Welcome to Children Count

On this site you will find information about children in South Africa: their living conditions, care arrangements, poverty rates and access to schools, health and other services. These child-centred statistics are based on the best available nationally representative data. You can view graphs and tables for different years to see the trends. Data can be disaggregated by province, age group, sex, race or income quintile. Scroll down below the graphs to read the commentary and technical notes.

Children Count is an ongoing data and advocacy project of the Children's Institute at the University of Cape Town. To find out more about the work of the Children's Institute, follow the link on the menu bar.

Enjoy your visit!

DemographyDemography

Nearly 19 million children live in South Africa. It is important to understand where children live and the circumstances in which they live because this helps to guide the direction of policy responses and interventions.

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Income poverty & grantsIncome poverty & grants

The Constitution of South Africa, section 27(1)(c), says that "everyone has the right to have access to social security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependents, appropriate social assistance". Over 12 million children in SA receive social grants each month.

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Housing & servicesHousing & services

The housing context determines the environment in which children grow up, and the social infrastructure available to them. In addition to providing shelter and 'home', housing is inextricably linked to safety and security, access to municipal services, social infrastructure including schools and health services, and economic opportunity.

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EducationEducation

Education is essential for children to develop into their full potential. It is considered so important that human rights treaties prescribe that governments must provide free compulsory primary education for children. This is a minimum core obligation of governments in terms of international law.

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HealthHealth

The South African Constitution provides that everyone has the right to have access to health-care services, including reproductive health care. In addition, children have extra protection in that "every child has the right to basic health care services".

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NutritionNutrition

Nutrition is particularly important for children because they are still growing and developing. Parents and families have the primary duty to make sure that their children have food. The government has a duty to support parents in feeding their children if they are unable to do so.

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Child abuse & protectionChild abuse & protection

This domain is coming soon.

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