Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in South Africa instead of United States, you would:

Health

be 21.8% less likely to be obese


In United States, 36.2% of adults are obese. In South Africa, that number is 28.3% of people.

live 16.2 years less


In United States, the average life expectancy is 80 years (78 years for men, 82 years for women). In South Africa, that number is 64 years (62 years for men, 65 years for women).

Economy

make 77.3% less money


United States has a GDP per capita of $59,500, while in South Africa, the GDP per capita is $13,500.

be 6.3 times more likely to be unemployed


In United States, 4.4% of adults are unemployed. In South Africa, that number is 27.6%.

spend 13.6% more on taxes


United States has a top tax rate of 39.6%. In South Africa, the top tax rate is 45.0%.

Life

have 61.6% more children


In United States, there are approximately 12.5 babies per 1,000 people. In South Africa, there are 20.2 babies per 1,000 people.

be 9.9 times more likely to die during childbirth


In United States, approximately 14.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor. In South Africa, 138.0 women do.

be 5.3 times more likely to die during infancy


In United States, approximately 5.8 children die before they reach the age of one. In South Africa, on the other hand, 31.0 children do.

Basic Needs

be 15.0% less likely to have access to electricity


In United States, 100% of the population has electricity access. In South Africa, 85% of the population do.

be 29.1% less likely to have internet access


In United States, approximately 76.2% of the population has internet access. In South Africa, about 54.0% do.

Expenditures

spend 48.5% less on healthcare


United States spends 17.1% of its total GDP on healthcare. In South Africa, that number is 8.8% of GDP.

spend 18.0% more on education


United States spends 5.0% of its total GDP on education. South Africa spends 5.9% of total GDP on education.

Geography

see 86.0% less coastline


United States has a total of 19,924 km of coastline. In South Africa, that number is 2,798 km.

South Africa: At a glance

South Africa (sometimes abbreviated RSA) is a sovereign country in Africa, with a total land area of approximately 1,214,470 sq km. Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. 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 defeated in the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting, which has grown in recent years, came to a head in September 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI resigned, and Kgalema MOTLANTHE, the party's General-Secretary, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in April 2009. National presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 2014.

How big is South Africa compared to United States? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook, Internal Revenue Service, South African Revenue Service.

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