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Burkina Faso Demographics Profile

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Population21,382,659 (July 2021 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
Nationalitynoun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)

adjective: Burkinabe
Ethnic groupsMossi 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.)
LanguagesFrench (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
ReligionsMuslim 63.2%, Roman Catholic 24.6%, Protestant 6.9%, traditional/animist 4.2%, none 0.7%, unspecified 0.4% (2017-18 est.)
Age structure0-14 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 ratiostotal dependency ratio: 87.9

youth dependency ratio: 83.4

elderly dependency ratio: 4.5

potential support ratio: 22.1 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 17.9 years

male: 17 years

female: 18.7 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate2.58% (2021 est.)
Birth rate34.34 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate7.92 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distribution

Most of the population is located in the center and south. Nearly one-third of the population lives in cities. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou (Ouaga), with a population of 1.8 million as shown in this population distribution map


Urbanizationurban population: 31.2% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.75% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population2.915 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital), 1.020 million Bobo-Dioulasso (2021)
Sex ratioat 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: 0.96 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.4 years (2010 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate320 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 50.71 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 55.05 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 46.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 63.06 years

male: 61.28 years

female: 64.89 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate4.39 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate30.1% (2020)
Drinking water sourceimproved: 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.)
Health expenditures5.6% (2018)
Physicians density0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density0.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: 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.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.7% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS97,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,300 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree 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
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.6% (2016)
Food insecuritysevere localized food insecurity: due to civil insecurity in the north - according to the latest analysis, about 2.87 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in the June-August 2021; in Centre-Nord and Sahel regions, insecurity continues to cause population displacements, further deteriorating the food security situation (2021)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight16.4% (2019)
Education expenditures5.4% of GDP (2018)
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.


Literacydefinition: 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)

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

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