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According to Patrick’s proprietary model, South Africa will have moderate economic growth between 2010 and 2050. The population is expected to grow (which is better than the situation in Europe, Russia or Japan) but only by 13%. Because consumer spending accounts for some 60% of gross domestic product (GDP), expected population growth in South Africa is an effective way to predict economic expansion (or contraction). By comparison, the American population is expected to grow by 29% and the entire world population is expected to grow by 34% during the same time period.

South Africa Projected GDP Growth

South Africa will also have its fair share of political volatility and social unrest during the coming years. The population is young (highly correlated with social unrest) and the slow economic growth will fuel their discontent. The young people (who are most likely to protest) are underemployed and financially frustrated, and they will voice their frustrations at perceived inequalities in South Africa.

South Africa Political Volatility

Life expectancy in South Africa is extremely low. The only country with a lower life expectancy (among all the countries studied with this model) is Nigeria, also in Africa. The median age is also very low, driven by the “youth bulge” (or baby boom) currently playing out. Normally, a youth bulge results in accelerated population growth but that is not the case in South Africa. Population growth of just 13% is much lower than you would expect given the age profile. The reason for the relative youth bulge is because of the low life expectancy. People die at a very young age, on average.

South Africa currently has a youth bulge and relatively few older retired citizens. That’s good news for a public resource allocation perspective because entitlement programs have fewer citizens to support. But those relative proportion of older people (aged 65+) actually becomes more pronounced over time. That’s good news fiscally but also reflects stagnant social development in South Africa relative to the rest of the world. In other words, life expectancy is not advancing the way it is elsewhere.

Patrick is an award-winning author and keynote speaker who can speak about demographic trends affecting South Africa at conferences and business events in Cape Town, Johannesburg or other South African destinations.

 
DISCLAIMER: Projected results are NOT guaranteed. The forecasts for South Africa above were calculated based on projected population data obtained from the World Bank website. The economic forecast used this demographic data along with adjusters for net exports, relative age distribution and per capita income projections. The political volatility forecast used the same demographic data along with adjusters for youth population percentage, projected economic growth and public government debt level. Please see the model methodology for more details.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger maintains a video blog entitled “Strategic Business Insights” and adds new videos on a regular basis. Some of the videos are ‘macro’ covering topics like global business trends and geopolitical dynamics. Others are ‘micro’ covering communication skills and your mental mindset. Access them here:
 

 
All of the countries covered by the economic forecasting model are ranked below. They are each linked to the country’s respective page, so please feel free to explore other countries you might be interested in.
 

Nigeria
India
Egypt
China
Saudi Arabia
Pakistan
Colombia
Australia
UAE
Turkey
Argentina
South Africa
Canada
USA
Brazil
UK
Russia
France
Germany
Spain
Greece
Italy
Japan
Pakistan
Egypt
South Africa
Colombia
Brazil
Turkey
India
Saudi Arabia
Argentina
Nigeria
USA
Japan
France
UK
China
Greece
Canada
UAE
Australia
Italy
Russia
Spain
Germany

 
Whether you agree with these forecasts or not, please leave your comments below for future readers. Thank you for visiting this page.