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Central African Republic Demographics Profile

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Population5,357,984 (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: Central African(s)

adjective: Central African
Ethnic groupsBaya 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% (2003 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
ReligionsChristian 89%, Muslim 9%, folk religion 1%, unaffiliated 1% (2020 est.)

note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
Age structure0-14 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 ratiostotal dependency ratio: 86.4

youth dependency ratio: 81.1

elderly dependency ratio: 5.2

potential support ratio: 19.2 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 20 years

male: 19.7 years

female: 20.3 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate1.79% (2021 est.)
Birth rate33.2 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate12.01 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-3.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionmajority of residents live in the western and central areas of the country, especially in and around the capital of Bangui as shown in this population distribution map
Urbanizationurban population: 42.6% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 3.32% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population910,000 BANGUI (capital) (2021)
Sex ratioat 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: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Maternal mortality rate829 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 84.22 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 90.39 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 77.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 55.07 years

male: 53.74 years

female: 56.44 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate4.09 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate17.8% (2019)
Drinking water sourceimproved: 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.)
Health expenditures11% (2018)
Physicians density0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: 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.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate2.9% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS88,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,200 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree 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
Obesity - adult prevalence rate7.5% (2016)
Food insecurityexceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies: due to conflict and population displacements - ongoing conflicts and population displacements due to armed violence that followed the December 2020 elections, adding to the already high levels of civil insecurity, coupled with restrictive measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to continue affecting agricultural activities and limit farmers’ access to crop-growing areas and inputs, with a negative impact on 2021 crop production (2021)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight20.5% (2019)
Education expenditures1.2% of GDP (2011)
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.


Literacydefinition: 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)

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

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