Indian or Asian Population map: Grahamstown 2011

This is the last of the four maps based on data in the 2011 Population Census and it plots the dispersal of Grahamstown’s small number of Indians or Asians (total 484).

The distribution of Grahamstown’s Indian or Asian population shows a wide spread through the former white areas.  Their group area was located two kilometres almost due north of their current centre of gravity and there is still a presence around the big loop which the railway makes.  Clearly, however, there has been a move away from the former group area and back towards the town’s business district and Rhodes University.  This isn’t altogether unexpected as the move to a group area occurred towards the end of apartheid and was strongly resisted.

White Population map: Grahamstown 2011

With 5657 people the white population was the third largest group in Grahamstown recorded in the 2011 Population Census.  The map of their distribution shows that the centre of gravity (weighted mean centre) lies approximately one kilometre north west of the Cathedral.  Most of the white population live in the northern suburbs and western side of Grahamstown with fewer numbers to the south.  What is interesting to me is the scattering of white people living in the former townships: the areas that house the vast majority of the black population.  There are some stories to be found that would be fascinating to hear.

Coloured Population map: Grahamstown 2011

The distribution of the coloured population (total 7615) is the second map in this series showing Grahamstown’s racial distributions in 2011.  The main concentration is still immediately to the west of the townships, especially to the northern side of the urban area.  This isn’t surprising as the coloured group area was located there: north of the railway station as a buffer between the black population (to the east) and white population (to the west) – the second map shows the former group areas as they were in the mid 1980s.

What is interesting has been the spread of the coloured population south from their apartheid group area down Lavender Valley in the direction of Fort England and also westwards into residential areas formerly reserved for whites .  Their centre of gravity has been pulled slightly westwards to just beyond the old group area boundary as a consequence.  There are also two concentrations located further west at the military base and Rhodes University.  Lastly, there is a small concentration located in the new townships built to the north east of the old coloured group area.

Black African Population map: Grahamstown 2011

This is the first of a number of posts mapping racial data and shows Grahamstown’s Black African population using information extracted from the 2011 Census.

The most detailed geographical statistics from the Population Census consist of information for very small areas (the so called small area layer).  There are over 50,000 small areas in South Africa, almost 150 for Makana Municipality and 115 cover Grahamstown’s urban area.  They range in population size from a few hundred people to approximately 2000.

The first map clearly shows that the Black African population (total 53,054) is mostly distributed in the Eastern side of the city.  The stars on the map show the centre of gravity (weighted mean centre) for the four population groups.  The centre for the Black African population is still located well within the bounds of the township areas that date back to apartheid times and earlier.  The old apartheid divisions are shown on the second map.  The Black African population has expanded North and South East to new housing developments.  Interestingly there is a further expansion South West through the central business district to Rhodes University.

Population Census 2011: Distribution of Population Groups in the Eastern Cape

My earlier post concerning the recently released 2011 Population Census looked at the age-sex pyramids for Makana Municipality.  This week more data was made available on the Statssa website which has enabled me to take a first look at the distribution of population groups in the Eastern Cape Province.  Once again the data is recorded at the level of the municipality or metropole and that is what the following maps use as their spatial frame.

The first map shows how the 6.56 million people are distributed across the Province.  Immediately prominent are the thirty-six percent of the Province’s population which are found in the metropoles of Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) and Buffalo City (East London), with King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality (Umtata).  The long established east-west axis of high to low rural population is also apparent.

The black African population of 5.66 million is by far the largest population group and, not surprisingly, the geographical distribution is similar to the total population.  The eastern half of the Province was the former homeland of the Transkei and this is where the rural black African population is still concentrated. In the three largely urban districts of King Sabata Dalindyebo, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay the proportion of black Africans diminishes as you move westwards across the Province.

Almost exactly half of  the coloured population is concentrated in Nelson Mandela Bay. When it comes to the largely rural municipalities then their distribution is very much a mirror image of the black Africa population  They are concentrated in the western areas with numbers that diminish as you move eastwards.

The white population is overwhelmingly found in the two metropoles, along the coast and in the western half of the Province.

If we look back at the past two censuses the Eastern Cape has experienced a slow rate of growth relative to other provinces. In 1996 there were 6.15 million people, in 2001 it was 6.28 and now it is 6.56 million.  Overall 2011’s population is 4.5% larger.  Only the Free State has recorded a smaller increase of 1.4% whilst the Western Cape has increased by 28.7% and Gauteng by 33.7%. These figures seem to indicate out-migration from the Eastern Cape.

Population Census 2011: Makana Municipality’s Age-Sex data

There has been a good deal of public discussion about the recently released 2011 population census and it is now possible to start to see some of the local level information. I downloaded the spreadsheet of age-sex information for all of the country’s municipalities from the website of Statistics South Africa.  Then it was a relatively simple process to construct the age-sex pyramid for EC104: Makana Municipality – it is something that we do with our GOG102 Introduction to Global Development students though we have been using the data from 2001 census up to now.

Here’s the result.

Three things stand out:

  1. The low number of females in the 30-34 age group-presumably due to the differential impact of HIV-AIDs on women as opposed to men.  This trend was reported in the BBC’s website earlier this year.
  2. The large numbers of 20-24 year olds, especially women, who are presumably students at Rhodes University. We know that women are in the majority in the student body.
  3. Lastly, and most interestingly, are the increasing number of children aged under nine. This seems to indicate that there is a reversal in the Total Fertility Rate which was thought to be declining in South Africa.  You can see this in the 2001 age-sex pyramid for Grahamstown below which is tapered at the bottom.

To my mind the really interesting feature is the number of young children at the bottom of the pyramid – that is something requiring further examination.

If you are interested in Grahamstown there’s a nice selection of my Grahamstown pictures over at my online portal