In 2018, a total number of 1 009 065 births were registered with the Department of Home Affairs. These included 927 113 births which occurred and were registered in 2018 as well as 81 952 births that occurred in earlier years but were only registered in 2018. The completeness of birth registration was estimated at 89,2% in 2018. 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 2018, 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 for all the years followed by September which is an indication that most conceptions happen during the winter season and December respectively.
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 74% of all births that occurred in 2018. Current registrations in 2018 were low amongst teenage mothers as well as those aged 55 years and older.
The most populous provinces in South Africa recorded the highest number of births that occurred in 2018. Of the 927 115 births that occurred in 2018, a highest proportion was registered in Gauteng at 20, 9% followed closely by KwaZulu-Natal at 20,4%. Northern Cape had the lowest proportion at 2,6%.
For the year 2018 in South Africa, a proportion of 87% births complied with the registration within 30 days of birth legislation. Provincially, Free State and North West had the highest proportion of births registered within 30 days after occurrence at 94% and 93% respectively. The worst performing was KwaZulu-Natal with only 75% births registered within 30 days.