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How many foreign-born people are there in South Africa?

Close to 2.2 million foreign-born people lived in South Africa at the time of the 2011 Census. The 2016 Community Survey contains a lower estimate of 1.6 million people. (Note: This survey is the subject of a review by the national statistics agency.)

In October 2018, Statistics South Africa estimated that there were about 4 million foreign-born people in the country at the time. This estimate was based on census data as well as the mid-year population estimates.

The number is similar to a 2019 United Nations estimate of 4.2 million.


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