The midyear population estimates published by Stats SA reveal many encouraging demographic trends, but they also underline the urgent need to increase the rate of job creation and economic growth.

On the plus side, fertility rates are down, mortality rates have improved across the board, life expectancy is well up and the number of Aids-related deaths has declined significantly over the past decade, thanks to the progressive rollout of antiretroviral therapy.

On the other hand, the SA economy needs to grow at the same pace as the population – 1.5% a year — to maintain per-capita income levels. …..more