South Africa
South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources.

country south-africa

Quick Facts

Number of AIDS Orphans: 2,100,000 (2015)
United Nations Program for HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS Adult Prevalence Rate: 19.2% (2015)

People living with HIV/AIDS: 6,984,600 (2015)

HIV/AIDS Deaths: 182,400 (2015)

Unemployment Rate: 25.4% (2015)

Children under 5 years of age Underweight: 8.7% (2008)


South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world; and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. However, growth has not been strong enough to lower South Africa's high unemployment rate. Daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era, especially poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative, but pragmatic, focusing on targeting inflation and liberalizing trade as a means to increased job growth and household income.

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  • Learn More about South Africa

    After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments, but were finally defeated in the Boer War 1899-1902. The resulting Union of South Africa operated under a policy of apartheid—the separate development of the races. The 1990s brought an end to apartheid politically and ushered in black majority rule.