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Algeria Demographics Profile

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Population43,576,691 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Algerian(s)

adjective: Algerian
Ethnic groupsArab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

note: although almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arab), only a minority identify themselves as primarily Berber, about 15% of the total population; these people live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers and several other communities; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has officially recognized Berber languages and introduced them into public schools
LanguagesArabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber or Tamazight (official); dialects include Kabyle Berber (Taqbaylit), Shawiya Berber (Tacawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)

major-language sample(s):
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The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
ReligionsMuslim (official; predominantly Sunni) 99%, other (includes Christian and Jewish) <1% (2012 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 29.58% (male 6,509,490/female 6,201,450)

15-24 years: 13.93% (male 3,063,972/female 2,922,368)

25-54 years: 42.91% (male 9,345,997/female 9,091,558)

55-64 years: 7.41% (male 1,599,369/female 1,585,233)

65 years and over: 6.17% (male 1,252,084/female 1,401,357) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 60.1

youth dependency ratio: 49.3

elderly dependency ratio: 10.8

potential support ratio: 9.3 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 28.9 years

male: 28.6 years

female: 29.3 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate1.41% (2021 est.)
Birth rate19.24 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate4.32 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionthe vast majority of the populace is found in the extreme northern part of the country along the Mediterranean Coast as shown in this population distribution map
Urbanizationurban population: 74.3% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.99% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population2.809 million ALGIERS (capital), 910,000 Oran (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

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

55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Maternal mortality rate112 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 20.23 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 22.36 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 77.79 years

male: 76.32 years

female: 79.33 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate2.55 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate57.1% (2012/13)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 99.2% of population

rural: 97.4% of population

total: 98.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.8% of population

rural: 2.1% of population

total: 1.1% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures6.2% (2018)
Physicians density1.72 physicians/1,000 population (2018)
Hospital bed density1.9 beds/1,000 population (2015)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 96.9% of population

rural: 93.4% of population

total: 96% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.1% of population

rural: 6.6% of population

total: 4% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate<.1% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS18,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<200 (2020 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate27.4% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight2.7% (2018/19)
Education expendituresNA
Demographic profile

For the first two thirds of the 20th century, Algeria's high fertility rate caused its population to grow rapidly. However, about a decade after independence from France in 1962, the total fertility rate fell dramatically from 7 children per woman in the 1970s to about 2.4 in 2000, slowing Algeria's population growth rate by the late 1980s. The lower fertility rate was mainly the result of women's rising age at first marriage (virtually all Algerian children being born in wedlock) and to a lesser extent the wider use of contraceptives. Later marriages and a preference for smaller families are attributed to increases in women's education and participation in the labor market; higher unemployment; and a shortage of housing forcing multiple generations to live together. The average woman's age at first marriage increased from about 19 in the mid-1950s to 24 in the mid-1970s to 30.5 in the late 1990s.

Algeria's fertility rate experienced an unexpected upturn in the early 2000s, as the average woman's age at first marriage dropped slightly. The reversal in fertility could represent a temporary fluctuation in marriage age or, less likely, a decrease in the steady rate of contraceptive use.

Thousands of Algerian peasants - mainly Berber men from the Kabylia region - faced with land dispossession and economic hardship under French rule migrated temporarily to France to work in manufacturing and mining during the first half of the 20th century. This movement accelerated during World War I, when Algerians filled in for French factory workers or served as soldiers. In the years following independence, low-skilled Algerian workers and Algerians who had supported the French (known as Harkis) emigrated en masse to France. Tighter French immigration rules and Algiers' decision to cease managing labor migration to France in the 1970s limited legal emigration largely to family reunification.

Not until Algeria's civil war in the 1990s did the country again experience substantial outmigration. Many Algerians legally entered Tunisia without visas claiming to be tourists and then stayed as workers. Other Algerians headed to Europe seeking asylum, although France imposed restrictions. Sub-Saharan African migrants came to Algeria after its civil war to work in agriculture and mining. In the 2000s, a wave of educated Algerians went abroad seeking skilled jobs in a wider range of destinations, increasing their presence in North America and Spain. At the same time, legal foreign workers principally from China and Egypt came to work in Algeria's construction and oil sectors. Illegal migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Malians, Nigeriens, and Gambians, continue to come to Algeria in search of work or to use it as a stepping stone to Libya and Europe.

Since 1975, Algeria also has been the main recipient of Sahrawi refugees from the ongoing conflict in Western Sahara (today part of Morocco). More than 1000,000 Sahrawis are estimated to be living in five refugee camps in southwestern Algeria near Tindouf.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 81.4%

male: 87.4%

female: 75.3% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2011)

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

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