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With its more than six million people, the Eastern Cape has the third-largest provincial population, living on about 169 600km² of land.
The language spoken by most is IsiXhosa, followed by Afrikaans and English. The province is home to two of South Africa’s post-apartheid President namely Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki.

It is one of the poorest provinces in the country with half of its population between 15 and 65, compared with the national average of 58.3%. 43% of the province's population is under the age of 15. 55% of the population is functionally urbanised but only a third live in official towns.

eastern_cape