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Comoros Demographics Profile

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846,281 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 36.68% (male 154,853/female 155,602)
15-24 years: 20.75% (male 85,208/female 90,422)
25-54 years: 33.99% (male 136,484/female 151,178)
55-64 years: 4.49% (male 17,237/female 20,781)
65 years and over: 4.08% (male 15,437/female 19,079) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 75.5
youth dependency ratio: 67.4
elderly dependency ratio: 5.4
potential support ratio: 18.6 (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 20.9 years
male: 20.2 years
female: 21.5 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
1.47% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
23.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
6.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-2.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
urban population: 29.4% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.87% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
62,000 MORONI (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 93.6 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth
24.6 years (2012 est.)

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

Infant mortality rate
total: 55 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 64.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 45.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 65.7 years
male: 63.3 years
female: 68.1 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
2.95 children born/woman (2020 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
19.4% (2012)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
<.1% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
<200 (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
<100 (2019 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 97.4% of population
rural: 88.5% of population
total: 91% of population
unimproved: urban: 2.6% of population
rural: 11.5% of population
total: 8.9% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 62.4% of population
rural: 43.6% of population
total: 49% of population
unimproved: urban: 37.6% of population
rural: 56.4% of population
total: 51% of population (2017 est.)
noun: Comoran(s)
adjective: Comoran
Ethnic groups
Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava
Sunni Muslim 98%, other (including Shia Muslim, Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Protestant) 2%

note: Sunni Islam is the state religion

Demographic profile

Comoros’ population is a melange of Arabs, Persians, Indonesians, Africans, and Indians, and the much smaller number of Europeans that settled on the islands between the 8th and 19th centuries, when they served as a regional trade hub. The Arab and Persian influence is most evident in the islands’ overwhelmingly Muslim majority – about 98% of Comorans are Sunni Muslims. The country is densely populated, averaging nearly 350 people per square mile, although this varies widely among the islands, with Anjouan being the most densely populated.

Given the large share of land dedicated to agriculture and Comoros’ growing population, habitable land is becoming increasingly crowded. The combination of increasing population pressure on limited land and resources, widespread poverty, and poor job prospects motivates thousands of Comorans each year to attempt to illegally migrate using small fishing boats to the neighboring island of Mayotte, which is a French territory. The majority of legal Comoran migration to France came after Comoros’ independence from France in 1975, with the flow peaking in the mid-1980s.

At least 150,000 to 200,000 people of Comoran citizenship or descent live abroad, mainly in France, where they have gone seeking a better quality of life, job opportunities, higher education (Comoros has no universities), advanced health care, and to finance elaborate traditional wedding ceremonies (aada). Remittances from the diaspora are an economic mainstay, in 2013 representing approximately 25% of Comoros’ GDP and significantly more than the value of its exports of goods and services (only 15% of GDP). Grand Comore, Comoros’ most populous island, is both the primary source of emigrants and the main recipient of remittances. Most remittances are spent on private consumption, but this often goes toward luxury goods and the aada and does not contribute to economic development or poverty reduction. Although the majority of the diaspora is now French-born with more distant ties to Comoros, it is unclear whether they will sustain the current level of remittances.

Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (official; a blend of Swahili and Arabic) (Comorian)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 58.8%
male: 64.6%
female: 53% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2014)
Education expenditures
2.5% of GDP (2015)
Maternal mortality rate
273 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
16.9% (2012)
Health expenditures
7.4% (2017)
Physicians density
0.27 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density
2.2 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
7.8% (2016)

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