Population: 51,770,560 (est.)
Language(s): Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Sotho, Tsonga, Swati, Venda, Ndebele
Capital: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
- The South African rand is the official currency of South Africa.
- South Africa is a secular democracy with freedom of religion. Many religions are represented in the ethnic and regional diversity of South Africa’s population.
- Christians account for around 79.8% of the population. With Muslims accounting for 1.5% of the population, Hindus 1.2%, traditional African religion 0.3%, Judaism 0.2% and 15.1% having no religious affiliation.
- The economy of South Africa is the largest in Africa, accounting for 24% of its Gross Domestic Product in terms of PPP.
- South African is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank, making it one of only four countries in Africa represented in this category (the others being Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius).
- South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world.
- South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.
- South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.
- South Africa has the highest commercial bungee jump in the world (710 feet).
- South Africa is rated 3rd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water.
- The South African climate features hot, humid summers with frequent late afternoon thunderstorms from November to March, and a cooler, dry and sunny winter season lasting from June to September.
- South Africa contains the largest communities of European, Asian, and racially mixed ancestry in Africa.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It is divided into nine provinces and has 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline. To the north lie the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; while Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South African territory. South Africa is the 25th largest country in the world by area and the 24th most populous country with over 51 million people.
South Africa is a multi-ethnic nation and has diverse cultures and languages. Eleven official languages are recognised in the constitution. Two of these languages are of European origin: English and Afrikaans, a language which originated mainly from Dutch that is spoken by the majority of white and Coloured South Africans. Though English is commonly used in public and commercial life, it is only the fifth most-spoken home language. All ethnic and language groups have political representation in the country’s constitutional democracy comprising a parliamentary republic; unlike most parliamentary republics, the positions of head of state and head of government are merged in a parliament-dependent President.
About 80% of the South African population is of black African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. South Africa also contains the largest communities of European, Asian, and racially mixed ancestry in Africa.
South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. It has the largest economy in Africa, and the 28th-largest in the world. By purchasing power parity, South Africa has the 5th highest per capita income in Africa. It is considered a newly industrialised country. However, about a quarter of the population is unemployed and lives on less than US $1.25 a day.