Journal of Biosocial Science 35 (3):413-431 (2003)

The final estimate of South Africa's population as of October 1996 from the first post-apartheid census by Statistics South Africa was lower (40·6 million) than expected (42 million). The expectation of a total population of 42 million was largely based on results of apartheid projections of South Africa's population. The results of the last apartheid census in South Africa in 1991 had been adjusted such that it was consistent with results modelling the population size of South Africa. The discrepancy between the final estimate of the 1996 census and that expected from the modelling described above, and the departure by Statistics South Africa from previous practice of adjusting the census results to be consistent with demographic models, has generated controversies regarding the accuracy of the final results from the 1996 census. This study re-examines levels and differential in fertility in South Africa from recent evidence in order to assess whether or not the fertility inputs in projections of South Africa's population during the apartheid era overestimated fertility
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DOI 10.1017/s0021932003004139
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