South African Early Childhood Review 2016

Indicators to support and monitor delivery of an essential package of services for children under 6 years of age.

South African Early Childhood Review 2016

Welcome to the Children Count

On this site you will find information about children in South Africa: their living conditions, care arrangements, health status, and access to schools and other services. These child-centred statistics are based on the best available national data. The website includes down-loadable fact sheets on 40 indicators, as well as an interactive tool that enables you to view tables and graphs for different years and provinces.

Children Count - Abantwana Bablulekile is an ongoing data and advocacy project of the Children's Institute. To find out more about the work of the Children's Institute, follow the link on the menu bar.

Enjoy your visit!


Over 18 million children live in South Africa, making up a third of the population. It is important to understand where children live and the circumstances in which they live because this helps to inform the direction of policy responses and interventions.

Income and Social GrantsIncome and Social Grants

Children in South Africa bear a huge burden of poverty because they are disproportionately represented in households situated in poor areas where there is little employment. Children have a constitutional right to social assistance, and over 12 million children receive social grants. Without these grants, child poverty rates would be even more severe.

Housing and ServicesHousing and Services

The housing context determines the environment in which children grow up, and the social infrastructure available to them. In addition to providing shelter and 'home', housing is inextricably linked to safety and security, access to municipal services, social infrastructure including schools and health services, and economic opportunity.


Education is essential for children to develop into their full potential. It is considered so important that human rights treaties prescribe that governments must provide free compulsory primary education for children. This is a minimum core obligation of governments in terms of international law.


The South African Constitution provides that everyone has the right to have access to health-care services, including reproductive health care. In addition, children have extra protection in that "every child has the right to basic health care services".


Nutrition is particularly important for children because they are still growing and developing. Parents and families have the primary duty to make sure that their children have food. The government has a duty to support parents in feeding their children if they are unable to do so.