Media release: NW CS 2016

Media Release                                                                                        28 September 2016

For immediate release


North West Community Survey 2016 results

North West’s population increased slightly by 238 482 people between 2011 and 2016, from around 3,5 million in 2011 to 3,7 million in 2016, making it South Africa’s third smallest province in terms of population size. The youth account for just more than a third (36%) of the province’s population. A majority of North West’s population can be found in the Bojanala (1,7 million), followed by Ngaka Modiri Molema (889 108) and Dr Kenneth Kaunda (742 821). Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District has the smallest share of the province’s population with 459 358 persons. The number of households in the province has increased from 1,1 million in 2011 to 1,2 million in 2016.


About eight in every 10 residents (81,2%) of North West were born in the province, only about two in every 10 people (18,8%) in the province were born elsewhere. Of those born outside North West, a large number were born in Gauteng (198 966), followed by those who were born outside South Africa (122 284), Limpopo (94 656), Free State (88 371), Eastern Cape (87 652), Northern Cape (38 393) and Mpumalanga (38 208). KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape had the least numbers of people who emigrated to North West, with only 22 634 and 8 872 respectively. Between 2011 and 2016, North West experienced a net-migration of 159 135, which was a result of 540 900 people emigrating from the province and 700 035 moving to the province from elsewhere.


About eight in every 10 North West households (78,3%) reside in a formal structure whereas nearly a fifth stay in informal dwellings (18,4%). The province has the country’s third lowest proportion of households living in traditional housing at 1,9%. About a fifth of the households in North West have benefited from a government-subsidised dwelling, with 21% of households in the province reporting that they reside in a government-funded dwelling. A majority (56,8%) of dwellings in North West are owned and fully paid off, about two in every 10 households (18,1%) rent their dwellings, and nearly a tenth (9,9%) stay rent-free in houses they do not own. North West has the country’s second lowest proportion of households whose main dwellings are still mortgaged, with only 7,8% of households in the province still paying back the home loans for their main dwellings.

Access to basic services

About nine in every 10 households (86,1%) in North West have access to piped water. Nearly two thirds of North West households access water from either within their yards (39,8%) or in their dwellings (24%). About nine in every ten households (89%) in North West have access to electricity, up 46,3% from 42,7% in 1996. In 2011, 84% of North West households had access to electricity. The number of households with access to a flush/chemical toilet increased from 491 128 in 2011 to 607 980 in 2016.

Poverty headcount and hunger

The poverty headcount in North West has decreased from 9,2% in 2011 to 8,8% in 2016. Decreases in the poverty headcount were recorded in all district municipalities between 2011 and 2016, except in Bojanala, where it increased from 8,2% in 2011 to 8,8% in 2016. The province’s lowest poverty headcount was recorded in Dr Kenneth Kaunda District (4,9%).

About 25,1% (312 324) of households in North West reported that they had ran out of money to buy food in the 12 months before the survey. Nearly a fifth (17,4% or 216 088) of households in the province skipped a meal over the same period.



Note: Full reports, interactive maps and other Community Survey 2016 (CS 2016) products can be accessed on the CS 2016 website:


Issued by Statistics South Africa


For technical enquiries contact:
Ms Kefiloe Masiteng

Deputy Director-General: Population & Social Statistics

Tel: (012) 310 4663



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Ms Lesedi Dibakwane

Director: Media Relations

Tel: (012) 310 8578

Cell: 082 805 7088