With sub-saharan populations set to explode over the next 40 years, how does South Africa’s growth prospects compare? South Africa’s population is forecast to stagnate at around the current popluation of 50-55m. If property prices are partly a function of supply and demand, there is certainly no extra demand in terms of people in South Africa on the way. However there may well be a demand for better quality housing, that could push prices up where there is currently a shortage.
This is really the only hope for South Africa property. However, this is effectively the “high road” to house price growth because it requires outcompeting others rather than relying on organic population growth, it takes greater personal, business and government discipline. Labour efficiency will have to be improved from its currently uncompetitive nature, skills developed more aggressively and the country will need to align itself to servicing the needs of surrounding faster growth countries well to ensure our own economic growth and prosperity.
Below are some excerpts from the Economist.
South Africa is not listed as one of the 49 fastest growing populations. Our population is set to stabilise at ± 50 million for the next 20 years. Population sizes remain the same when there are 2.2 births per fertile female. In South Africa the figure is 2.3 births per fertile female. The average in Europe is 1.7. (Economist).
Africa’s populations look set to soar by 2100
ON MAY 3rd, the United Nations produced its two-yearly update of the world’s population, which includes projections. The numbers show small tweaks since 2008. The global population is likely to reach 7 billion in October 2011, not spring 2012. And it may still be rising in 2100 past 10 billion, rather than being flat by then. But the most dramatic changes are national, not global. America’s population, now 310m, is likely to rise to 400m in 2050 and 478m in 2100. China’s is forecast to fall by 400m between now and 2100. Russia’s population is now 142m; Afghanistan’s slightly more than a fifth of that; Niger’s barely a tenth. But by 2100, Afghanistan is forecast to have the same population as Russia (111m) and Niger will be larger. Such forecasts need to be taken with a bucketload of salt: tiny shifts in today’s birth rate extrapolated over 90 years produce huge changes. But the general picture is probably right. Sub-Saharan Africa’s current population, at 856m, is little more than Europe’s and a fifth of Asia’s. By 2050 it could be almost three times Europe’s and by 2100 might even be three-quarters of the size of Asia. By any measure, Africa is by far the fastest-growing continent.