Structure Indicator

Locating and measuring the rate of urban change

Where is urban growth occurring and what is the rate of change? What is the total number of dwellings in an area, and how are they classified?

Urban Indicator is a spatial dataset that describes residential settlement patterns. The dataset consists of essentially a point-based dwelling unit count, with associated information attributes. Several non-spatial, spreadsheet-based datasets are available as alternate and/or additional derived data products.

The primary objective of Urban Indicator is to provide an up-to-date dataset, capable of monitoring and quantifying residential growth in the major South African metropolitan areas. The dataset is therefore dynamic, with improvements continually being added to its content with each new edition. Each version is independent of the previous dataset, but contains previously released growth indicator data in the latest format, to facilitate base-line change detection and the monitoring of applications.

The data is ideal for:

  • identifying growth patterns and trends,
  • supporting population studies,
  • retail location planning,
  • marketing and advertising and
  • monitoring of urban expansion and densification.

The dataset compliments additional 3rd party datasets such as Census2, allowing further value-addition modelling applications to be completed such as the stratification of a demographic within an area where a high growth rate has occurred.


Urban Indicator can be used to calculate the following:

  • Population change rates
  • Areas of decline or growth
  • Population distribution
  • Population density
  • Changes in the type of housing
  • Urban densification
  • Number of residential dwellings per suburb, etc.
  • Quantification of urban densification
  • Quantification of urban growth on the periphery
  • Dwelling type classification
  • Growth assessment (%) on a yearly basis
  • Dwelling density per hectare
  • Highlighting high growth areas


Coverage is provided for the following areas:

  • Benoni (Ekurhuleni)
  • Bloemfontein (Mangaung)
  • Cape Town
  • Durban (eThekwini)
  • Johannesburg
  • Kempton Park (Ekurhuleni)
  • Krugersdorp (Mogale City)
  • Pietermaritzburg (The Msunduzi)
  • Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay)
  • Potchefstroom
  • Pretoria (City of Tshwane)
  • Vanderbijlpark (Emfuleni)

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