The whole nine yards: profiling South Africa’s provinces

This edition of the Macro Review provides comparative data on South Africa’s nine provinces across various key areas: demographics, the economy, education, health and social security, living conditions, as well as crime and security.
The whole nine yards: profiling South Africa’s provinces

Key takeaways:

  • Gauteng is the smallest province covering just 1.5% of South Africa’s land area, but accounts for 25.8% of the total population. The Northern Cape is the largest province, covering 30.5% of the country but is home to only 2.2% of South Africa’s population.
  • Together, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape contribute almost two thirds (63.9%) to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and are home to just under two thirds (65.2%) of assessed taxpayers in South Africa.
  • The labour absorption rate — the proportion of the working-age population that is employed — is highest in Gauteng (48.9%) and the Western Cape (53.8%).
  • In 2018, Gauteng had the highest matric pass rate of 87.9%, followed by the Free State (87.4%) and the Western Cape (81.4%).
  • In 2018/19, the Western Cape had the highest rate (1 229 per 100 000 people) for drug-related crimes, Gauteng had the highest motor vehicle theft rate (165 per 100 000) and the Eastern Cape had the highest murder rate (61 per 100 000).
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