South Africa’s population reached 62 million last year, a national census showed, 20% higher than when the last count was undertaken in 2011.
The average annual growth rate of 1.8% over the period was the highest since the first post-apartheid-rule census was undertaken in 1996, the data released by the national statistics agency on Tuesday showed.
The count provides the government with demographic data used for public administration purposes and budgetary allocations.
Of those counted, 81.4% were Black, 8.2% of mixed race, 7.3% White and 2.7% Indian.
The number of immigrants stood at more than 2.4 million and included just over 1 million Zimbabwean nationals and 416,564 Mozambicans.
The data illustrates the country’s continued attractiveness as a destination for economic migrants and political refugees, primarily from the rest of Africa.
The population of Gauteng, the economic hub, stood at 15 million, the highest of the nine provinces. It recorded the biggest internal influx of people, accounting for one-third of the total.
The population of the Western Cape, which includes the tourist hub of Cape Town, stood at 7.4 million. About 15% of internal migrants moved to the province.