World Population

Johannesburg Population

5,635,127

Johannesburg is located in Gauteng province in the eastern part of South Africa, sits 1700 meters above sea level. It is popularly called as Joburg or Jozi and abbreviated as JHB. Johannesburg population in 2020 is estimated to be 5.6 million and covers an area of 1,645 sq.km. New Johannesburg was founded in 1886, Joburg is one of the World's youngest major cities, Gold was the backbone of Johannesburg's rapid growth. In just over 134 years a lawless mining camp and their activities has flourished to become Africa's most prosperous and developed metropolis. Johannesburg is the most advanced commercial city in Africa, Pretoria is the South African capital and is 64 km to the north. Many foreign countries retain consular facilities in Johannesburg. South Africa gets lots of immigrants from the neighbouring countries. South African mines and farms have traditionally been a source of work for immigrants, and many are move to Johannesburg in the hope of employment there. The cost of living in Johannesburg is far lower than many cities of the world. The Johannesburg demography has large populous and ethnically diverse metropolitan area, Its infrastructure matches leading first world cities. The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality is located in the Gauteng Province and largest city in South Africa. Johannesburg is considered the economic hub of the African continent and is often the first choice of destination by job seekers across the continent. Johannesburg generates 16% of South Africa's GDP and employs 12% of the National Workforce. Johannesburg is one of the largest 70 urban agglomerations in the world, The industries were established during these mining period, and more and more people came seeking jobs and a slice of its wealth, especially after the 1913 Natives Land Act, which robbed black people of their land. Johannesburg include a multiplicity of commercial from gold mining, banking, information technology, manufacturing and health sciences. It's inland city with a unique African character with world class infrastructure similar in size to Sydney, London and New York. Today, It has now developed from a mere geographical concept into vibrant city and an experiential feast for the visitor.

Johannesburg City(2011)Johannesburg UA(2020)
Population4.4 million8 million
Area1645 sq km2500 sq km (Metropolitan)
Rank1 (South Africa)70 (World)
The population of Johannesburg in 2016 has an estimate of 4.4 million, while the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area has a population estimated at 8 million. Initial CBD includes Braamfontein, Hillbrow, and Yeoville. Hillbrow is an inner city neighbourhood of Johannesburg. It is known for large black population density with high prostitution and crime.

The metropolitan areas include Diepsloot, Midrand, Randburg, Sandton, Honeydew, Roodepoort, Soweto, Lenasia, Ennerdale and Orange Farm.

Johannesburg city UN Urban Agglomeration Population Prospects - 1950 to 1935
YearJohannesburg Population
1950910,550
1955998,876
19601,121,429
19651,259,058
19701,413,488
19751,486,633
19801,542,977
19851,601,474
19901,824,973
19952,293,461
20002,917,048
20053,509,485
20104,115,979
20114,249,354
20154,828,133
2020*5,635,127
2025*6,324,351
2035*7,366,996
Source: population.un.org/wpp/, 1950 to 1935 Johannesburg city Population(UA)

The popular neighbourhoods are Alexandra, Diepkloof, Diepsloot, Ennerdale, Johannesburg, Johannesburg South, Lawley, Lenasia, Lenasia South, Meadowlands East, Meadowlands West, Midrand, Orange Farm, Pimville, Randburg, Roodepoort, Sandton, Soweto.

Braamfontein and Inner city for the night owls and best jazz, Rosebank for the hipsters, Melrose for those wanting some quiet time, Soweto is for the food lovers and Sandton for the shopaholics. According to Johannesburg Roads Agency, City of Joburg divides our city into 7 distinct regions.
RegionsAreas
ADiepsloot, Midrand, Ivory Park
BRosebank, Parktown
CRoodepoort, North Gate
DSoweto, Diepkloof
EWoodmead, Wynberg, Alexandra, Bruma
FJohannesburg CBD, Aeroton, South Gate
GLenasia, Ennerdale, Orange Farm


Johannesburg Size and Population

It is a city with a unique, African character, world class infrastructure in the areas of roads, metro, telecommunications water and power. According to Johannesburg Municipality, Johannesburg Sex ratio is 100.3 in 2016, out of these 49.8% are Female and 50.2% are Male. 25.7 % of the population is under the age of 15, 68.9% of the population are between 15 and 64 years, while 5.4% of the population is over 65 years old. Total number of households are 1,853,371, increase of 418,515 households from 2011. Average household size is 2.7, as against 2.8 in 2011, 37.7% are Female headed households. Johannesburg is the capital city of Gauteng Province. By 2013, The Johannesburg City was the most populous in the country are estimated 4.6 million people of the Gauteng Province 12.7 million residents.

Post 1994, there was a huge migration from SA rural villages and towns and also from neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Kenya and Swaziland. This made Johannesburg accelerated benefitting to migrants and locals with other challenges arise like crime, city expansion and supply of utilities. Currently 88.6% are connected to Flush toilet to sewerage, and 85.4% acces to Weekly refuse removals, 60.3% have Piped water inside dwelling and 90.9% of the population has electricity. 26.1% are Married, 10.4% are Living together like married partners, 58.5% are Never married, 2.6% are Widow and 0.6% are separated and 1.8% are divorced. Regarding education stats, 3.3% has no schooling, 33.6% are made to primary education and only 5% completed primary, 30% are made Secondary education, out of these 20.8 completed Secondary, 5.3% has done Higher education. 37% of city residents are unemployed out of these 91% of the unemployed are black. Regarding employment category stats, 12% are in manufacturing industry, 18% are in real estate, business and financial services, 19% are in wholesale and retail sectors and 17% are in social and personal services, 0.7% are in mining industry. Women comprise 43% of the working population.


Languages spoken in Johannesburg

English is also widely spoken, as one of the eleven official languages. Zulu is the most spoken language by the majority of South Africans, followed by Sotho. But English is a commonly used language by everyone in South Africa. According to Johannesburg Municipality Stats Zulu is the most spoken language with 1.3 million speakers in Johannesburg with 23.1% of the population, Zulu native speakers, who primarily inhabit the province of KwaZulu-Natal of South Africa, 1.1 million speak English as their native language, English speakers is often used to identify non-Afrikaner whites in particular British immigrants of the 1820s and the 1830s, Sesotho is the second popular language with 535,337 speakers, spoken primarily by the Basotho in Lesotho, followed by Afrikaans language with 405,729 speakers, West Germanic language descended from Dutch and spoken mainly in South Africa,
LanguagePercent in 2016
Afrikaans7.2%
English19.8%
IsiNdebele2.9%
IsiXhosa6.7%
IsiZulu23.1%
Sepedi7.2%
Sesotho9.5%
Setswana7.6%
Sign Language0.4%
SiSwati0.8%
Tshivenda3.2%
Xitsonga6.5%
Other3.8%

First LanguagePopulation(2011 Census)
Zulu1,022,747
Xhosa298,523
Afrikaans318,063
English878,230
Northern Sotho317,277
Tswana335,713
Sotho420,117
Tsonga287,625
Venda141,435
Southern Ndebele126,587
Sign Language18,793
Other language168,566


Ethnic groups

Out of Johannesburg total population of 5.6 million, of which 76.4% are Black African, 12.3% are White people, 5.6% are coloured people, and 4.9% are Indian/Asian.
RacePercent in 2016
Black African76.4%
Coloured5.6%
Indian/Asian4.9%
White12.3%
Other0.8%


Johannesburg History

Eventhough city has been accelerated from 1886 after the gold rush, Johannesburg has a long human history on earth, since dating back 500,000 years the Tswana people believed to be living since from then. The area inhabited by both the Bushmen till 1,000 AD and later joined by the Bantu people. The Bantu people also from Iron age who farmed crops, animals, made pottery and lived in organised villages. According to worldfacts, Evidence of iron age smelters was found on the Melville Koppies and at Lone Hill just north of Sandton and Johannesburg, which shows the human presence, while San rock engravings in the Magaliesberg mark the passage of these hunter gatherers 25,000 years ago including their occupation.

There is no major European settlement in Johannesburg until 1880, but after this year Boers(farmer in Dutch) started farms. The first European settlement was established at Ferreira's Camp and by 1887 the population reached 3,000. Large deposits of gold were found in the areas of Witwatersrand, the population in 1896, Johannesburg population has around 10,000 people. Due to mine expansions, Large numbers of labour is required at the beginning of 19th century for the Witwatersrand gold mines, this allowed Black labourers a huge employment, Black workers working in the gold mines of Johannesburg was created a township called Soweto with the capacity of 50,000 people. Black South Africans were the backbone of all the mining industries in Johannesburg, since with out these labor nothing can be achieved. By 1917, Johannesburg was controlled by Transvaal government and dominated with world largest mining corporations including gold and diamond. For Urban areas South African government passed Native Act in 1923, proclaiming its cities for white and stripping the Black residents free to move in the city and forced to carry city permits with photo, fingerprint and name of the employer that has given passage into Johannesburg city, failure to produce the pass resulted in arrest or expulsion. Many of the black people were either arrested/killed in these process of the Native Act.

By 1950 the city is looking for a new leader by seeing the atrocities of apartheid government which has segregationist policies against non-white citizens of South Africa. New leaders Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela emerged with their academic qualifications. In 1976, The Rivonia Trial for Nelson Mandela imprisonment marked a New era for South Africans. In 1968, 10 storey blue coloured building named John Vorster Square after the prime minister was used for police detention. 9th and 10th floor was used for killing non-white detainees (either political or social reasons) to push from these top floors. Many detainees have died, from the first detainee Ahmed Timol of Indian origin in 1971 and the last detainee, Clayton Sithole was on January 1990, only 11 days before Nelson Mandela was released from jail. Now it is renamed as Johannesburg Central Police Station, People passing by road will always have a glimpse of the building, innocent roars can still be echoed from the shades.

After the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990, Group Areas Act was scrapped, Johannesburg was affected by urban decay due to thousands of black people thronged the city who had earlier forbidden to live/enter into the city. Many of the Blacks chased the whites and crime levels are peaked in white townships. Many of the whites and businesses moved out of the city/country with the sudden uprise of crime. By 1991, Johannesburg rated as one of the most dangerous cities in the world with murders over 1000 a year.

Today by 2021, City is reviving with the drastic changes of governance as economy has stabilised and begun to grow. Gun shots, hijacks, armed robbery are quite common in Johannesburg city, Key measures are taken by government to control the crime, but still more road ahead.

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