South Africa | Facts & Information
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Facts & Figures
President: Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa (2018)
Total area: 470,693 sq mi (1,219,090 sq km), Land area: 468,909 sq mi (1,214,470 sq km), Water area: 1,783 sq mi (4,620 sq km).
Population (2022 est.): 57,516,665 (growth rate: 0.93%); birth rate: 18.56/1000; infant mortality rate: 25.87/1000; life expectancy: 65.32; density per sq mi: 109.8 (2011)
Administrative capital (2022 est.): Pretoria, 2.74 million; Legislative capital: Cape Town, 4.801 million. Judicial capital: Bloemfontein, 556,000. No decision has been made to relocate the seat of government. South Africa is demarcated into nine provinces, consisting of the Gauteng, Northern Province, Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu/Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Free State. Each province has its own capital.
Other large cities: Johannesburg includes Ekurhuleni, 10.110 million; Durban, 3.199 million; Port Elizabeth, 1.281 million; West Rand, 909,000 (2022).
Monetary unit: Rand
Languages: isiZulu (official) 25.3%, isiXhosa (official) 14.8%, Afrikaans (official) 12.2%, Sepedi (official) 10.1%, Setswana (official) 9.1%, English (official) 8.1%, Sesotho (official) 7.9%, Xitsonga (official) 3.6%, siSwati (official) 2.8%, Tshivenda (official) 2.5%, isiNdebele (official) 1.6%, other (includes Khoi, Nama, and San languages) 2%; note - data represent language spoken most often at home (2018 est.)
Ethnicity/race: Black African 80.9%, Colored 8.8%, White 7.8%, Indian/Asian 2.6% (2021 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.)
Literacy rate: 95% (2019 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2020 est.): $680.04 billion; per capita $11,500. Real growth rate: .06%. Inflation: 4.1%. Unemployment: 28.53%. Arable land: 9.9%. Agriculture: corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products. Labor force: 14.687 million (2020 est.); agriculture 4.6%, industry 23.5%, services 71.9% (2014 est.). Industries: mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair. Natural resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas. Exports: $93.01 billion (2020 est.): gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment. Major trading partners (exports): China 15%, United Kingdom 8%, Germany 7%, United States 6%, India 6% (2019). Imports: $77.86 billion (2020 est.): machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs. Major trading partners (imports): China 18%, Germany 11%, United States 6%, India 5% (2019).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 2,098,802 (2020); mobile cellular: 96,972,500 (2019). Radio broadcast stations: AM 14, FM 347 (plus 243 repeaters), shortwave 1 (2007). Radios: 17 million (2001). Television broadcast stations: 556 (plus 144 network repeaters) (1997). Televisions: 6 million (2000). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 4.761 million (2012). Internet users: 41,516,083 (2020).
Transportation: Railways: total: 20,986 km (2014). Roadways: total: 750,000 km; paved: 750,000 km; unpaved: 591,876 km (2016). Ports and harbors: Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay. Airports: 407 (2021).
International disputes: South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration; the governments of South Africa and Namibia have not signed or ratified the text of the 1994 Surveyor's General agreement placing the boundary in the middle of the Orange River.