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Comparison South Africa, UK and USA


Society and People

South Africa USA United Kingdom
Population 49,004,031 (July 2011 est.) 313,232,044 (July 2011 est.) 62,698,362 (July 2011 est.)
Abolition of the slavery 1833 (was decided by the Brits) 1865 (after the American Civil War 1861 – 1865)

Ethnic groups black African 79%,white 9.6%,colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% white 79.96%,black 12.85%,Asian 4.43%,

Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%,

native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%,

two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)

white (of which English 83.6%,Scottish 8.6%,Welsh 4.9%,

Northern Irish 2.9%) 92.1%,

black 2%,

Indian 1.8%,

Pakistani 1.3%,

mixed 1.2%,

other 1.6%

(2001 census)

 

Birth rate 19.48 births/1,000 populationcountry comparison to the world: 3 13.83 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 148   12.29 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 161  
Death rate 17.09 deaths/1,000 populationcountry comparison to the world: 3 8.38 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 89 9.33 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 64  
Religions Protestant 36.6% (Zionist Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%,Methodist 6.8%,Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%),

Catholic 7.1%,

Muslim 1.5%,

other Christian 36%, other 2.3%,

unspecified 1.4%,

none 15.1%

(2001 census)

 

Protestant 51.3%,Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%,other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%,

Buddhist 0.7%,

Muslim 0.6%,

other or unspecified 2.5%,

unaffiliated 12.1%,

none 4%

(2007 est.)

Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 71.6%,Muslim 2.7%,Hindu 1%,

other 1.6%,

unspecified or none 23.1%

(2001 census)

 

Life expectancy at birth 49,33 yearscountry comparison to the world: 215 total population: 78.37 yearscountry comparison to the world: 50 total population: 80.05 yearscountry comparison to the world: 28  
Maternal mortality rate 410 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)country comparison to the world: 35 24 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)country comparison to the world: 121 12 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)country comparison tothe world: 141

 

Infant mortality rate total: 43.2 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 58 total: 6.06 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 175 total: 4.62 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 189  
Drinking water Source urban: 99% of populationrural: 78% of populationtotal: 91% of population

 

urban: 100% of populationrural: 94% of populationtotal: 99% of population

 

urban: 100% of populationrural: 100% of populationtotal: 100% of population (2008)

 

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate 17,8% 0.6% (2009 est.) 0.2% (2009 est.)
People living with HIV 5,6 million (2008) 1,2 million 85,000 (2009 est.)
HIV deaths 310,000 (2009 est.) 17,000 (2009 est.) fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 86.4%male: 87%

female: 85.7% (2003 est.)

 

definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 99%male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)

 

definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schoolingtotal population: 99%male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)

 

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 total: 48.2%country comparison to the world: 3 male: 44.6%

female: 52.5%

 

total: 17.6%country comparison to the world: 66 male: 20.1%

female: 14.9% (2009)

 

total: 18.9%country comparison to the world: 63 male: 21.7%

female: 15.6% (2009)

 

 

 

Geography

South Africa USA United Kingdom
Area total: 1,219,090 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 25  

and: 1,214,470 sq km

water: 4,620 sq km

 

total: 9,826,675 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 3 land: 9,161,966 sq km

water: 664,709 sq km

note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia

 

total: 243,610 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 80 land: 241,930 sq km

water: 1,680 sq km

 

Land boundaries total: 4,862 kmborder countries: Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km

 

total: 12,034 kmborder countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km

 

total: 360 kmborder countries: Ireland 360 km

 

Climate mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast
Terrain vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast
Natural Resources vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timbernote:the US has the world’s largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world’s total  coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land
Coastline 2,798 km 19,924 km 12,429 km
Highest Point Njesuthi 3,408 m Mount McKinley 6,194 m Ben Nevis 1,343 m
Natural hazards prolonged droughtsvolcanism: the volcano forming Marion Island in the Prince Edward Islands, which last erupted in 2004, is South Africa’s only active volcano  tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development winter windstorms; floods

 

Government

South Africa USA United Kingdom
Country name Republic of South Africa United States of America United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Government type Republic Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm
Capital Pretoria (administrative capital) note: Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)

 

Washington, DC London
Administration divisions 9 provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North-West, Western Cape 50 states and 1 district:Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming  England: 27 two-tier counties, 32 London boroughs and 1 City of London or Greater London, 36 metropolitan districts, 56 unitary authorities (including 4 single-tier counties*)
Independence 31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State); 31 May 1961 (republic declared); 27 April 1994 (majority rule) 4 July 1776 (declared); 3 September 1783 (recognized by Great Britain) 12 April 1927 (Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act establishes current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland); notable earlier dates: 927 (minor English kingdoms united); 3 March 1284 (enactment of the Statute of Rhuddlan uniting England and Wales); 1536 (Act of Union formally incorporates England and Wales); 1 May 1707 (Acts of Union formally unite England and Scotland as Great Britain); 1 January 1801 (Acts of Union formally unite Great Britain and Ireland as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland); 6 December 1921 (Anglo-Irish Treaty formalizes partition of Ireland; six counties remain part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland)
Legal System mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and customary law common law system based on English common law at the federal level; state legal systems based on common law except Louisiana, which is based on Napoleonic civil code; judicial review of legislative acts common law system; has nonbinding judicial review of Acts of Parliament under the Human Rights Act of 1998
Constitution 10 December 1996; note – certified by the Constitutional Court 4 December 1996; was signed by then President MANDELA 10 December 1996; and entered into effect 4 February 1997 unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
Suffrage 18 years 18 years 18 years
Executive Branch Chief of state:President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Deputy President Kgalema MOTLANTHE (since 11 May 2009); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government 

Head of government: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Deputy President Kgalema MOTLANTHE (since 11 May 2009)

Cabinet:

Cabinet appointed by the president

 

Elections:

president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 May 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

 

Election results:

Jacob ZUMA elected president; National Assembly vote – Jacob ZUMA 277, Mvume DANDALA 47, other 76

 

Chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of governmentHead of government: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)

 

Cabinet:

Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval

 

Elections:

president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held on 6 November 2012)

 

Election results: Barack H. OBAMA elected president; percent of popular vote – Barack H. OBAMA 52.4%, John MCCAIN 46.3%, other 1.3%;

 

Chief of state:Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948) 

Head of government: Prime Minister David CAMERON (since 11 May 2010)

 

Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the prime minister

 

Elections:

the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually the prime minister

 

Legislative Branch bicameral Parliament -National Council of Provinces (90 seats; 10 members elected by each of the nine provincial legislatures for five-year terms; has special powers to protect regional interests, including the safeguarding of cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities)National Assembly (400 seats; members elected by popular vote under a system of proportional representation to serve five-year terms)

 

Elections:

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces – last held on 22 April 2009 (next to be held in April 2014)

 

bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats, 2 members elected from each state by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the House ofRepresentatives (435 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms) 

Elections:

Senate – last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012); House of Representatives – last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012)

 

Election results:

Senate – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – Democratic Party 51, Republican Party 47, independent 2; House of Representatives – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – Democratic Party 192, Republican Party 243

 

bicameral Parliament consists of House of Lords (741 seats; consisting of approximately 625 life peers, 91 hereditary peers, and 25 clergy – as of 15 December 2010) and House of Commons (650 seats since 2010 elections; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)Elections:

House of Lords – no elections (note – in 1999, as provided by the House of Lords Act, elections were held in the House of Lords to determine the 92 hereditary peers who would remain there; elections are held only as vacancies in the hereditary peerage arise); House of Commons – last held on 6 May 2010 (next to be held by June 2015)

 

Election results:

House of Commons – percent of vote by party – Conservative 36.1%, Labor 29%, Liberal Democrats 23%, other 11.9%; seats by party – Conservative 305, Labor 258, Liberal Democrat 57, other 30

 

Judical Branch Constitutional Court; Supreme Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate Courts Supreme Court (nine justices; nominated by the president and confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate; appointed to serve for life); United States Courts of Appeal; United States District Courts; State and County Courts Supreme Court of the UK (established in October 2009 taking over appellate jurisdiction formerly vested in the House of Lords); Senior Courts of England and Wales (comprising the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice, and the Crown Courts); Court of Judicature (Northern Ireland); Scotland’s Court of Session and High Court of the Justiciary
National Symbol Springbok, Antelope Bald eagle Lion (Britain in general); lion (England); lion, unicorn (Scotland); dragon (Wales); harp (Northern Ireland)

 

 

Communication

South Africa USA United Kingdom
Internet Users 4,42 million 245 million (2009) 33.32 million (2010)
Telephone- Main lines in use 4.225 million (2010) 151 million (2010) 80.799 million (2010)
Cell phones- Main lines in use 279 million (2010) 50,373 million (2010) 51.444 million (2009)

 

 

 

Transportation

South Africa USA United Kingdom
Airports 578 (2010) 15,079 (2010) 505 (2010)
Pipelines condensate 11 km; gas 908 km; oil 980 km; refined products 1,382 km (2010) petroleum products 244,620 km; natural gas 548,665 km (2010) condensate 8 km; gas 14,071 km; liquid petroleum gas 59 km; oil 595 km; refined products 4,907 km (2010)
Railways total: 20,192 km total: 224,620 km total: 16,454 km
Roadways total: 362,099 km total: 6,506,204 kmcountry comparison to the world: 1   total: 394,428 km
Ports and Terminals Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay Cargo ports (tonnage): Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Plaquemines, Tampa, Texas Citycontainer ports (TEUs): Los Angeles (7,849,985), Long Beach (6,350,125), New York/New Jersey (5,265,058), Savannah (2,616,126), Oakland (2,236,244), Hampton Roads (2,083,278) (2008)cruise departure ports (passengers): Miami (2,032,000), Port Everglades (1,277,000), Port Canaveral (1,189,000), Seattle (430,000), Long Beach (415,000) (2009)

oil terminals: LOOP terminal, Haymark terminal

 

Dover, Felixstowe, Immingham, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Teesport (England); Forth Ports (Scotland); Milford Haven (Wales)

 

 

Military

South Africa USA United Kingdom
Military Branches South African National Defense Force (SANDF): South African Army, South African Navy (SAN), South African Air Force (SAAF), Joint Operations Command, Military Intelligence, South African Military Health Services (2009) United States Armed Forces: US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard; note – Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy (2011) Army, Royal Navy (includes Royal Marines), Royal Air Force (2010)
Military service age and obligation 18 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2007) 18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); service obligation 8 years, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines) (2010) 16-33 years of age (officers 17-28) for voluntary military service (with parental consent under 18); women serve in military services, but are excluded from ground combat positions and some naval postings; as of October 2009, women comprised 12.1% of officers and 9% of enlisted personnel in the regular forces; must be citizen of the UK, Commonwealth, or Republic of Ireland; reservists serve a minimum of 3 years, to age 45 or 55; 16 years of age for voluntary military service by Nepalese citizens in the Brigade of Gurkhas; 16-34 years of age for voluntary military service by Papua New Guinean citizens (2009)