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Cameroon Demographics Profile 2019

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25,640,965 (July 2018 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: 42.15% (male 5,445,142 /female 5,362,166)
15-24 years: 19.6% (male 2,524,031 /female 2,502,072)
25-54 years: 31.03% (male 4,001,963 /female 3,954,258)
55-64 years: 3.99% (male 499,101 /female 524,288)
65 years and over: 3.23% (male 384,845 /female 443,099) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 85.9 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 80 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 17 (2015 est.)
Median age
total: 18.6 years (2018 est.)
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.7 years
Population growth rate
2.54% (2018 est.)
Birth rate
35 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate
9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate
-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
urban population: 57% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 3.63% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
3.822 million YAOUNDE (capital), 3.536 million Douala, (2019)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth
19.7 years (2011 est.)

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

Infant mortality rate
total: 49.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 53.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.2 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 59.4 years (2018 est.)
male: 58 years
female: 60.9 years
Total fertility rate
4.58 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
34.4% (2014)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
3.6% (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
540,000 (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
18,000 (2018 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 94.8% of population
rural: 52.7% of population
total: 75.6% of population
unimproved: urban: 5.2% of population
rural: 47.3% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 61.8% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 26.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 45.8% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 38.2% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 73.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 54.2% of population (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2019)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2019)
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever (2019)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2019)
animal contact diseases: rabies (2019)
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis (2019)
noun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian
Ethnic groups
Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%
Roman Catholic 38.4%, Protestant 26.3%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 20.9%, animist 5.6%, other 1%, non-believer 3.2% (2005 est.)
Demographic profile

Cameroon has a large youth population, with more than 60% of the populace under the age of 25. Fertility is falling but remains at a high level, especially among poor, rural, and uneducated women, in part because of inadequate access to contraception. Life expectancy remains low at about 55 years due to the prevalence of HIV and AIDs and an elevated maternal mortality rate, which has remained high since 1990. Cameroon, particularly the northern region, is vulnerable to food insecurity largely because of government mismanagement, corruption, high production costs, inadequate infrastructure, and natural disasters. Despite economic growth in some regions, poverty is on the rise, and is most prevalent in rural areas, which are especially affected by a shortage of jobs, declining incomes, poor school and health care infrastructure, and a lack of clean water and sanitation. Underinvestment in social safety nets and ineffective public financial management also contribute to Cameroon’s high rate of poverty.

International migration has been driven by unemployment (including fewer government jobs), poverty, the search for educational opportunities, and corruption. The US and Europe are preferred destinations, but, with tighter immigration restrictions in these countries, young Cameroonians are increasingly turning to neighboring states, such as Gabon and Nigeria, South Africa, other parts of Africa, and the Near and Far East. Cameroon’s limited resources make it dependent on UN support to host more than 320,000 refugees and asylum seekers as of September 2017. These refugees and asylum seekers are primarily from the Central African Republic and more recently Nigeria.

24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 75%
male: 81.2%
female: 68.9% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 13 years
male: 14 years
female: 12 years (2016)
Education expenditures
3.1% of GDP (2017)
Maternal mortality rate
529 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
14.8% (2014)
Health expenditures
4.7% (2016)
Physicians density
0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density
1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
11.4% (2016)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on December 7, 2019

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