South Africa's National Youth Commission Act, 1996, defines youth as those from ages 14 to 35 years. Knowing where the youth are is important given the need to provide education, health and well-being, economic participation and social cohesion. There is great benefit in investing in the youth people by creating opportunities for accelerated development. They are also a large group within the South African population.


This item considers the change in the percentages of the youth within sub-places between two periods; 1996 and 2011. In this respect it is used to identify areas where it has changed.

Insights & Findings

The youth appear to have increased in the township areas but also in areas in close proximity to central business districts as can be observed in all nine cities. Growth has also occurred in newer settlement growth areas on the outskirts of some cities, while areas of increased densities also show up as areas where the percentage of the population in the youth category has increased.


The census information was used but varies slightly as the age groups selected from the data consisted of the age group 16 to 35 years. The information was extracted for the sup-place level. The metadata document can be accessed here.

Other Resources

  • CSIR BE. 2015. Indicator – Youth change 1996-2011. (Prepared in support of SACN – State of the Cities Report 2015).

For more information contact:

Johan Maritz,

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