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Central African Republic Demographics Profile

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5,990,855 (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: 39.49% (male 1,188,682/female 1,176,958)
15-24 years: 19.89% (male 598,567/female 593,075)
25-54 years: 32.95% (male 988,077/female 986,019)
55-64 years: 4.32% (male 123,895/female 134,829)
65 years and over: 3.35% (male 78,017/female 122,736) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 86.4
youth dependency ratio: 81.1
elderly dependency ratio: 5.2
potential support ratio: 19.2 (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 20 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20.3 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2.09% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
33.2 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
12.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
urban population: 42.2% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.52% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
889,000 BANGUI (capital) (2020)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 98.8 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 80.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 87.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 73.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 54.2 years
male: 52.7 years
female: 55.7 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
4.14 children born/woman (2020 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
15.2% (2010/11)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
3.6% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
100,000 (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
3,800 (2019 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 89.6% of population
rural: 54.4% of population
total: 68.5% of population
unimproved: urban: 10.4% of population
rural: 45.6% of population
total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 43.6% of population
rural: 7.2% of population
total: 21.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 56.4% of population
rural: 92.8% of population
total: 78.2% of population (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
noun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African
Ethnic groups
Baya 28.8%, Banda 22.9%, Mandjia 9.9%, Sara 7.9%, M'Baka-Bantu 7.9%, Arab-Fulani (Peul) 6%, Mbum 6%, Ngbanki 5.5%, Zande-Nzakara 3%, other Central African Republic ethnic groups 2%, non-Central African Republic ethnic groups .1%
Christian 89.5%, Muslim 8.5%, folk 1%, unaffiliated 1% (2010 est.)

note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority

Demographic profile

The Central African Republic’s (CAR) humanitarian crisis has worsened since a coup in March 2013. CAR’s high mortality rate and low life expectancy are attributed to elevated rates of preventable and treatable diseases (including malaria and malnutrition), an inadequate health care system, precarious food security, and armed conflict. Some of the worst mortality rates are in western CAR’s diamond mining region, which is impoverished because of government attempts to control the diamond trade and the fall in industrial diamond prices. To make matters worse, the government and international donors have reduced health funding in recent years. The CAR’s weak educational system and low literacy rate have also suffered as a result of the country’s ongoing conflict. Schools are closed, qualified teachers are scarce, infrastructure, funding, and supplies are lacking and subject to looting, and many students and teachers are displaced by violence.

Rampant poverty, human rights violations, unemployment, poor infrastructure, and a lack of security and stability have led to forced displacement internally and externally. Since the political crisis that resulted in CAR’s March 2013 coup began in December 2012, approximately 600,000 people have fled to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and other neighboring countries, while another estimated 600,000 are displaced internally as of October 2019. The UN has urged countries to refrain from repatriating CAR refugees amid the heightened lawlessness.

French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 37.4%
male: 49.5%
female: 25.8% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 7 years
male: 8 years
female: 6 years (2012)
Education expenditures
1.2% of GDP (2011)
Maternal mortality rate
829 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
20.8% (2018)
Health expenditures
5.8% (2017)
Physicians density
0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density
1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
7.5% (2016)

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