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Burkina Faso Demographics Profile

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20,835,401 (July 2020 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure
0-14 years: 43.58% (male 4,606,350/female 4,473,951)
15-24 years: 20.33% (male 2,121,012/female 2,114,213)
25-54 years: 29.36% (male 2,850,621/female 3,265,926)
55-64 years: 3.57% (male 321,417/female 423,016)
65 years and over: 3.16% (male 284,838/female 374,057) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 87.9
youth dependency ratio: 83.4
elderly dependency ratio: 4.5
potential support ratio: 22.1 (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 17.9 years
male: 17 years
female: 18.7 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2.66% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
35.1 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
urban population: 30.6% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.99% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
2.780 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital), 972,000 Bobo-Dioulasso (2020)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 95.6 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth
19.4 years (2010 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Infant mortality rate
total: 52 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 56.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 47.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 62.7 years
male: 60.9 years
female: 64.5 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
4.51 children born/woman (2020 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
32.5% (2018/19)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.8% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
100,000 (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
3,100 (2019 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 94.9% of population
rural: 67.9% of population
total: 75.6% of population
unimproved: urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 32.1% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 88.2% of population
rural: 30.2% of population
total: 46.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 11.8% of population
rural: 69.8% of population
total: 53.1% of population (2017 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe
Ethnic groups
Mossi 52%, Fulani 8.4%, Gurma 7%, Bobo 4.9%, Gurunsi 4.6%, Senufo 4.5%, Bissa 3.7%, Lobi 2.4%, Dagara 2.4%, Tuareg/Bella 1.9%, Dioula 0.8%, unspecified/no answer 0.3%, other 7.2% (2010 est.)
Muslim 61.5%, Roman Catholic 23.3%, traditional/animist 7.8%, Protestant 6.5%, other/no answer 0.2%, none 0.7% (2010 est.)
Demographic profile

Burkina Faso has a young age structure – the result of declining mortality combined with steady high fertility – and continues to experience rapid population growth, which is putting increasing pressure on the country’s limited arable land. More than 65% of the population is under the age of 25, and the population is growing at 3% annually. Mortality rates, especially those of infants and children, have decreased because of improved health care, hygiene, and sanitation, but women continue to have an average of almost 6 children. Even if fertility were substantially reduced, today’s large cohort entering their reproductive years would sustain high population growth for the foreseeable future. Only about a third of the population is literate and unemployment is widespread, dampening the economic prospects of Burkina Faso’s large working-age population.

Migration has traditionally been a way of life for Burkinabe, with seasonal migration being replaced by stints of up to two years abroad. Cote d’Ivoire remains the top destination, although it has experienced periods of internal conflict. Under French colonization, Burkina Faso became a main labor source for agricultural and factory work in Cote d’Ivoire. Burkinabe also migrated to Ghana, Mali, and Senegal for work between the world wars. Burkina Faso attracts migrants from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Mali, who often share common ethnic backgrounds with the Burkinabe. Despite its food shortages and high poverty rate, Burkina Faso has become a destination for refugees in recent years and hosts about 33,500 Malians as of May 2017.

French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 41.2%
male: 50.1%
female: 32.7% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2019)
Education expenditures
4.2% of GDP (2015)
Maternal mortality rate
320 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
17.7% (2018)
Health expenditures
6.9% (2017)
Physicians density
0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
0.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
5.6% (2016)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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