Demographics of Angola
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Angola, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Ethnically, three main groups have to be distinguished, each speaking a Bantu language: the Ovimbundu who represent 37% of the population, the (Ambundu) with 25%, and the Bakongo 13%. Other numerically important groups include the closely interrelated Chokwe and Lunda, the Ganguela and Nhaneca-Humbe, in both cases classification terms which stand for a variety of small groups, the Ovambo, the Herero, the Xindonga and scattered residual groups of Khoisan. In addition, mixed race (European and African) people amount to about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites, mainly ethnically Portuguese. As a former overseas territory of Portugal until 1975, Angola possesses a Portuguese population of over 200,000, a number that has been growing from 2000 onwards, because of Angola's growing demand for qualified human resources. Besides the Portuguese, significant numbers of people from other European and from diverse Latin American countries (especially Brazil) can be found. From the 2000s many Chinese have settled and started up small businesses, while at least as many have come as workforce for large (construction or other) enterprises. Observers claim that the Chinese community in Angola might include as many as 300,000 persons at the end of 2010, but nothing near to reliable statistics are at this stage available on this point. In 1974/75, over 25,000 Cuban soldiers arrived in Angola to help the MPLA forces during the decolonisation conflict. Once this was over, a massive development cooperation in the field of health and education brought in numerous civil personnel from Cuba. However, only a very small percentage of all these people has remained in Angola, either for personal reasons (intermarriage) or as professionals (e.g. medical doctors).
The largest religious denomination is Roman Catholicism, to which adheres about half the population. Roughly 26% are followers of traditional forms of Protestantism (Congregationals, Methodists, Baptista, Lutherans, Reformed), but over the last decades there has in addition been a growth of Pentecostal communities and African Initiated Churches. In 2006, one out of 221 people were Jehovah's Witnesses. Blacks from Mali, Nigeria and Senegal are mostly Sunnite Muslims, but do not make up more than 1 - 2% of the population. By now few Angolans retain African traditional religions following different ethnic faiths.
According to the 2010 revison of the World Population Prospects the total population was 19 082 000 in 2010, compared to only 4 148 000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 46.6%, 50.9% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 2.5% was 65 years or older .
|Total population (x 1000)||Population aged 0–14 (%)||Population aged 15–64 (%)||Population aged 65+ (%)|
Registration of vital events is in Angola not complete. The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates. 
|Period||Live births per year||Deaths per year||Natural change per year||CBR*||CDR*||NC*||TFR*||IMR*|
|1950-1955||235 000||156 000||79 000||54.0||35.9||18.1||7.00||230|
|1955-1960||259 000||159 000||99 000||54.4||33.5||20.9||7.20||215|
|1960-1965||282 000||162 000||121 000||54.3||31.1||23.2||7.40||200|
|1965-1970||302 000||163 000||139 000||53.2||28.7||24.5||7.40||186|
|1970-1975||325 000||166 000||160 000||51.8||26.4||25.5||7.20||173|
|1975-1980||374 000||176 000||197 000||52.4||24.7||27.7||7.20||161|
|1980-1985||441 000||202 000||239 000||52.8||24.2||28.6||7.20||157|
|1985-1990||512 000||228 000||284 000||52.8||23.5||29.3||7.20||153|
|1990-1995||584 000||259 000||325 000||52.1||23.1||29.0||7.10||150|
|1995-2000||664 000||274 000||390 000||51.0||21.1||29.9||6.92||138|
|2000-2005||746 000||268 000||478 000||49.0||17.6||31.4||6.63||116|
|2005-2010||774 000||272 000||502 000||43.5||15.3||28.2||5.79||104|
|* CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)|
CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
- 18,056,072 (July 2012 est.)
The population is growing by 2.184% annually. There are 44.51 births and 24.81 deaths per 1,000 citizens. The net migration rate is 2.14 migrants per 1,000 citizens. The fertility rate of Angola is 5.97 children born per woman as of 2011. The infant mortality rate is 184.44 deaths for every 1,000 live births with 196.55 deaths for males and 171.72 deaths for females for every 1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth is 37.63 years; 36.73 years for males and 38.57 years for females.
- At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
- Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
- 15–64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
- 65 years and older: .79 male(s)/female
- Total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
According to the CIA World Factbook, 2% of adults (aged 15–49) are living with HIV/AIDS (as of 2009). The risk of contracting disease is very high. There are food and waterborne diseases, bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever; vectorborne diseases, malaria, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness); respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis, and schistosomiasis, a water contact disease, as of 2005.
Angola is a majority Christian country. Reliable statistics don't exist, but well over 80% belong in principle to a Christian church or community, although many of them don't practice their religion and are in fact non believers. More than half of the Christians (whether practising or not) are Roman Catholic, the remaining ones comprising members of traditional Protestant churches as well as of new, often Pentecostal communities. Only 1 - 2% are Muslims - generally immmigrants from other African countries. Traditional indigenous religions are practized by a very small minority, generally in peripheral rural societies; however, some traditional beliefs are held by a substantial number of Christians.
Literacy is quite low, with 67.4% of the population over the age of 15 able to read and write in Portuguese. 82.9% of males and 54.2% of women are literate as of 2001.
Portuguese is the official language of Angola, but Bantu and other African languages are also widely spoken. In fact, Kikongo, Kimbundu, Umbundu, Tuchokwe, Nganguela, and Ukanyama have the official status of "national languages". The mastery of Portuguese is widespread; in the cities the overwhelming majority are either fluent in Portuguese or have at least a reasonable working knowledge of this language; an increasing minority are native Portuguese speakers and have a poor, if any, knowledge of an African language.
- It should be recalled that in 1974, white Angolans made up a population of 330 thousand to 350 thousand people in an overall population of 6,3 million Angolans at that time. The only reliable source on these numbers is Gerald Bender & Stanley Yoder, Whites in Angola on the Eve of Independence: The Politics of Numbers, Africa Today, 21 (4) 1974, pp. 23 - 37. Today, many Angolans who are not ethnic Portuguese can claim Portuguese nationality under Portuguese law. Estimates on the overall population are given in O País
- Country Studies
- (Portuguese) Portugueses em Angola quadruplicaram, Jornal de Notícias (March 10, 2009)
- Chinese karaoke fans sing Angola's praises
- Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
- It should be underlined that many of these statistics are not fully reliable and/or outdated. Updated and reliable data are expected from the population census scheduled for 2014.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2007 edition".
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes). 2003