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South Africa vs the World: how do we rank for 2016?

By January 22, 2016July 25th,

South Africa vs the World: how do we rank for 2016?

January 22, 2016

Our view of the world is formed by our perceptions and our perceptions, in turn, are formed by our experiences. Consequently, we often hold a pretty warped view of the world. So it’s good to review the statistics every now and then to see where exactly we fit into the world and what our future prospects are.

We’ve aggregated some international statistics to see how South Africa ranks on an international scale for 2016.

Starting a business

South Africa is ranked 120th in the world for 2016. Our ranking has dropped seven places from 113th in 2015.

Getting electricity

Although our ranking is nothing to write home about, our 168th place in the world has remained constant from 2015.

Getting credit

It seems changes by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) has negatively affected people’s ability to get credit in South Africa. Our ranking has fallen seven places from 2015. We are currently listed 59th in the world.

Trading across borders

Good news for international businessmen and expats is that our ranking for trading across borders has remained unchained at 130th place.

Paying taxes

One positive about South Africans is that we seem to be quite disciplined when it comes to paying taxes. Although our ranking has fallen with one place since 2015, we are 20th in the world for paying taxes.

Ease of doing business

South Africa is currently ranked 73rd in the world for doing business, measured by regulatory quality and efficiency. Or ranking has dropped four places since 2015.

Tertiary education

Times higher education measured 800 universities in the world, based on their overall ranking, teaching, international outlook, industry income, research and citations. Out of these institutions, the University of Cape Town ranks 120th (and is among the top 10% of industry income), University of the Witwatersrand is ranked 201-250 for the respective categories, Stellenbosch is ranked 301-350, University of KwaZulu-Natal is ranked 401-500, University of Pretoria is ranked 501-600 and the University of South Africa is ranked 601-800.


Out of 60 countries surveyed by the U.S. News & World Report in collaboration with BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, South Africa is ranked 21st for comfort of retirement.


South Africa is ranked 25th in the world, based on five measurements – fun, scenery, climate, friendliness and sexiness (indeed, it seems you can measure countries in sexiness nowadays).


South Africa’s national men’s football team stands at 74th in the world and our female football team is ranked 56th in the world by FIFA world rankings. Our men’s hockey team is currently ranked 15th in the world. Our ICC Test Championship ranking for the Proteas ranks us no.1 in the world, while we are ranked 2nd for ICC ODI Championships, 5th for ICC Twenty20 Championships and our female cricket team is ranked 6th in the world. The South African national rugby team is ranked 3rd in the world.

Global competitiveness

The World Economic Forum has ranked South Africa 49th out of 140 economies in its 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Report. This ranking is up from 56th last year. We’re ranked 12th for financial market development, 29th for market size, 33rd for business sophistication and 38th for innovation

Crime by city

Unfortunately, South Africa has retained our place as one of the most crime-riddled countries in the world. Ranked no.1 in the world is Pietermaritzburg, with Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban ranked 5th, 6th and 7th in the world respectively. Port Elizabeth and Cape Town take the 19th and 20th place in the world’s crime ranking by city.

Cost of living

South Africa is ranked 104th out of 122 countries for our cost of living. Rankings are calculated based on the Consumer Price Index, Rent index, Groceries index, Restaurant Price index and Local Purchasing Power index.


Although we’ve made some headway with regards to public transport, especially in Cape Town, South Africa is ranked 5th in the world on the Traffic index, with our CO2 emissions from traffic putting us in second place out of 58 countries behind Egypt .

Health Care

Out of 65 countries ranked on the Global Health Care index, South Africa clocks in at 49th place.

Property investment

Out of 276 best cities listed on the Property Investment index, Cape Town falls in 230th place overall and 191st for affordability, with Durban in 242nd place overall and 228th for affordability, Johannesburg in 245th place overall and 232nd for affordability and Pretoria ranked 271st in the world overall and 248th for affordability.


South Africa is ranked 53rd in the world for pollution out of 99 countries listed on the 2016 Pollution index.

So there you have it. Some stats to compare, share and mull over in your mind.


  1. Numbeo
  3. Doing Business
  4. ESPN Cricinfo
  5. FIH
  6. FIFA
  7. World Rugby
  8. US News

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