South Africa



AFRIKANERS … 93
CAPE COLOREDS … 100
ENGLISH … 105
XHOSA … 110
ZULU … 117

The people of South Africa are called South Africans. The population has a complex ethnic makeup. For most of the twentieth century, government policy required the separation of racial communities by a system called apartheid. Although apartheid was ended in 1991, the division of the population into racial communities remained. Blacks form the largest segment of the population, constituting almost 75 percent of the total. The black population includes a large number of groups. Among the largest are the Xhosa numbering 5.6 million, the Zulu (5.3 million), and the Sotho (4.2 million). To learn more about the Sotho, see the chapter on Lesotho in Volume 5. Whites account for about 14 percent of the total population. About 60 percent of these are Afrikaners, and 40 percent are English. Cape Coloreds (persons of mixed race) represent about 11 percent of the total population.

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