Over third of SA population under 18 - Unicef

Johannesburg - Over one third of South Africa's population is expected to be under the age of 18 in 2015, according to a United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) report released on Tuesday.

According to Unicef's "Generation 2030 Africa" report, next year, out of South Africa's projected population of 53 million people, 18 million of those would be under the age of 18.

The projected population for the country equalled 5% of Africa's total population, while South Africa's below-18 population comprised 3% of Africa's population within the same demographic.

Five million South African citizens would be under the age of 5 (3% of Africa), while 10 million would be adolescents (4% of Africa).

In 2050, South Africa's projected population of 63 million would equal 3% of Africa's, while its below-18 representation drops to below 3%.

Nigeria looms large, with 2015 seeing the country equalling 16% of Africa's population and its below-18 population equalling 17% of the same demographic across the continent.

In 2050, Nigeria would make up 18% of Africa's total population as its expected population in 2015 of 184 million was expected to more than double to 440 million.

This growth is mirrored in expectations regarding Nigeria's under-18 population, where it would comprise 21% of the continent's total under-18 population.

Fertility rate

Regarding fertility rates, next year SA was expected to have a fertility rate of 2.3 children per woman, one of the lowest on the continent, and below Africa's expected average of three children per woman.

In terms of contraception, over 60% of South Africa's married or in-union women between the ages of 15 and 49 were expected to use contraception, among the top five highest rates of use in Africa.

Of married or in-union women in the same age group, less than 15% wanted to stop or delay childbearing, but were not using a method of contraception.

Next year, South Africa's old-age dependency ratio was expected to be nine people per 100 persons of working age, being between 15 and 64 years old, the sixth highest on the continent

South Africa was also expected to have 65% of its population living in urban areas next year, the ninth highest level in Africa.

According to the report, in 2050 around 41% of all births world-wide would take place in Africa, while in the same year 25 people out of every 100 would be African.

This was against the expected figures in 2015, where Africans would make up 16 people out of every 100 around the world.

In 2015, 40% of Africa's population was expected to be living in cities, versus over 50% in 2050.