White people in South Africa

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White South Africans
President Steyn.jpg KoosDeLaRey.jpg Andries Pretorius.jpg
Martinus Theunis Steyn Koos de la Rey Andries Pretorius
Hendrik Verwoerd Sketch.JPG Eugene Terre´Blanche3.jpg Dan Roodt.jpg
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd Eugene Terre'Blanche Dan Roodt
Robert Leibbrand, Robey Leibbrandt3.jpg Oswald Pirow.jpg JaapMaraiskl.jpg
Robey Leibbrandt Oswald Pirow Jaap A. Marais
Total population
4,586,838 [1]

8.9% of South Africa's population[1]

Regions with significant populations
Throughout South Africa, but concentrated in urban areas
Gauteng 1,920,000
Western Cape 980,000
KwaZulu-Natal 450,000
Eastern Cape 300,000
Free State 270,000
Mpumalanga 250,000
North West 240,000
Limpopo 110,000
Northern Cape 110,000
Languages

Afrikaans 61%, English 33%, Other (mostly Portuguese) 3%

Religion

Christianity (87%), no religion (9%), Judaism (1%),Other (3%)

Related ethnic groups

English, Afrikaners, Dutch, Germans, Irish and Scottish

White South African is a term which refers to people from South Africa who are of Caucasian descent. In linguistic, cultural and historical terms, they are generally divided into the Afrikaans-speaking descendants of mainly Dutch, German and French settlers, known as Afrikaners, and the English-speaking Anglo-Africans who share an Anglophone background (mainly of British and Irish descent).

White South Africans differ significantly from other white African groups due to not only their much larger population but because they have evolved into a different nation, such as the Afrikaners, who established a separate language, culture and church in Africa. They also differ as potentially being the last major white African ethnic group on the African continent. Their role in the South African economy and political life has remained, which differs from other African countries such as Kenya or Zimbabwe where whites retreated from the political spectrum. Whites currently number about 4.5 million, or about 9% of South Africa's population. It is estimated that as many as 800 000 whites have emigrated from the country since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Contents

Background

Demographics

Statistics South Africa estimated that, there were about 4,584,700 white people in South Africa, amounting to 9.2% of the country's population. White Speakers of Afrikaans sometimes refer to themselves as Afrikaners, but often also as "Afrikaans people". Unlike the Afrikaners, the English speakers have not constituted a coherent political or cultural entity in South Africa. Hence, the absence of a commonly accepted term to designate them, although 'English South African' or 'English-speaking South African' is used (see Anglo-African).

Approximately 87% of white South Africans are Christian, 9% have no religion, and 1% are Jewish. The largest Christian denomination is the Dutch Reformed Church, with 34% of the white population being members. Other significant denominations are the Methodist Church (8%), the Roman Catholic Church (7%), and the Anglican Church (6%).

Many white people have migrated to South Africa from other parts of Africa following the independence of those African nations or when those nations became hostile to them. Many Portuguese from Mozambique and Angola and white Zimbabweans emigrated to South Africa when their respective countries became independent. South Africa also remains a prime destination amongst British emigrants.

Meanwhile, many white South Africans also emigrated to Western countries over the past two decades, mainly to English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, with others settling in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil.

Distribution

White South Africans as a proportion of the total population.
     0–20%      20–40%      40–60%      60–80%      80–100%
Density of the White South African population.
     <1 /km²      1–3 /km²      3–10 /km²      10–30 /km²      30–100 /km²      100–300 /km²      300–1000 /km²      1000–3000 /km²      >3000 /km²

According to Statistics South Africa, white Africans make up about 9.2% (July 2010) of the total population in South Africa. Major cities in South Africa themselves actually have a white majority while the municipality they lie in has a black majority due to the inclusion of neighboring townships. Their actual proportional share in municipalities is likely to be higher, given the undercount in the 2001 census.[2]

The following table shows the distribution of white people by province, according to the Community Survey 2007:

Province White population Percentage of province Percentage of whites
Eastern Cape 304,342 4.7 6.57
Free State 266,555 9.6 5.76
Gauteng 1,923,829 18.4 41.58
KwaZulu-Natal 452,224 4.4 9.77
Limpopo 114,708 2.2 2.47
Mpumalanga 249,326 6.8 5.38
North West 236,467 7.2 5.11
Northern Cape 106,178 10.0 2.29
Western Cape 973,115 18.4 21.03
Total 4,626,744 9.1 100%

Statistics

Historical Population

Statistics for the white population in South Africa vary greatly. Most sources show that the white population peaked in the period between 1989-1995 at around 5.2-5.6 million. Up to that point the white population largely increased due to high birth rates and immigration. However between the end of apartheid and the mid-2000s the white population decreased overall, with some sources showing an overall decline of 1 million whites. However ever since 2006 the population has fluctuated, rising and declining occasionally. It should be noted that the white population in some censuses are undercounted.

Year Total population Annual % change Source
1904 1,116,805 N/A 1904 Census
1910 1,270,000 increase +2.3% Eugene Larson
1960 3,008,000 increase +2.7% 1960 Census
1965 3,408,000 increase +2.7% Stats SA
1970 3,792,848 increase +2.3% 1970 Census
1980 4,522,000 increase +1.9% 1980 Census[3]
1985 4,867,000 increase +1.5% 1985 Census[3]
1991 5,068,300 increase +0.7% 1991 Census
1996 4,434,700 decrease -3.5% 1996 Census
2001 4,293,640 decrease -0.6% 2001 Census
2006 4,365,300 increase +0.3% Stats SA
2009 4,472,100 increase +0.8% Stats SA
2010 4,584,700 increase +2.5% Stats SA
2011 4,586,838 increase +0.05% SA Census
2013 4,602,386 increase +0.34%

Percentage by province 1996-2011

Province Percentage in 1996 Percentage in 2001 Percentage in 2007 Percentage in 2011
Eastern Cape 5.4% 4.7%decrease 4.7%steady 4.7%steady
Free State 12.0% 8.8%decrease 9.6%increase 8.7%decrease
Gauteng 22.0% 19.9%decrease 18.4%decrease 15.6%decrease
KwaZulu-Natal 6.5% 5.1%decrease 4.4%decrease 4.2%decrease
Limpopo 2.8% 2.5%decrease 2.2%decrease 2.6%increase
Mpumalanga 7.9% 6.5%decrease 6.8%increase 7.5%increase
North West 8.4% 6.7%decrease 7.2%increase 7.3%increase
Northern Cape 11.0% 12.4%increase 10.0%decrease 7.1%decrease
Western Cape 20.8% 18.4%decrease 18.4%steady 15.7%decrease
National 10.9% 9.6%decrease 9.5%decrease 8.9%decrease

Population by province 1996-2011

Province White Population 1996 White Population 2001 White Population 2007 White Population 2011 Total change 1996-2011 Total % change 1996-2011
Eastern Cape 340,300 302,500decrease 304,342increase 310,450increase -29,850decrease -8.8%decrease
Free State 316,020 238,200decrease 266,555increase 239,026decrease -76,994decrease -24.4%decrease
Gauteng 1,616,700 1,758,600increase 1,923,829increase 1,913,884decrease 297,184increase +18.4%increase
KwaZulu-Natal 547,100 480,700decrease 452,224decrease 428,842decrease -118,258decrease -21,1%decrease
Limpopo 138,020 126,570decrease 114,708decrease 139,359increase 1,339increase +1.0%increase
Mpumalanga 218,500 202,990decrease 249,326increase 303,595increase 85,095increase +38.9%increase
North West 281,800 245,850decrease 236,467decrease 255,385increase -26,415decrease -9.4%decrease
Northern Cape 92,440 102,020increase 106,178increase 81,246decrease -11,194decrease -12,1%decrease
Western Cape 823,030 832,480increase 973,115increase 915,969decrease 92,939increase +11.3%increase

Population by province pre-1994

Province White Population in 1904 White % in 1904 White Population in 1960 White % in 1960 % increase 1904-1960
Transvaal 297,277 23.4% 1,455,372 increase 23.4 steady 489.6%
Orange Free State 142,679 36.8% 276,000 increase 19.9% decrease 193.4%
Cape Province 579,741 24.1% 1,001,000 increase 18.7% decrease 172.7%
Natal 97,109 8.76% 337,000 increase 11.3% increase 347.0%

Fertility rates

Contraception among white South Africans is stable or slightly falling: 80% used contraception in 1990, and 79% used it in 1998.[4] The following data shows some fertility rates recorded during South Africa's history. However, there are varied sources showing that the white fertility rate reached below replacement (2.1) by 1980. Likewise, recent studies show a range of fertility rates, ranging from 1.3 to 2.4. The Afrikaners tend to have a higher birthrate than that of other white people.

Year Total fertility rate[5] Source
1960 3.5 decrease SARPN
1970 3.1 decrease SARPN
1980 2.4 decrease SARPN
1989 1.9 decrease UN.org
1990 2.1 increase SARPN
1996 1.9 decrease SARPN
1998 1.9 steady SARPN
2001[6] 1.8 decrease hst.org.za
2006[6] 1.8 steady hst.org.za
2011 1.63(?) decrease Census 2011

Life expectancy

The average life expectancy at birth for males and females

Year Average life expectancy Male life expectancy Female life expectancy
1980[7] 70.3 66.8 73.8
1985[8] 71  ?  ?
1997 73.5 70 77
2009[9][10] 71  ?  ?

Unemployment

Province (strict) White unemployment rate
Eastern Cape[11] 4.5%
Free State
Gauteng[12] 8.7%
KwaZulu-Natal[13] 8.0%
Limpopo[14] 8.0%
Mpumalanga[13] 7.5%
North West
Northern Cape[15] 4.5%
Western Cape 2.0%
Total


Percentage of workforce

Province Whites % of the workforce Whites % of population
Eastern Cape[11] 10% 4%
Free State
Gauteng[16] 25% 18%
KwaZulu-Natal[13] 11% 6%
Limpopo[14] 5% 2%
Mpumalanga
North West
Northern Cape[15] 19% 12%
Western Cape[17] 22% 18%
Total

Religion

Religion among white South Africans remains high compared to other white ethnic groups, but likewise it has shown a steady proportional drop in both membership and church attendance with until recently the majority of white South Africans attending regular church services.

Religious affiliation of white South Africans (2001 census)[18]
Religion Number Percentage (%)
- Christianity 3 726 266 86.8%
- Dutch Reformed churches 1 450 861 33.8%
- Pentecostal/Charismatic/Apostolic churches 578 092 13.5%
- Methodist Church 343 167 8.0%
- Catholic Church 282 007 6.6%
- Anglican Church 250 213 5.8%
- Other Reformed churches 143 438 3.3%
- Baptist churches 78 302 1.8%
- Presbyterian churches 74 158 1.7%
- Lutheran churches 25 972 0.6%
- Other Christian churches 500 056 11.6%
Judaism61 6731.4%
Islam8 4090.2%
Hinduism2 5610.1%
No religion 377 007 8.8%
Other or undetermined 117 721 2.7%
Total 4 293 637

Note

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.statssa.gov.za/Census2011/Products/Census_2011_Fact_sheet.pdf
  2. "Where have all the whites gone?". Pretoria News. 2005-10-08. http://www.pretorianews.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=vn20051008105843418C861797. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rounded to nearest thousand
  4. http://www.sarpn.org.za/documents/d0000104/page4.php
  5. http://www.sarpn.org.za/documents/d0000104/page2.php
  6. 6.0 6.1 http://www.hst.org.za/healthstats/5/data/eth
  7. http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cde/cdewp/88-25.pdf SSC.wisc.edu, pg.34
  8. http://www.israel21c.org/opinion/israel-and-the-apartheid-lie
  9. http://www.skillsportal.co.za/asgisa/14092010-Zwelinzima-Vavi-address-Nedlac-Summit.htm
  10. http://links.org.au/node/1851
  11. 11.0 11.1 http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/15617/1/bp050002.pdf
  12. http://www.fin24.com/Business/Gauteng-life-a-mixed-bag-20100527
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 http://www.elsenburg.com/PROVIDE/reports/backgroundp/BP2009_1_8_%20MP%20Demographics.pdf
  14. 14.0 14.1 http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/15607/1/bp050009.pdf
  15. 15.0 15.1 http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/15612/1/bp050003.pdf
  16. http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/15615/1/bp050007.pdf
  17. http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/15619/1/bp050001.pdf
  18. Table: Census 2001 by province, gender, religion recode (derived) and population group. Census 2001. Statistics South Africa. Retrieved on 2 February 2012.
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