In 1991, the national population census estimated the district population at about 160,700. The 2002 national census estimated the population of the district at about 204,700. The annual population growth rate for the district was calculated at 2.1%. It is estimated that the population of Kanungu District in 2012 was approximately 252,100. The table below illustrates the population growth in the district between 2002 and 2012. All figures are estimates. The next national population census in Uganda is planned for August 2014.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of the district, as is the case with the majority of other Ugandan districts. The fertile soils and good climate allow for adequate produce for home consumption and surpluses that are sold. However, due to the remoteness of the district and the mountainous terrain, bringing the produce to market remains a challenge and a constraint to increased production.
Many people in the district keep livestock on a subsistence level, primarily for milk production. Milk is part of the local diet and is a requirement for almost every household. But few people keep cattle in large numbers since the people here are traditionally agriculturalists.