Main Place


Quick Fact
  • 1,271,628

  • 355,331

  • 9,3%

  • 55%

  • 93,1%

  • 91,6%

Soweto derives its name from the first two letters of each word in the phrase 'South-Western Townships' (ie, So-We-To). In June 1976, mass protests erupted in Soweto over the apartheid government's plans to teach black school children in Afrikaans. On 16 June police opened fire on 10 000 marching students. Hector Pieterson, a 12 year old, was one of the first to die. A photograph taken by Sam Nzima of the dying Hector Pieterson was published worldwide, becoming an iconic image representing the events of that day. June 16 is now celebrated in South Africa as Youth Day, and the Organisation of African Unity has proclaimed the day as the International Day of the African Child. (GPS coordinates: 26.2439 S, 27.8421 E).

Character(s) left.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) monitors the quality of the information available on this website and updates the information regularly. However, neither Stats SA nor the Stats SA Website Department (StatsOnline) guarantees, or accepts legal liability whatsoever arising from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material contained on this website or on any linked site.

Key Statistics 2011

Total population1,271,628
Young (0-14)24,7%
Working Age (15-64)71%
Elderly (65+)4,2%
Dependency ratio40,8
Sex ratio98,5
Population density6357 persons/km2
No schooling aged 20+3,1%
Higher education aged 20+9,3%
Matric aged 20+38,3%
Number of households355,331
Average household size3,4
Female headed households40,3%
Formal dwellings84,2%
Housing owned/paying off43,2%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage91,6%
Weekly refuse removal96,5%
Piped water inside dwelling55%
Electricity for lighting93,1%

Place names

City of Johannesburg Municipality