Pretoria — South Africa's population has swelled from 40.5 million in 1996 to 51.7 million in 2011, results of Census 2011 have shown.
In the previous Census conducted in 2001, South Africa's population stood at 44.8 million.
"The Census results show that the population of South Africa increased by about four million from 1996 to 2001. In the ten years since the last census about seven million people have been added to the population," said Statistics South Africa of its Census 2011 results on Tuesday.
The average age of the population was 25.
South Africa's third national census since the dawn of democracy in 1994 was conducted from 10 October to 31 October 2011. The Census provides policy makers about the population's access to services and where it resides among other things.
According to results, more than three quarters of the country's population is black African. The population of black Africans slightly increased from the last census to 79.2%. The country's Indian/ Asian population remained constant at 2.5% in the 2011 results. The results show that the percentage of the white population declined slightly from 9.6% in the 2001 census to 8.7% in 2011.
Gauteng in the latest census held the lion's share of the population at 23.7% followed by the Western Cape at 11.3%. The Northern Cape had the lowest share of the population at 2.2%.
South Africa's population was found to be predominantly female with an average of the population consisting of 48.2% males and 51.7% females.
IsiZulu was the predominant language spoken at home in the country at 22.7% in the 2011 census slightly down from 23.8% in Census 2001. Xhosa was 16%. Less than 1% of the population indicated that they used sign language.
The census found that Gauteng reported the highest percentage of non-citizenship at 7.1% followed by North West at 3.5% and the Western Cape by 3.2%.
According to the census, more men died due to unnatural causes compared to women.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal had the highest number of orphans followed by the Eastern Cape and Gauteng. The Northern Cape and Western Cape had the lowest rates.
The census found that 77.6% of South Africans lived in formal dwellings while 13.6% lived in informal dwellings.
Over the course of the census, 14.6 million doors across the country were knocked on with 4.7% of those found to have been vacant. There were a total 103 000 enumeration areas.