In 2019, a total number of 1 051 311 births were registered with the Department of Home Affairs. These included 954 532 births which occurred and were registered in 2019 as well as 96 779 births that occurred in earlier years but were only registered in 2019. The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act advocates for births to be registered within 30 days from birth occurrence.
The pattern of sex ratio at birth has remained above 100 male births per 100 female births meaning on the overall, there were more males than female births. For births which occurred in 2019, the sex ratio at birth was 102 males per 100 females. It is observed that the highest proportions of births occurred during the month of March followed by May and lastly September, which is an indication that most conceptions happen during the winter and December period.
The mother's age is useful when developing maternal and child health policies and planning for the provision of health care services. Births occurring to mothers aged 20-34 accounted for 72% of all births that occurred in 2019. Current registrations in 2019 were low amongst teenage mothers as well as those aged 50 years and older.
The most populous provinces in South Africa recorded the highest number of births that occurred in 2019. Of the 954 532 births that occurred in 2019, the highest proportion was registered in Gauteng at 22% followed closely by KwaZulu-Natal at 21%. Northern Cape had the lowest proportion at 2,4%.
For the year 2019, a proportion of 80% births complied with the regulation of registration within 30 days of birth. Provincially, North West and Free State had the highest proportion of births registered within 30 days after occurrence, both at 90%. The worst performing was KwaZulu-Natal with only 70% births registered within 30 days.