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AIDS Pandemic Slows Population Growth In South Africa

Declining fertility levels and rising AIDS deaths have resulted in declining population growth in South Africa.//

In a report published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), statistician-general, Pali Lehohla, has said that declining fertility levels from 2.86 children per woman in 2001 to 2.73 children this year as well as the impact of the HIV and AIDS pandemic had resulted in decreased population growth.

The mid-year estimates of Stats SA put the population at 47.4-million of which 24.1 million are women. Annual population growth was at 1.06% last year and this year compared to 1.25% between 2001 and 20002, and the female population growth rate was noted to be slightly lower than the male population growth rate.

Because of the destruction caused by the AIDS pandemic, life expectancy at birth was estimated at 50.7 years -- 49 for men and 53 for women. About 5.2 million or 11% of the population are infected with HIV. The HIV prevalence rate among adults has risen from 8.5% in 2001 to 10.9% in 2006.

Lehohla said "the median time lapse from becoming HIV-positive until death due to Aids in this release is estimated to be 10 years for both males and females."

There was slight difference in the figures of estimated people living with HIV between UN Aids agency and South Africa’s Health department, which Stats SA attributed to different modeling assumptions being used by these agencies.

Declining Fertility rates has been attributed to the economic transition in the country, which is in line with the trends of other countries going through a similar transition.


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