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Comoros Demographics Profile

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Population864,335 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Comoran(s)

adjective: Comoran
Ethnic groupsAntalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava
LanguagesArabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (official; a blend of Swahili and Arabic) (Comorian)
ReligionsSunni Muslim 98%, other (including Shia Muslim, Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Protestant) 2%

note: Sunni Islam is the state religion
Age structure0-14 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 ratiostotal dependency ratio: 75.5

youth dependency ratio: 67.4

elderly dependency ratio: 5.4

potential support ratio: 18.6 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 20.9 years

male: 20.2 years

female: 21.5 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate1.41% (2021 est.)
Birth rate22.98 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate6.61 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-2.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionthe capital city of Maroni, located on the western side of the island of Grande Comore, is the country's largest city; however, of the three islands that comprise Comoros, it is Anjouan that is the most densely populated as shown in this population distribution map
Urbanizationurban population: 29.6% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.97% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population62,000 MORONI (capital) (2018)
Sex ratioat 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: 0.94 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth23 years (2012 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49
Maternal mortality rate273 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 58.21 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 68.34 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 47.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 66.9 years

male: 64.65 years

female: 69.21 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate2.86 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate19.4% (2012)
Drinking water sourceimproved: 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.)
Health expenditures4.6% (2018)
Physicians density0.27 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density2.2 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: 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.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate<.1% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS<200 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<100 (2020 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate7.8% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight16.9% (2012)
Education expenditures2.5% of GDP (2015)
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.

Literacydefinition: 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)

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