Gauteng residents are more likely to rent than own their homes — Census 2022

The City of Johannesburg

The City of Johannesburg

Published Oct 11, 2023


Gauteng residents were most likely to rent their homes, rather than own them, key data released in the 2022 Census shows.

This was revealed in data released by the Census 2022 on Tuesday, which also showed that at least four out of every 10 homes in South Africa were paid off, while a quarter of people lived rent free on properties around the country.

Gauteng had the lowest share of fully paid off households, with 31.3 percent, while it had the highest proportion of people living in rented households — 36.6 percent.

There was a marginal increase in home ownership data of 41.6 percent in 2022, increasing slightly from the 41.3 percent recorded in both the 2001 and 2011 Census.

The data showed there were 17.8 million households in South Africa, almost double from the 9.1 million households recorded in 1996.

A breakdown of the 17.8 million households in SA. Source: Census2022/StatsSA

The impact of load shedding was also evident in how Gauteng residents cooked, with gas stove usage rocketing from 119,000 in 2011 to over 1.6 million by 2022.

From the 5.3 million households in Gauteng, 4.7 million households had a flushing toilet and five million had access to water from their respective municipality.


Four out of every 10 households in the country were fully paid off, while the Gauteng province had the most people living in rented households and Limpopo had the least with 10 percent.

The 2022 rented household data included rentals from private individuals, social housing schemes and municipalities.

Gauteng also had 31.3 percent of people living in paid off houses, the lowest in the country, while in Limpopo the most people lived rent free, with 37.9 percent and the least amount of houses still under mortgage bond — with 2.9 percent.

Almost half — or 45.3 percent — of people in Limpopo lived in paid off houses.

Under one percent of people in the country did not know the status of the dwelling they lived in.

A snapshot of how tenure is secured in SA. Source: Census2022/StatsSA


With over 15 million people living in the province, Gauteng was the most populous province, with 5.5 million people between the ages of 15 to 34 accounting for a third of the population.

Gauteng’s 15 million residents also lived in 4.7 million formal houses from the total 5.3 million recorded households in the province.

Over 580,000 lived in informal dwellings or shacks, while just over 14,000 lived in traditional dwellings.

The City of Johannesburg had the most shacks with 179,000, followed by Tshwane with 173,000 and Ekurhuleni with 158,000 shacks.

Most people lived in formal dwellings.


The data also showed that the government had built or subsidised almost one in every three homes around the country, meaning just under six million households were government sponsored or subsidised through the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP).

The Census data showed that in the Northern Cape, two-fifths of households were RDP houses, with Gauteng and the Western Cape each accounting for about three out of every 10 households in those provinces.

Limpopo had the lowest ratio of RDP houses, with less than two out of every 10 houses being subsidised by the government.

Almost three out of every 10 homes in SA were RDP government sponsored households. Source: Census2022/StatsSA


The data also showed that average household sizes were on the decline, with Census 1996 data for South Africa showing the average home had 4.5 people per house, while this was now down to 3.5 people per household in 2022 data.

The data showed that people living in Gauteng had the lowest people in the household, with an average 2.8 people living in a household, while KZN had the most with 4.4 people per household.

Average household sizes are on the decline in South Africa. Source: Census2022/StatsSA


The Census 2022 data also showed that almost nine out of every 10 households in the country were formal dwellings — which were defined as formal brick/concrete houses, flats, apartments, cluster houses, townhouses, backyard dwellings or cottages.

In 1996, 65 percent of households were defined as formal dwelling, while informal dwellings such as shacks, had halved from 16.2 percent in 1996 to 8.1 percent in 2022.


Almost half of households in South Africa, the Census data showed, were women-headed, with KZN, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and the Free State having marginally higher stats attributed to migration for work.

The split between women and men headed households, was almost even.