Central African Republic vs. South Sudan


Central African RepublicSouth Sudan
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

10,561,244 (July 2020 est.)
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.)
0-14 years: 41.58% (male 2,238,534/female 2,152,685)
15-24 years: 21.28% (male 1,153,108/female 1,094,568)
25-54 years: 30.67% (male 1,662,409/female 1,577,062)
55-64 years: 3.93% (male 228,875/female 186,571)
65 years and over: 2.53% (male 153,502/female 113,930) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 20 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20.3 years (2020 est.)
total: 18.6 years
male: 18.9 years
female: 18.3 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2.09% (2020 est.)
2.7% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
33.2 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
38.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
12.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
11.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
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.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.23 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.35 male(s)/female
total population: 106.1 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.)
total: 69.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 63.5 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 population: 55.5 years
male: 54.6 years
female: 56.5 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
4.14 children born/woman (2020 est.)
5.54 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
3.6% (2019 est.)
2.4% (2019 est.)
noun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African
noun: South Sudanese (singular and plural)
adjective: South Sudanese
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%
Dinka (Jieng) 35.8%, Nuer (Naath) 15.6%, Shilluk (Chollo), Azande, Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, Acholi, Baka, Fertit (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
100,000 (2019 est.)
190,000 (2019 est.)
Christian 89.5%, Muslim 8.5%, folk 1%, unaffiliated 1% (2010 est.)

note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority

animist, Christian, Muslim
HIV/AIDS - deaths
3,800 (2019 est.)
9,100 (2019 est.)
French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
English (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants), regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 37.4%
male: 49.5%
female: 25.8% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 34.5%
male: 40.3%
female: 28.9% (2018)
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
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, Trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
Education expenditures
1.2% of GDP (2011)
1% of GDP (2017)
urban population: 42.2% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.52% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 20.2% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.1% annual rate of change (2015-20 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.)
improved: urban: 85.2% of population
rural: 71.7% of population
total: 74.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 14.8% of population
rural: 28.3% of population
total: 25.7% of population (2017 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.)
improved: urban: 54.1% of population
rural: 10.7% of population
total: 19.1% of population
unimproved: urban: 45.9% of population
rural: 89.3% of population
total: 80.9% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
889,000 BANGUI (capital) (2020)
403,000 JUBA (capital) (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
829 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
1,150 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
20.8% (2018)
27.7% (2010)
Health expenditures
5.8% (2017)
9.8% (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
7.5% (2016)
6.6% (2014)
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.


South Sudan, independent from Sudan since July 2011 after decades of civil war, is one of the world’s poorest countries and ranks among the lowest in many socioeconomic categories. Problems are exacerbated by ongoing tensions with Sudan over oil revenues and land borders, fighting between government forces and rebel groups, and inter-communal violence. Most of the population lives off of farming, while smaller numbers rely on animal husbandry; more than 80% of the populace lives in rural areas. The maternal mortality rate is among the world’s highest for a variety of reasons, including a shortage of health care workers, facilities, and supplies; poor roads and a lack of transport; and cultural beliefs that prevent women from seeking obstetric care. Most women marry and start having children early, giving birth at home with the assistance of traditional birth attendants, who are unable to handle complications.

Educational attainment is extremely poor due to the lack of schools, qualified teachers, and materials. Less than a third of the population is literate (the rate is even lower among women), and half live below the poverty line. Teachers and students are also struggling with the switch from Arabic to English as the language of instruction. Many adults missed out on schooling because of warfare and displacement.

Almost 2 million South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighboring countries since the current conflict began in December 2013. Another 1.96 million South Sudanese are internally displaced as of August 2017. Despite South Sudan’s instability and lack of infrastructure and social services, more than 240,000 people have fled to South Sudan to escape fighting in Sudan.

Contraceptive prevalence rate
15.2% (2010/11)
4% (2010)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 86.4
youth dependency ratio: 81.1
elderly dependency ratio: 5.2
potential support ratio: 19.2 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 80.8
youth dependency ratio: 74.7
elderly dependency ratio: 6.1
potential support ratio: 16.5 (2020 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook