Statistics South Africa

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Statistics South Africa , shortly Stats SA , the state statistics agency in South Africa . It is headquartered in ISIbalo House in Pretoria and has branches in all provinces .


Statistics South Africa is a government agency under the Public Service Act 1994 ( Proclamation 103 of 1994 ). At the head of the statistics authority is the Statistician-General (German: Generalstatistiker).

Legal basis

The Statistics Act 1999 ( Act No. 6 of 1999 ) forms the legal basis for the establishment and operation of the agency . With the entry into force of this law the following were repealed: the Statistics Act 1976 ( Act No. 66/1976 ) and the Statistics Amendment Act 1986 ( Act No. 25/1986 ) as well as from the former Bantu states Bophuthatswana and Transkei Statistics Act, 1978 ( Bp Act No. 28/1978 ) and Statistics Act, 1980 ( Tk Act No. 15/1980 ).


Its tasks include the collection, compilation and publication of official and other statistics as well as the coordination of statistical work of regional and international institutions involved. The Authority operates on 10 principles ( Fundamental Principles for Official Statistics ) carried by the Economics and Social Council Statistical Commission of the United Nations have been developed.

The Statistics Act also provides for the establishment of the South African Statistics Council . The tasks of this body are to advise the responsible Minister for National Planning in the presidency and the head of the authority on the collection of data and the use of official statistics, in particular:

  • Strategy advice on statistical policy and its priorities,
  • technical advice in general or on certain statistical data collections as well
  • methodological aspects for the coordination of statistical activities.

The 23 councilors from all over the country represent the statistical concerns of the provincial administrations, state organs, business and research.


Statistical surveys on demographic topics have been carried out in the area of ​​South Africa since the 18th century. In the 19th century, the forerunner institutions carried out irregular and unsystematic work. In the Cape Colony a first census was carried out according to modern standards in 1865 by the British Colonial Office according to basic rules , which were finally used here repeatedly in 1875 and 1891 for the same purpose. In the Orange Free State , censuses took place in 1880 and 1890, with reference to the methodology in the Cape Colony. There was a census in the South African Republic in 1890. Natal made only an incomplete census in 1891. The final reports were of very different quality and volume, ranging from a few pages to several hundred pages.

The first simultaneous census of the population in the four predecessor states of the South African Union did not take place until 1904. Even at this point in time, the state authorities recorded the population according to the four groups European , African , Asiatic and Colored .

When the Union of South Africa was founded , the national statistical authority was called the Union of South Africa Office of Census and Statistics , which was headed by the Director of Census and Statistics . The Union's founding law, the South Africa Act , prescribed a census of the population of European descent every five years. The Census Amendment Act of 1935 set the five-year period until 1941 and a ten-year cycle thereafter. However, the Electoral Act of 1937 changed this transition date and set it to 1951.

There were several censuses in South Africa, for example in 1911, 1918 ( w ), 1921, 1931 (w), 1936, 1946, 1951, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1985, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2011. Some were only carried out within the population group of European origin.


The statistics agency issues several printed and digital publications. These include, for example:

  • Bulletin of Statistics has been published since 1922, originally monthly, since 1967 as a quarterly publication (March, June, September, December), offers data in monthly, quarterly and annual rhythms
  • Annual report , appears annually as the statistical yearbook that reports on the structure and work of the agency
  • South African Statistics , published annually, provides statistical data and important aspects about South Africa
  • Provincial profile , published annually for every South African province, provides information on population structure, language, age groups, tourism, housing, education, work, transport, mining, construction and the service sector.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Government of South Africa: Statistician-General . Departments on (English)
  2. ^ Republic of South Africa: Statistics Act, 1999 . In: Government Gazette No. 19957 of April 21, 1999. online at (English)
  3. ^ Statistics South Africa: About the Statistics Act . on (English)
  4. reference
  5. Statistics South Africa: Fundamental principles of statistics . on (English)
  6. ^ Statistics South Africa: Statistics council . on (English)
  7. ^ Anthony J. Christopher: The Union of South Africa censuses 1911-1960: an incomplete record . In: Historia, Vol. 56 (2011), No. 2, pp. 1-18, Durban, online ISSN 2309-8392, at (English) PDF version
  8. a b Enrico Haskel Saturday: Population . In: Ellen Hellmann (Ed.), Leah Abrahams: Handbook on Race Relations in South Africa . Oxford University Press , Cape Town, London, New York, 1949. pp. 4-26
  9. ^ Union of South Africa Office of Census and Statistics: South Africa - South African Census 1960 . online at (English)
  10. ^ South Africa - Population Census 1970 . at (English)
  11. ^ South African History Online : Census in South Africa . on (English)
  12. Statistics South Africa: Census 2011 Census in brief . Statistics South Africa, Pretoria 2012, ISBN 978-0-621-41388-5 , online at (English)
  13. Statistics South Africa: Catalog of Products & Publications ( Memento of the original from October 22, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . on (English) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /