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Rwanda Demographics Profile

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12,712,431 (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: 39.95% (male 2,564,893/female 2,513,993)
15-24 years: 20.1% (male 1,280,948/female 1,273,853)
25-54 years: 33.06% (male 2,001,629/female 2,201,132)
55-64 years: 4.24% (male 241,462/female 298,163)
65 years and over: 2.65% (male 134,648/female 201,710) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 74.2
youth dependency ratio: 68.8
elderly dependency ratio: 5.4
potential support ratio: 18.4 (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 19.7 years
male: 18.9 years
female: 20.4 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
27.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
urban population: 17.4% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.86% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
1.132 million KIGALI (capital) (2020)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.81 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 95.9 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth
23 years (2014/15 est.)

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

Infant mortality rate
total: 28 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 30.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 65.1 years
male: 63.2 years
female: 67.1 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
3.52 children born/woman (2020 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
53.2% (2014/15)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
2.9% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
230,000 (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
2,800 (2019 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 92% of population
rural: 76.9% of population
total: 79.5% of population
unimproved: urban: 8% of population
rural: 23.1% of population
total: 20.5% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 88.4% of population
rural: 79.4% of population
total: 80.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 11.6% of population
rural: 20.6% of population
total: 19.1% of population (2017 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
animal contact diseases: rabies
noun: Rwandan(s)
adjective: Rwandan
Ethnic groups
Hutu, Tutsi, Twa (Pygmy)
Protestant 49.5% (includes Adventist 11.8% and other Protestant 37.7%), Roman Catholic 43.7%, Muslim 2%, other 0.9% (includes Jehovah's Witness), none 2.5%, unspecified 1.3% (2012 est.)
Demographic profile

Rwanda’s fertility rate declined sharply during the last decade, as a result of the government’s commitment to family planning, the increased use of contraceptives, and a downward trend in ideal family size. Increases in educational attainment, particularly among girls, and exposure to social media also contributed to the reduction in the birth rate. The average number of births per woman decreased from a 5.6 in 2005 to 4.5 in 2016. Despite these significant strides in reducing fertility, Rwanda’s birth rate remains very high and will continue to for an extended period of time because of its large population entering reproductive age. Because Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, its persistent high population growth and increasingly small agricultural landholdings will put additional strain on families’ ability to raise foodstuffs and access potable water. These conditions will also hinder the government’s efforts to reduce poverty and prevent environmental degradation.

The UNHCR recommended that effective 30 June 2013 countries invoke a cessation of refugee status for those Rwandans who fled their homeland between 1959 and 1998, including the 1994 genocide, on the grounds that the conditions that drove them to seek protection abroad no longer exist. The UNHCR’s decision is controversial because many Rwandan refugees still fear persecution if they return home, concerns that are supported by the number of Rwandans granted asylum since 1998 and by the number exempted from the cessation. Rwandan refugees can still seek an exemption or local integration, but host countries are anxious to send the refugees back to Rwanda and are likely to avoid options that enable them to stay. Conversely, Rwanda itself hosts almost 160,000 refugees as of 2017; virtually all of them fleeing conflict in neighboring Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kinyarwanda (official, universal Bantu vernacular) 93.2%, French (official) <.1, English (official) <.1, Swahili/Kiswahili (official, used in commercial centers) <.1, more than one language, other 6.3%, unspecified 0.3% (2002 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.2%
male: 77.6%
female: 69.4% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2019)
Education expenditures
3.1% of GDP (2018)
Maternal mortality rate
248 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
9.6% (2015)
Health expenditures
6.6% (2017)
Physicians density
0.14 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
5.8% (2016)

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

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