The Western Cape is a province of South Africa, situated on the south-western coast of the country. It is the fourth largest of the nine provinces with an area of 129,449 square kilometres (49,981 sq mi), and the third most populated, with an estimated 6.5 million inhabitants in 2017 . About two-thirds of these inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Cape Town, which is also the provincial capital. The Western Cape was created in 1994 from part of the former Cape Province.
The Western Cape’s total GDP for 2008 was R268bn, making the province the joint 2nd largest contributor to the country’s total GDP, at 14%. It also has one of the fastest growing economies in the country, growing at 4% in 2008 and is expected to grow by 3.2% in 2011. At 20% the province has a substantially lower unemployment rate than the national average standing at 23% in 2009. The province’s Gini coefficient of 0.63 is lower than South Africa’s Gini coefficient of 0.7 making it more equal then the rest of the country whilst still being extremely high and unequal by international standards. The Western Cape’s Human Development Index is the highest in South Africa at 0.7708 compared to the South African average of 0.6675 in 2003.
The biggest sector in the Western Cape’s economy is the financial, business services and realestate sectors contributing approximately R77 billion in 2008. Manufacturing was the second largest contributor valued at R43.7 billion in 2008 with the agricultural sector being the fastest growing at 10.6% in the same year. High-tech industries, international call centres, fashion design, advertising and TV production are niche industries rapidly gaining in importance. The city of Cape Town is ranked as the most entrepreneurial city in South Africa with Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity being 190% greater than South Africa’s national average.
The 2011 Census recorded the population of the Western Cape as 5,822,734 people living in 1,634,000 households. 63 As the province covers an area of 129,462 square kilometres (49,986 sq mi), the population density was 45.0 inhabitants per square kilometre (117/sq mi) and the household density 12.6 per square kilometre (33/sq mi).
49% of the people of the Western Cape described themselves as “Coloured”, while 33% described themselves as “Black African”, 17% as “White”, and 1% as “Indian or Asian”. Afrikaans is the plurality language, spoken as the first language of 50% of the province’s population. IsiXhosa is the first language of 25% of the population, while English is the first language of 20%.
Roughly 16% (894,289 people) of the Western Cape’s population in 2011 were born in the Eastern Cape, 3% (167,524) in Gauteng and 1% (61,945) in KwaZulu-Natal. People born outside of South Africa amounted to 4% of the province’s population or 260,952 people.
The age distribution of the province was as follows: 25.1% were under the age of 15, 18.3% from 15 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 5.9% who are 65 years of age or older.:28 The median age is 28 years.:20 For every 100 women there are 96 men.
2.7% of residents aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 10.7% have had only some primary, 5.6% have completed primary school but gone no further, 38% have had some secondary education without finishing Grade 12, 28% have finished Grade 12 but gone no further, and 14% have higher education beyond the secondary level. Overall, 43% of residents have completed high school.
90% of households in the province have a flush toilet and 90% have refuse removed by the local council at least once a week. 75% of households have piped tap water inside the dwelling, while a further 13% have piped water on their property; 11% receive piped water at a community tap, while 1% have no access to piped water. One in seven people live in an informal dwelling.
86.9% of households use electricity for cooking,:84 and 93% use it for lighting. 89% of households have a cellphone and 31% have a landline telephone, while 86% own a television, 81% own a refrigerator, and 34% own a computer. 44% of households have access to the Internet.
The average annual household income was R143,460, the second-highest in the country after Gauteng. As of September 2012, 69% of the population aged 15–64 are economically active, and of these 25% are unemployed. Overall, 52% of the working-age population are employed. Around 2 million people in the Western Cape labour market (those aged 16 to 64) are employed, 1.3 million are not economically active, 552,733 are unemployed with an additional 122,753 who are discouraged work seekers who want to work but have given up looking for it.
According to research conducted by Plus94, the Western Cape is the least racist province in South Africa.