Black SA incomes surge but whites still ahead: census

October 30, 2012
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Photo taken on May 13, 2012 shows residential houses at the foot of the Table Mountain in Cape Town/XINHUA
CAPE TOWN, Oct 30 – Incomes of black South African households have surged 169 percent in a decade, but whites still take home six times more money 18 years into all-race democracy, a national census showed on Tuesday.

Census 2011 put the country’s population at 51.8 million people, an increase of 6,950,782 million since the 2001 count. Nearly eight in 10 people are black and less than one in 10 white.

“(In) 2011, we have 51.8 million people in South Africa,” said Pali Lehohla, Statistician-General of Statistics South Africa.

Overall, household incomes more than doubled in the last 10 years.

The average now stands at 103,204 rand ($11,900, 9,200 euro), up from 48,385 rand in 2001.

The statistics point to a growing black middle class with the majority race group’s yearly household incomes showing the fastest growth of 169.1 percent to 60,613 rand ($7,000 or 5,400 euros) from 22,522 rand recorded in Census 2001.

But the country’s biggest wealth and employment figures are still sharply skewed in favour of whites.

“Black African-headed households were found to have an average annual income of 60,613 rand in 2011,” states the report, with incomes followed by mixed race and Indian and Asian households.

“White-headed households had the highest average household income at 365,134 rand per annum.”

Nearly two million people still live in shacks, which has risen by more than 100,000 since 2001, and more than nine million people live in a house.

The number of outright homeowners has grown from 4,625,300 to 5,970,852 homeowners of whom 4,919,563 are black owners which is an increase by more than one million since 10 years ago.

Expanded unemployment among blacks was nearly 50 percent, while only around 10 percent among whites.

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