Children Count - Abantwana Babalulekile, Statistics on children in South Africa Children's Institute - University of Cape Town

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Housing and Services

Missing Mum
S'lindile, 10 years old
Indicators for Housing and Services

Children living in formal, informal and traditional housing

Dwelling types can be divided into three broad categories: formal, informal and 'traditional'. Children who live in formal housing are more likely to have access to basic services and other social infrastructure provided to formal residential areas.


Children living in overcrowded households

Children are defined as living in overcrowded dwellings when there is a ratio of more than two people per room (excluding bathrooms but including kitchen and living room). Thus, a dwelling with two bedrooms, a kitchen and sitting-room would be counted as overcrowded if there were more than eight household members.


Children living in urban and rural areas

In 2014, more than half of children lived in urban areas. Three quarters of all rural children in South Africa lived in three provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.


Children with access to drinking water on site

Clean water is essential for human survival, but a third of children still do not have drinking water on site. There has been little improvement in children's access to water over the last six years.


Children living in households with basic sanitation on site

Adequate sanitation includes flush toilets and ventilated pit latrines that dispose of waste safely and are within or near a house. Inadequate sanitation includes pit latrines that are not ventilated, chemical toilets, bucket toilets, or no toilets at all.


Children living in households with an electricity connection

Access to electricity in the physical structure of a house is important for a range of reasons. Where there is no electricity, families use other fuels for lighting, heating and cooking, and these can pose health hazards.


2011 Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town
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