Demographics of Cape Verde
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Cape Verde, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Cape Verde has a population of approximately half a million people. A large proportion (236,000) of Cape Verdeans live on the main island, Santiago.
The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it in 1456. African slaves were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations. As a result, Cape Verdeans are mulattoes (mestiços in Portuguese), who have mixed African and European origins. European ancestors also include Spanish and Italian seamen who were granted land by the Portuguese Empire, followed by Portuguese settlers, exiles, and Portuguese Jews who were victims of the Inquisition. Many foreigners from other parts of the world settled in Cape Verde as their permanent country. Most of them were Dutch, French, British (English), Arab and Jewish (from Lebanon and Morocco), Chinese (especially from Macau), India, Indonesia, South America, American and Brazilian (including people of Portuguese and African descent). All of these have been absorbed into the mestiço population.
The high degree of genetic and ethnic mixture of individuals is a result of centuries of migration. It is not unusual to encounter persons with dark skin and blond hair and blue eyes, and persons with light skin and black hair.
Survival in a country with few natural resources has historically induced Cape Verdeans to emigrate. In fact, of the more than 1 million people of Cape Verdean ancestry in the world, only a little more than one-third actually live on the islands. Some 500,000 people of Cape Verdean ancestry live in the United States, mainly in New England. Many people of Cape Verdean ancestry also live in Portugal, Netherlands, France, Italy, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, and Senegal. Cape Verdean populations also settled Spain, Germany, Canada, and other CPLP countries (Angola, Brazil and Guinea-Bissau). Since after independence from Portugal in 1975, a number of Cape Verdean students continued to be admitted every year at Portuguese high schools, polytechnical institutes and universities, through bilateral agreements between the Portuguese Government and the Cape Verdean Government.
Although the official language is Portuguese, most Cape Verdeans speak Cape Verdean Creole (Crioulo in Portuguese, Kriolu or Kriol in Cape Verdean Creole) as their first language. There is a rich repertoire of literature and songs in Creole. In religion, the majority follow Roman Catholic Christianity. There are also some Protestants, Bahá'ís and Muslims.
According to the 2010 revison of the World Population Prospects the total population was 496 000 in 2010, compared to only 178 000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 31.8%, 62.3% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 5.9% was 65 years or older .
|Total population (x 1000)||Population aged 0–14 (%)||Population aged 15–64 (%)||Population aged 65+ (%)|
Vital events of Cape Verde are not (yet) available for recent years. 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||9 000||4 000||5 000||49.0||22.6||26.3||6.57||139|
|1955-1960||10 000||4 000||5 000||48.0||21.1||26.9||6.76||132|
|1960-1965||10 000||4 000||6 000||45.0||18.7||26.3||6.97||125|
|1965-1970||11 000||4 000||6 000||41.4||16.4||25.0||6.97||117|
|1970-1975||12 000||4 000||8 000||41.1||13.4||27.7||6.86||96|
|1975-1980||13 000||4 000||9 000||41.6||11.6||30.0||6.62||78|
|1980-1985||13 000||3 000||10 000||41.3||10.3||31.0||6.10||65|
|1985-1990||14 000||3 000||11 000||40.9||9.2||31.7||5.63||54|
|1990-1995||14 000||3 000||11 000||36.5||7.9||28.6||4.93||44|
|1995-2000||13 000||3 000||10 000||31.6||6.7||24.9||4.15||37|
|2000-2005||12 000||3 000||9 000||26.2||5.8||20.5||3.28||28|
|2005-2010||11 000||3 000||8 000||21.9||5.2||16.7||2.60||21|
|* 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)|
Fertility and Births
Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR):
|Year||CBR (Total)||TFR (Total)||CBR (Urban)||TFR (Urban)||CBR (Rural)||TFR (Rural)|
CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
- Total: 23.1 years
- Male: 22.3 years
- Female: 23.9 years (2012 est.)
- Urban population: 60% of total population (2008)
- Rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
- At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
- Under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
- 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female
- Total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
- Total population: 71 years
- Male: 68.78 years
- Female: 73.27 years (2012 est.)
- Adult prevalence rate: 0.035% (2001 est.)
- People living with HIV/AIDS: 775 (2001)
- Deaths: 225 (as of 2001)
The predominance of west African mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in their maternal gene pool, the major west African Y-chromosome lineage E3a was observed only at a frequency of 15.9%. Overall, these results indicate that gene flow from multiple sources and various sex-specific patterns have been important in the formation of the genomic diversity in the Cabo Verde islands. | Cape Verdeans || 15.9% (32/201)||
- Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs); The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Protestant (mostly Church of the Nazarene), Buddhist 0.2%
- Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
- Total population: 76.6%
- Male: 85.8%
- Female: 69.2% (2003 est.
- "Cape Verde: Population". caperverde.com.
- Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
- Gonçalves, Rita; Alexandra Rosa; Ana Freitas; Ana Fernandes; Toomas Kivisild; Richard Villems; António Brehm (26 August 2003). "Y-chromosome lineages in Cabo Verde Islands witness the diverse geographic origin of its first male settlers". Human Genetics 113 (6): 467–472. doi:10.1007/s00439-003-1007-4. PMID 12942365.
- National Institute of Statistics
- Demographic Highlights — Statistics from the Population Reference Bureau
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