Estimating demographic parameters from the 2011 South Africa Population Census

  • Eric O Udjo University of South Africa
Keywords: Age distribution, Marriage, Fertility, Mortality, Net migration


Due to limited coverage of vital registration in most African countries, censuses and surveys constitute the primary sources for demographic information. Estimating demographic parameters from African censuses often poses a challenge. South Africa has a long history and high coverage of vital registration but censuses and surveys remain the principal sources of demographic information. The purpose of this study is to estimate demographic parameters from the 2011 South Africa census using various demographic models. The results indicate female mean age at first marriage of 26 years, infant mortality rate of 60 per thousand live births (both sexes), life expectancy at birth of 55 years (both sexes), total fertility rate of 2.7 in 2011 and Gauteng as the province with the highest volume of net migration in absolute terms. Despite some weaknesses in the 2011 census data, it is a rich data source for demographic estimation. 

Author Biography

Eric O Udjo, University of South Africa
Bureau of Market Research