Recorded live births, 2016


Media Release                                                                                                        28 September 2017


The Recorded live births, 2016 report released by Statistics South Africa today shows that a total of 969 415 births were registered in South Africa in 2016. This indicated a decline of 10,6% from the 1 084 511 birth registrations for 2015. Of the 969 415 births registered in 2016, 876 435 were current registrations (births that occurred in 2016) whereas 92 980 were late registrations (births for 2015 and earlier years). A majority of the current births registrations were for male children (442 301) while 434 134 were for females, resulting in a sex ratio of 102. Most births occurred to women aged 20−29 years old. No comparable or reliable information on fathers could be provided due to a high proportion of births registered (more than 60%) without details of fathers.

Overall, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal had the highest number of birth occurrences compared to other provinces. Relative to other months, the months of March and September had the highest number of birth occurrences implying increased conception in June and December.

Of the 969 415 births registered in 2016, 136 996 (13,9%) were born to mothers who were between the ages of 10 and 19 years old. A large number (783 322) of the births registered in 2016 occurred to mothers between the ages of 20 and 39 years; of these, 243 148 (31%) occurred to mothers within the 20−24 years age group. A total of 34 923 (3,6%) of births registered in 2016 were to mothers in the 40−54 years age group.

The most popular names for girls born and registered in 2016 were Precious, Princess and Amahle, respectively; while the most popular names amongst baby boys were Junior, Blessing and Gift. Most babies were born to the surnames Dlamini, Nkosi and Ndlovu respectively. The table below shows names parents gave to their children by province of birth, together with surnames they are born to:

Province Boys Girls Surname
Western Cape Junior Mia Jacobs
Eastern Cape Kungawo Iminathi Williams
Northern Cape Junior Grace Van Wyk
Free State Junior Precious Mokoena
KwaZulu-Natal Bandile Luthando Dlamini
North West Junior Amogelang Molefe
Gauteng Junior Precious Mokoena
Mpumalanga Blessing Princess Nkosi
Limpopo Junior Precious Baloyi


The full report is available on the Statistics South Africa website:


About the report

Statistics South Africa publishes the Recorded live births statistical release on an annual basis. This publication presents statistics on the number of registered births for 2016. The statistical release also provides information on trends in births that occurred during the period 1994 to 2015, and whether these are registered within a 30-day period as required by law. The release draws on data collected by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) through the civil registration system.


Issued by Statistics South Africa

Technical enquiries:

Ms Gwen Lehloenya

Acting Deputy Director-General: Population & Social Statistics

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Ramadimetja Matji

Acting Chief Director: Health and Vital Statistics

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Cell: 071 670 3272



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