Distribution of population vs economic activity

Mosiane, Ngaka
Murray, Jennifer
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Gauteng City-Region Obervatory
The location of population in relation to economic activity in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) has been a subject of considerable interest from a number of researchers and institutions. This Map of the Month contributes to that body of work, highlighting a misalignment between where people live and where Gross Value Add (GVA) typically associated with urban development occurs. The map shows every ‘mesozone’ – equally sized polygons drawn by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – across the extended Gauteng City Region, using a radius of 175km from the centre of Johannesburg. The value of each mesozone is calculated by subtracting its share of the whole region’s population from its share of selected urban economic sectors. In green mesozones, the share of urban economic activity exceeds the share of population, while in red or orange mesozones, the share of population exceeds the share of the urban economy. The map draws attention to the edges of Gauteng’s metropolitan areas as sites with larger population shares than that of the economy (e.g. the red and orange shaded ‘mesozones’ in Soweto, Soshanguve, and KwaMhlanga). The opposite is true for the core of the GCR, which is characterised by high urban economic agglomeration compared to the people living there (e.g. the green shaded mesozones around Johannesburg and Pretoria).
Gauteng, population, economy
Mosiane, N., and Murray, J. (2021) 'Distribution of population vs economic activity' Gauteng City-Region Observatory, August 2021