Winelands, Garden Route, West Coast, Overberg and Central Karoo.  Moreover, The Western Cape is the 3rd largest province in South Africa with an estimated 11.5% (6.76 million) people, and 1.9 million households with an average household size of 3.6 people in 2019 (StatsSA2018). 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.

Furthermore, the Western Cape is also the second largest provincial receiver of people from other provinces, after Gauteng. Our province has the highest life expectancy at birth for both males (66.2 years) and females (72.1 years).

The fertility rate in the province is one of the lowest in the country. This is off-set against the highest national life expectancy especially for females. 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. Social grants are especially crucial in supporting children in the Central Karoo district and the elderly in the West Coast district.

The official unemployment rate in the Western Cape is one of the lowest in the country, measured in Q1:2019 at 19.5% (StatsSA 2019).

As we mark World Population Day, DSD will continue to use the projection figures to guide our expansion and delivery of social services to the provincial population.

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.

World Population day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949


14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8001