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S. Africa’s Population Growth Rate Slows, HIV Prevalence Rises

South Africa’s population growth rate has slowed for at least the 10th consecutive year, with the number of people in the country rising by 1.1 percent to 50.59 million people by mid-2011 from mid-2010, Statistics South Africa said on its website today.

The growth rate slowed from 1.12 percent the year earlier, the Pretoria-based agency said.

The prevalence of the number of people in the country infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS has risen to 10.6 percent from 10.5 percent in 2010 and a total of 5.38 million people are infected with the virus, the agency said. The country has an estimated 2.01 million “AIDS orphans” and 380,500 people are expected to be infected with HIV this year, it said.

Life expectancy rose to 57.1 from 56.5 last year, the agency said.

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