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In the mid-1990s, an estimated 7.7 million South Africans lived in informal settlements: a fifth of the country's population.The number has grown rapidly in the post-apartheid era.

Geeta Nagar is a squatter village based beside the Indian Navy compound at Colaba.

Many buildings, particularly in the inner city of Johannesburg have also been occupied by squatters.

Property owners or government authorities can usually evict squatters after following certain legal procedures including requesting a court order.

During the period of global recession and increased housing foreclosures in the late 2000s, squatting became far more prevalent in Western, developed nations.

In some cases, need-based and politically motivated squatting go together. Kesia Reeve, who specialises in housing research, squatting by necessity is in itself a political issue, therefore also a "statement" or rather a 'response' to the political system causing it.

However, some non-common law jurisdictions have laws similar to adverse possession.

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