What we know about Internet users in South Africa

Effective Measure has released its February 2018 Internet demographics statistics for South Africa.

Effective Measure is the official traffic measurement partner of the IAB South Africa, and provides accurate traffic and demographics statistics for South Africa’s top websites.

In February, Effective Measure performed 285,000 demographics surveys on South African Internet users.

The survey data shows there is an almost even male and female split when looking at the gender of Internet users in South Africa.

It also shows that most local Internet users are below the age of 35, and mainly reside in cities and large towns.

The table below provides an overview of the results of the Effective Measure February 2017 demographics survey.

South Africa’s Internet Population
Gender Percentage
Male 50.94%
Female 49.06%
Age Percentage
15-19 10.06%
20-24 22.77%
25-34 32.94%
35-44 16.89%
45-49 6.37%
50-54 3.06%
55-64 4.73%
65+ 3.18%
Size of the community you live in Percentage
Metro (major city 250,000+) 28.01%
City/large Town (40,000 – 249,999) 40.23%
Small town villages (500 – 39,999) 24.53%
Settlement/Rural (under 500) 7.24%
Highest level of education Percentage
No school or some primary 2.22%
Some high school 14.98%
Matric 40.58%
Technikon diploma / Artisan certificate 23.27%
University degree 18.96%
Current work status Percentage
Student / scholar 10.68%
Work full time / self employed 46.68%
Work part time 10.31%
Retired 3.92%
Not working 11.59%
Unemployed 16.83%
Province you reside in Percentage
Eastern Cape 7.53%
Free State 3.97%
Gauteng 38.73%
KZN 16.68%
Limpopo 7.88%
Mpumalanga 6.42%
North West 4.27%
Northern Cape 1.57%
Western Cape 12.95%
Metro you live in Percentage
Cape Town 12.74%
Greater Johannesburg 16.82%
East Rand 10.05%
West Rand 2.91%
Soweto 4.77%
Vaal 1.36%
Pretoria 14.43%
Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage 4.90%
East London 2.21%
Durban 10.65%
Pietermaritzburg 1.05%
Bloemfontein 2.70%
Kimberley 0.22%
eMalahleni/Witbank 1.10%
Other 14.09%
Device you are accessing the Internet from Percentage
Desktop personal computer 9.37%
Work or personal laptop 16.47%
Mobile phone 62.77%
Tablet 7.46%
Other device 1.94%
Do not know 1.98%
Connection are you accessing the Internet from Percentage
Dial-up 4.97%
ADSL 36.58%
Mobile data 26.78%
Fibre 12.81%
Do not know 18.87%
What do you regularly use the Internet for?  Percentage
Search 81.21%
Email 68.15%
Social networking 53.61%
Instant messaging 47.90%
Banking 41.44%
Check the weather 36.86%
Download apps 34.16%
Read newspaper or magazine online 30.07%
Read news online 28.85%
Music downloads 28.49%
Use maps 28.07%
Access listing sites 27.41%
Travel bookings 22.32%
Access classified advertising websites 22.11%
Stream Videos online 19.09%
Entertainment bookings 18.44%
Purchase goods or services 18.20%
Make calls on the Internet 17.74%
Play games 17.60%
Stream TV programmes online 12.93%
Other Internet activities not mentioned previously 11.77%
Listen to radio 11.40%
Subscribe to receive content or services 9.82%
Access auction websites 9.70%
Download a podcast 6.20%
Share trading 4.20%
Dating 3.94%
Gambling 2.23%

Now read: The websites which rule South Africa’s Internet

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What we know about Internet users in South Africa