Demographics of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Young women preparing fufu.

This article is about the demographic features of the population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

As many as 250 ethnic groups have been distinguished and named. The most numerous people are the Luba, Mongo, and Bakongo.

Although 700 local languages and dialects are spoken, the linguistic variety is bridged both by the use of French and the intermediary languages Kongo, Luba-Kasai, Swahili, and Lingala.

Population[edit]

According to the 2010 revison of the World Population Prospects the total population was 65 966 000 in 2010, compared to only 12 184 000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 46.3%, 51.1% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 2.7% was 65 years or older .[1]

Total population (x 1000) Population aged 0–14 (%) Population aged 15–64 (%) Population aged 65+ (%)
1950 12 184 43.7 52.5 3.8
1955 13 580 43.8 53.1 3.1
1960 15 368 43.8 53.3 2.9
1965 17 543 43.9 53.2 2.8
1970 20 267 44.4 52.8 2.8
1975 23 317 44.9 52.3 2.8
1980 27 019 45.4 51.8 2.8
1985 31 044 46.1 51.1 2.8
1990 36 406 47.0 50.2 2.8
1995 44 067 47.9 49.4 2.7
2000 49 626 48.0 49.4 2.7
2005 57 421 47.5 49.9 2.7
2010 65 966 46.3 51.1 2.7

Vital statistics[edit]

Registration of vital events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is incomplete. The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates. [1]

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR*
1950-1955 608 000 329 000 279 000 47.2 25.5 21.7 5.98 167
1955-1960 683 000 341 000 342 000 47.2 23.6 23.7 5.98 158
1960-1965 780 000 369 000 411 000 47.4 22.4 25.0 6.04 151
1965-1970 898 000 402 000 496 000 47.5 21.3 26.3 6.15 143
1970-1975 1 037 000 433 000 604 000 47.6 19.9 27.7 6.29 134
1975-1980 1 208 000 488 000 720 000 48.0 19.4 28.6 6.46 129
1980-1985 1 425 000 550 000 874 000 49.1 19.0 30.1 6.72 125
1985-1990 1 689 000 632 000 1 057 000 50.1 18.7 31.4 6.98 121
1990-1995 2 035 000 743 000 1 292 000 50.6 18.5 32.1 7.14 119
1995-2000 2 335 000 923 000 1 412 000 49.8 19.7 30.1 7.04 128
2000-2005 2 580 000 973 000 1 607 000 48.2 18.2 30.0 6.70 120
2005-2010 2 772 000 1 058 000 1 714 000 44.9 17.2 27.8 6.07 116
* 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[edit]

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR):[2]


Year CBR (Total) TFR (Total) CBR (Urban) TFR (Urban) CBR (Rural) TFR (Rural)
2007 44,1 6,3 40,4 5,4 46,8 7,0
2013-14 44,1 6,6 40,5 5,4 45,9 7,3

Ethnic groups[edit]

More than 250 ethnic groups have been identified and named of which the majority are Bantu. The four largest groups - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande make up about 45% of the population. The country has also 60,000 Belgians, whose ancestors stepped out after it won independence.

A family from the Mongo ethnic group.

Bantu peoples (80%):

Luba (18%), Mongo (17%), Kongo (12%)
Others : Ambala, Ambuun, Angba, Babindi, Baboma, Baholo, Bangala, Bango, Batsamba, Bazombe, Bemba, Bembe, Bira, Bowa, Dikidiki, Dzing, Fuliru, Havu, Hema, Hima, Hunde, Hutu, Iboko, Kanioka, Kaonde, Kuba, Kumu, Kwango, Lengola, Lokele, Lundas, Lupu, Lwalwa, Mbala, Mbole, Mbuza (Budja), Nande, Ngoli, Bangoli, Ngombe, Nkumu, Nyanga, Pende, Popoi, Poto, Sango, Shi, Songo, Sukus, Tabwa, Tchokwé, Téké, Tembo, Tetela, Topoke, Tutsi, Ungana, Vira, Wakuti, Yaka, Yakoma, Yanzi, Yeke, Yela etc.

Central Sudanic/Ubangian :

Ngbandi, Ngbaka, Manvu, Mbunja, Moru-Mangbetu, Zande, Logo, Lugbara

Nilotic peoples :

Alur, Kakwa, Bari

Pygmy peoples :

Mbuti, Twa, Baka, Babinga

More than 600,000 pygmies (around 1% of the total population) are believed to live in the DR Congo's huge forests, where they survive by hunting wild animals and gathering fruits.[3]

Languages[edit]

The four major languages in the DRC are French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Swahili), Kikongo, and Tshiluba. There are over 200 ethnic languages.

French is generally the medium of instruction in schools. English is taught as a compulsory foreign language in Secondary and High School around the country. It is a required subject in the Faculty of Economics at major universities around the country and there are numerous language schools in the country that teach it. In the town of Beni, for instance, there is a Bilingual University that offer courses in both French and English. President Kabila himself is fluent in both English and French, as was his father.

Religions[edit]

Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 10% official report according to the CIA The World Factbook[4]

Roman Catholic 43.9%, Protestant 24.8%, Other Christian 23.7%, Muslim 1.6%, Non-religious 0.6%, Hindu 0.1% other syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs 5.3% according to Joshua project[5]

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

Demographics of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Population[edit]

71,712,867
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and gender than would otherwise be expected (July 2011 est.)

Median age[edit]

Total: 17.4 years
Male: 17.2 years
Female: 17.6 years (2011 est.)

Population growth rate[edit]

2.614% (2011)

Net migration rate[edit]

-0.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population note: fighting between the Congolese Government and Uganda- and Rwanda-backed Congolese rebels spawned a regional war in DRC in August 1998, which left 2.33 million Congolese internally displaced and caused 412,000 Congolese refugees to flee to surrounding countries (2011 est.)

Given the situation in the country and the condition of state structures, it is extremely difficult to obtain reliable data however evidence suggests that DRC continues to be a destination country for immigrants in spite of recent declines. Immigration is seen to be very diverse in nature, with refugees and asylum-seekers - products of the numerous and violent conflicts in the Great Lakes Region - constituting an important subset of the population in the country.[6]

Additionally, the country’s large mine operations attract migrant workers from Africa and beyond and there is considerable migration for commercial activities from other African countries and the rest of the world, but these movements are not well studied. Transit migration towards South Africa and Europe also plays a role. Immigration in the DRC has decreased steadily over the past two decades, most likely as a result of the armed violence that the country has experienced.[6]

According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of immigrants in the DRC has declined from just over 1 million in 1960, to 754,000 in 1990, to 480,000 in 2005, to an estimated 445,000 in 2010. Valid figures are not available on migrant workers in particular, partly due to the predominance of the informal economy in the DRC. Data are also lacking on irregular immigrants, however given neighbouring country ethnic links to nationals of the DRC, irregular migration is assumed to be a significant phenomenon in the country.[6]

Figures on the number of Congolese nationals abroad vary greatly depending on the source, from 3 to 6 million. This discrepancy is due to a lack of official, reliable data. Emigrants from the DRC are above all long-term emigrants, the majority of which live within Africa and to a lesser extent in Europe; 79.7% and 15.3% respectively, according to estimates on 2000 data. Most Congolese emigrants however, remain in Africa, with new destination countries including South Africa and various points en route to Europe.[6]

In addition to being a host country, the DRC has also produced a considerable number of refugees and asylum-seekers located in the region and beyond. These numbers peaked in 2004 when, according to UNHCR, there were more than 460,000 refugees from the DRC; in 2008, Congolese refugees numbered 367,995 in total, 68% of which were living in other African countries.[6]

Gender ratio[edit]

At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth[edit]

Total population: 55.33 years
Male: 53.9 years
Female: 52.8 years (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS[edit]

Adult prevalence rate: 4.2% (2003 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 1.3 million (2003 est.)
Deaths: 100,000 (2003 est.)

Major infectious diseases[edit]

Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria, plague, and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) are high risks in some locations
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2005)

Nationality[edit]

Noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Congolese or Congo

Literacy[edit]

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba
Total population: 65.5%
Male: 76.2%
Female: 55.1% (2003 est.)

Congolese diaspora[edit]

The table below shows DRC born people who have emigrated abroad (although it excludes their descendants).[7]

Rank Country Region DRC born population
1  France Europe 19,080
2  Canada North America 14,125
3  Belgium Europe 9,911
4  United Kingdom Europe 8,569
5  United States North America 3,455
6  Switzerland Europe 2,570
7  Norway Europe 1,759
8  Portugal Europe 1,453
9  Netherlands Europe 1,314
10  Italy Europe 1,302

These are only estimates and do not account for Congolese migrants residing illegally in these countries. Among African countries, Congo's diaspora is second only to Nigeria in size.

See also[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2007 edition".

External links[edit]