Media release: South Africa Demographic and Health Survey

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                             15 May 2017

South Africa Demographic and Health Survey 2016 Key Indicators Report                         

The results of the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey, 2016 as presented in the Key Indicators Report released today show that the total fertility rate (TFR) for the 3 years preceding the survey was 2,6 children per woman. The age-specific fertility rate for teenagers was 71 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19, showing little change since 1998. The survey indicates that about 58,3% of women use some form of contraceptive and the overall use of modern contraception remains relatively high, with a wide range of methods being utilised. However, 18% of women continue to have an unmet family planning need. The use of the pill, injectable contraceptives and sterilisations has declined since 1998 while the use of male condoms for contraception has increased and now accounts for 15% of the modern contraceptive methods used by women.


The SADHS 2016 was conducted in collaboration with the National Department of Health (NDoH) and the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) and presents findings from approximately 13, 000 households that were interviewed.


According to the survey, children born to very young mothers are at increased risk of sickness and death. Teenage mothers are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes and are more constrained in their ability to pursue educational opportunities than young women who delay childbearing. About 16% of women aged 15-19 years have begun childbearing, 12% have given birth, and another 3% were pregnant with their first child at the time of the survey.


The survey observed a drop in the under-5 mortality and the infant mortality rates to 42 deaths and 35 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively, for the 5 years preceding the survey. The neonatal mortality rate has also dropped to 21 deaths per 1,000 live births, accounting for about half of under-5 deaths.


The 2016 SADHS results show that 94% of women who gave birth in the 5 years preceding the survey received antenatal care from a skilled provider at least once for their last birth. Three-quarters of women had four or more ANC visits (76%).61% of children aged 12-23 months received all basic vaccinations while 53% received all age-appropriate vaccinations. Only 5% of children had not received any vaccinations whereas 86% of children received measles vaccination.


Among adults aged 15-49 years, 17% of men and 5% of women reported having 2 or more sexual partners in the past 12 months. Inadequate condom use was reported during high risk sex: 58% of women and 65% of men who had multiple partners in the past year report that they used a condom during their last sexual intercourse. Furthermore, 45% of women and 55% of men aged 15-49 years reported having sex in the past 12 months with a partner who was neither their spouse nor lived with them. Among these respondents, 60% of women and 68% of men report that they used a condom during last sexual intercourse with this partner.


The survey found that 6% of women and 30% of men smoke tobacco daily. Alcohol use, with attendant problems, is also high among South African men. Risky drinking, involving drinking 5 or more standard measures of alcohol on a single occasion within the last 30 days, was reported by 5% of women and 28% of men.


Based on questions about domestic violence to women 18 years and older, 21% of ever-partnered women report that they had experienced physical violence by a partner, and 8% report that they experienced physical violence in the past 12 months. Furthermore, 6% of ever-partnered women report that they experienced sexual violence by a partner, and 2% experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months.

Issued by Statistics South Africa

For technical enquiries, contact:

Dr Kefiloe Masiteng

Deputy Director-General: Population and Social Statistics

Tel: 012 310 2109



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Ms Lesedi Dibakwane

Tel: 012 310 8578

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