South Africa - Births

South Africa: Births

Mnemonic BTH.IZAF
Unit #
Annual 4.57 %
Data 2020 1,003,307
2019 1,051,311

Series Information

Source Statistics South Africa (Statistics SA)
Release Vital Statistics - Live Births (Sub-National)
Frequency Annual
Start Date 12/31/1993
End Date 12/31/2020

South Africa: Demographics

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Net Migration Dec 2022 971,425 818,002 #, NSA Monthly
Births 2020 1,003,307 1,051,311 # Annual
Deaths 2018 454,014 446,544 # Annual
Birth Rate 2016 20.98 21.3 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Death Rate 2016 9.79 10.1 # per Ths. pop. Annual

Release Information

For South Africa, monthly and annual data on registered births, current or late registration, by province and city. Defunct data on registered births by year of registration.

Births, provisional count as of July

  • Measurement: Unitary count (#)
  • Adjustment: Not seasonally adjusted (NSA)
  • Native frequency: Monthly
  • Start date: 1991m1
  • Breaks: 2013
  • Series count: 1

Recorded live births

  • Source: Publication P0305 - Recorded Live Births
  • Measurement: Unitary count (#)
  • Adjustment: Not seasonally adjusted (NSA)
  • Native frequency: Annual
  • Start dates:
    • 1998 for country, provinces, special areas
    • 2006 for cities
  • Geo coverage:
    • Country
    • Provinces (9x IZAF_^^)
    • Special areas (2x IZAF_^^)
    • Cities (6x IZAF_^^^)
  • Series count: 54
  • Breaks: 2013

Births by year registered

  • Native frequency: Annual
  • Date range: As early as 1992 to 2012
  • Geo coverage: Country
  • Series count: 19

Recorded live births in municipalities

  • Native frequency: Annual
  • Date range: 2006 to 2007
  • Geo coverage:
    • IZAF_aannn
    • IZAF_aaannn
  • Series count: 648

The source writes:

This statistical release contains key findings on registration-based reporting of live births, occurrence-based reporting of live births, comparison between occurrence eand registration-based reporting of live births and registration-based reporting of live births with geographic breakdown.

The release is based on births registered and collated through the national birth registration system that is maintained by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

Files obtained from the DHA include births registereed within 30 days; births registered from 31 days to 364 days; births registered from age 1 to 14 years; births registered from 15 years; births registered in health facilities; and births that occurred among South Africans outside of South Africa. 

Since March 2013, the Department of Home Affairs has registered births according to the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act (Act No. 18 of 2010), which stipulates that a birth must be registered within 30 days from the date of occurrence (Republic of South Africa, 2010). 

The total number of birth registrations consists of both current registrations and late registrations registered at the DHA during a specific year, irrespective of when they occurred. Current registrations are live births occurring in a specific year and registered within the same year. Late registrations are live births registered later than the year of birth. 

Birth occurrences are defined as all births that occur within a specific year (the year in which the birth actually occurred) and are registered at the Department of Home Affairs.

Changes in method

The series with descriptions like "Vital Statistics: Births - Registrations where birth occurrence year is YYYY, (#, NSA)" are only updated from 1993, due to the source not reporting updated data for previous years.

Circa 2021, the source retroactively changed its allocation of foreign births. They were previously allocated separately (geo code IZAF_OU "Outside the Republic of South Africa") but are now allocated to the province and district of birth registration. Hence, series VSQBTH(T,C,L)UA.IZAF_OU end at 2018, and its sibling series have a definitional break from 2013.