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South Sudan Demographics Profile

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10,561,244 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
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.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 80.8
youth dependency ratio: 74.7
elderly dependency ratio: 6.1
potential support ratio: 16.5 (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 18.6 years
male: 18.9 years
female: 18.3 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2.7% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
38.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
11.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
urban population: 20.2% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.1% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
403,000 JUBA (capital) (2020)
Sex ratio
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: 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: 55.5 years
male: 54.6 years
female: 56.5 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
5.54 children born/woman (2020 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
4% (2010)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
2.4% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
190,000 (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
9,100 (2019 est.)
Drinking water source
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: 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 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, dengue fever, Trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
noun: South Sudanese (singular and plural)
adjective: South Sudanese
Ethnic groups
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.)
animist, Christian, Muslim
Demographic profile

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.

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: 34.5%
male: 40.3%
female: 28.9% (2018)
Education expenditures
1% of GDP (2017)
Maternal mortality rate
1,150 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
27.7% (2010)
Health expenditures
9.8% (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
6.6% (2014)

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

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