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Afghanistan Demographics Profile

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Population37,466,414 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Afghan(s)

adjective: Afghan
Ethnic groupsPashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, other (includes smaller numbers of Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, Pashai, and Kyrghyz) (2015)

note: current statistical data on the sensitive subject of ethnicity in Afghanistan are not available, and ethnicity data from small samples of respondents to opinion polls are not a reliable alternative; Afghanistan's 2004 constitution recognizes 14 ethnic groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, and Pashai
LanguagesAfghan Persian or Dari (official) 78% (Dari functions as the lingua franca), Pashto (official) 50%, Uzbek 10%, English 5%, Turkmen 2%, Urdu 2%, Pashayi 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi 1%, other <1% (2017 est.)

major-language sample(s):

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The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note 1: data represent most widely spoken languages; shares sum to more than 100% because there is much bilingualism in the country and because respondents were allowed to select more than one language

note 2: the Turkic languages Uzbek and Turkmen, as well as Balochi, Pashayi, Nuristani, and Pamiri are the third official languages in areas where the majority speaks them

ReligionsMuslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 40.62% (male 7,562,703/female 7,321,646)

15-24 years: 21.26% (male 3,960,044/female 3,828,670)

25-54 years: 31.44% (male 5,858,675/female 5,661,887)

55-64 years: 4.01% (male 724,597/female 744,910)

65 years and over: 2.68% (male 451,852/female 528,831) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 88.8

youth dependency ratio: 75.3

elderly dependency ratio: 4.8

potential support ratio: 21 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.5 years

male: 19.4 years

female: 19.5 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate2.34% (2021 est.)
Birth rate36.08 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate12.57 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionpopulations tend to cluster in the foothills and periphery of the rugged Hindu Kush range; smaller groups are found in many of the country's interior valleys; in general, the east is more densely settled, while the south is sparsely populated
Urbanizationurban population: 26.3% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 3.34% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population4.336 million KABUL (capital) (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.9 years (2015 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49
Maternal mortality rate638 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 106.75 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 115.21 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 97.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 53.25 years

male: 51.73 years

female: 54.85 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate4.72 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate18.9% (2018)

note:  percent of women aged 12-49
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 95.9% of population

rural: 61.4% of population

total: 70.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.2% of population

rural: 38.6% of population

total: 38.6% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures9.4% (2018)
Physicians density0.28 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density0.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 83.6% of population

rural: 43% of population

total: 53.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 16.4% of population

rural: 57% of population

total: 46.8% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate<.1% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS12,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<1,000 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: Crimea-Congo hemorrhagic fever, malaria
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.5% (2016)
Food insecuritysevere localized food insecurity: due to civil conflict, population displacement, and economic slowdown - the food security situation worsened in recent months due to the impact of COVID-19 as informal labor opportunities and remittances declined; between November 2020 and March 2021, about 13.15 million people were estimated to be in severe acute food insecurity and to require urgent humanitarian assistance, including 8.52 million people in "Crisis" and 4.3 million people in "Emergency"; the food security of the vulnerable populations, including IDPs and the urban poor, is likely to deteriorate as curfews and restrictions on movements to contain the COVID-19 outbreak limit the employment opportunities for casual laborers (2021)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight19.1% (2018)
Education expenditures4.1% of GDP (2017)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 43%

male: 55.5%

female: 29.8% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 10 years

male: 13 years

female: 8 years (2018)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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