Over three million children are currently orphaned in South Africa, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).
"Just under one fifth (19.6%) of all children in South Africa, representing approximately 3.6 million individuals, are orphaned,' said Stats SA in its social profile of vulnerable groups in South Africa, 2002-2010 report.
The report is released annually. It analyses changes in the situation of children, the youth, the elderly and women over time.
According to the report, KwaZulu-Natal has the largest percentage of orphans at 26.9% followed by the Eastern Cape at 24.7% and the Free State at 21.9%.
The report has found that black African children are most likely to be orphaned than children from any other population group.
"More than one fifth (22%) of black African children are classified as orphans compared to the 9.6% Coloured, 4.2% Indian/Asian and 2.5% White children,' noted the report.
Stats SA attributed this to the large number of paternal orphans in three provinces that are considered to be migration-sending provinces namely KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
Children and youth comprise respectively 40% and 37% of South Africas total population with older persons comprising less than 8% of the population, although this group is growing rapidly.
The data shows that 4.4% of children are double orphans (without both parents), 11.6% paternal orphans, 3.5% maternal orphans and that the remaining 80.4% of children are not orphaned.
Only 33.5% of children live with both parents while 23.9% live with neither parents and 3.3% live with their fathers and 39.3% live only with their mother.
Women who head 37.5% of all households data has shown that the percentage increases with age peaking at 54.3% for women older than 70-years. More dependents are found in female-headed households.
Approximately 62.1% of children live in households with a per capita income of less than R570 per month. - BuaNews