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Extended coloured family with roots in Cape Town, Kimberley and Pretoria.
Total population

4,539,790 (2011; estimated)[1]

Regions with significant populations
South Africa (Western Cape and Northern Cape), Namibia, Zimbabwe
Afrikaans (75%) and English (25%)
Christian (90%), Muslim (<5%)
Related ethnic groups
Afrikaners, Cape Dutch, Cape Coloureds, Cape Malays, Khoikhoi, Xhosa, Indos, Saint Helenians
Coloured people as a proportion of the total population in South Africa.
     0–20%      20–40%      40–60%      60–80%      80–100%
Density of the Coloured population in South Africa.
     <1 /km²      1–3 /km²      3–10 /km²      10–30 /km²      30–100 /km²      100–300 /km²      300–1000 /km²      1000–3000 /km²      >3000 /km²

In South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswanan, and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured (Kleurlinge in Afrikaans) is used to refer to people of mixed European and Khoisan or Bantu ancestry.

They form the majority of the Northern Cape and Western Cape populations. Most Coloured speak Afrikaans as their first language, although there are some native English speakers. The majority of Coloureds living in Cape Town are able to speak both languages.

Because of South Africa's history of racial discrimination, many feel that the term coloured is derogatory. The official term is "Coloured people", but many Coloureds prefer to call themselves "Black", "Khoisan", or just "South African".


During apartheid, people were classified into four groups: White, Black, Coloured, and Asian. The Cape Malays, who are of Asian descent, were not classified as Asians, but as Coloureds.

Although they were discriminated upon by the government, many Coloureds and Asians got to enjoy certain rights during the apartheid era. For example, they did not have to carry around a passbook, had limited political representation, and were considered citizens of South Africa.