Demographics of Cameroon

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A Tikar family in the Northwest Province

The demographic profile of Cameroon is complex for a country of its population. Cameroon comprises an estimated 250 distinct ethnic groups, which may be formed into five large regional-cultural divisions:

  • western highlanders (Semi-Bantu or grassfielders), including the Bamileke, Bamum (or Bamoun), and many smaller Tikar groups in the Northwest (est. 38% of total population);
  • coastal tropical forest peoples, including the Bassa, Duala (or Douala), and many smaller groups in the Southwest (12%);
  • southern tropical forest peoples, including the Beti-Pahuin, Bulu (a subgroup of Beti-Pahuin), Fang (subgroup of Beti-Pahuin), Maka, Njem, and Baka pygmies (18%);
  • predominantly Islamic peoples of the northern semi-arid regions (the Sahel) and central highlands, including the Fulani (French: Peul or Peuhl; Fula: Fulɓe) (14%); and
  • the "Kirdi", non-Islamic or recently Islamic peoples of the northern desert and central highlands (18%).

The Cameroon government held two national censuses during the country's first 44 years as an independent country, in 1976 and again in 1987. Results from the second head count were never published. A third census, expected to take years to produce results, began on November 11, 2005, with a three-week interviewing phase. It is one of a series of projects and reforms required by the International Monetary Fund as prerequisites for foreign debt relief. The first results were published in 2010.[1]

Population[edit]

According to the 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects[2] the total population was 23,439,189 in 2016, compared to only 4 466 000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 40.6%, 55.9% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 3.5% was 65 years or older.[3]

Total population Population aged 0–14 (%) Population aged 15–64 (%) Population aged 65+ (%)
1950 4 466 000 39.6 56.9 3.5
1955 4 901 000 40.1 56.4 3.5
1960 5 409 000 40.6 55.9 3.6
1965 6 049 000 41.5 54.9 3.6
1970 6 842 000 42.4 54.0 3.6
1975 7 838 000 43.6 52.7 3.7
1980 9 110 000 44.6 51.8 3.6
1985 10 519 000 45.2 51.2 3.6
1990 12 181 000 45.2 51.3 3.6
1995 13 940 000 44.4 52.1 3.5
2000 15 678 000 42.8 53.7 3.5
2005 17 554 000 41.6 54.9 3.5
2010 19 599 000 40.6 55.9 3.5

Fertility and births[edit]

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) (Wanted Fertility Rate) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR):[4]

Year CBR (Total) TFR (Total) CBR (Urban) TFR (Urban) CBR (Rural) TFR (Rural)
1991 39 5.82 (5.17) 5.17 (4.52) 6.29 (5.66)
1998 37.4 5.2 (4.6) 31.5 3.9 (3.4) 40.1 5.8 (5.3)
2004 37.8 5.0 (4.5) 34.9 4.0 (3.7) 40.5 6.1 (5.6)
2011 38.1 5.1 (4.1) 34.6 4.0 (3.2) 41.3 6.4 (5.1)

Fertility data as of 2011 (DHS Program):[5]

Region Total fertility rate Percentage of women age 15–49 currently pregnant Mean number of children ever born to women age 40–49
Adamaoua 5.2 8.6 6.5
Centre (except Yaoundé) 5.6 8.8 5.5
Douala 3.2 8.1 4.5
Est 5.4 12.0 5.6
Extrême-Nord 6.8 14.8 7.3
Littoral (except Douala) 4.6 8.4 5.1
Nord 6.5 12.4 7.1
Nord-Ouest 4.4 6.9 5.4
Ouest 6.0 10.1 5.8
Sud 4.6 9.6 5.2
Sud-Ouest 4.0 7.6 5.5
Yaoundé 3.5 6.5 4.4

Vital statistics[edit]

Registration of vital events is in Cameroon not complete. The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates.[3]

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR*
1950–1955 203,000 117,000 86,000 43.4 24.9 18.5 5.68 169
1955–1960 222,000 120,000 102,000 43.0 23.3 19.7 5.68 158
1960–1965 252,000 124,000 128,000 44.0 21.6 22.3 5.90 145
1965–1970 287,000 130,000 157,000 44.6 20.1 24.5 6.10 133
1970–1975 332,000 136,000 196,000 45.2 18.3 26.8 6.30 120
1975–1980 382,000 143,000 239,000 45.1 16.5 28.6 6.40 108
1980–1985 439,000 143,000 296,000 44.7 15.0 29.7 6.40 98
1985–1990 487,000 148,000 339,000 42.9 14.1 28.9 6.10 93
1990–1995 536,000 172,000 364,000 41.0 14.0 27.0 5.70 94
1995–2000 563,000 204,000 359,000 38.0 14.6 23.5 5.10 96
2000–2005 632,000 243,000 389,000 38.0 15.3 22.7 4.92 97
2005–2010 691,000 270,000 421,000 37.2 15.0 22.2 4.67 94
* CBR = crude birth rate (per 1,000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1,000); NC = natural change (per 1,000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1,000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)

Life expectancy[edit]

Period Life expectancy in
Years[6]
1950–1955 38.54
1955–1960 Increase 40.45
1960–1965 Increase 42.68
1965–1970 Increase 44.85
1970–1975 Increase 47.42
1975–1980 Increase 50.06
1980–1985 Increase 52.06
1985–1990 Increase 52.79
1990–1995 Decrease 51.25
1995–2000 Decrease 49.34
2000–2005 Increase 51.45
2005–2010 Increase 54.39
2010–2015 Increase 56.39

Ethnic groups[edit]

Speakers of Makaa–Njem languages in Cameroon and neighbouring countries.
The ethnic groups of Cameroon who speak Duala languages.

Languages[edit]

Linguistic survey of Nigeria, Cameroon, and Benin

There are 24 major African language groups in Cameroon; additionally, English and French are official languages. Cameroonian Pidgin English is also widely spoken.

Peoples concentrated in the Southwest and Northwest Provinces—around Buea and Bamenda—use standard English and Cameroonian Pidgin English, as well as their local languages. In the three northern provinces—Adamawa, North, and Far North—either French or Fulfulde (the language of the Fulani) is widely spoken. Elsewhere, French is the principal second language, although pidgin and some local languages such as Ewondo, the dialect of a Beti clan from the Yaoundé area, have a wide currency.

Indigenous languages of Cameroon include:

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

Estimated number of inhabitants (in thousands), based on 2005 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Population pyramid 2016

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

Population[edit]

24,994,885 (2017 est.)
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 sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2018 est.)

Birth rate[edit]

35.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Death rate[edit]

9.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Net migration rate[edit]

-0.1 migrants/1,000 population (2017 est.).

Median age[edit]

total: 18.5 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.7 years (2017 est.)

Population growth rate[edit]

2.56% (2013 est.)

Urbanization[edit]

Urban population: 58% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 3.3% annual rate of change (2010–15 est.)

Sex ratio[edit]

At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth[edit]

total population: 59 years
male: 57.6 years
female: 60.4 years (2017 est.)

Total Fertility Rate[edit]

According to Cameroon government website, average children per woman was 5.0 in 2004,[8] 4.7 in 2016.

HIV/AIDS[edit]

Adult prevalence rate: 3.7% (2017 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 510,000 (2017 est.)
Deaths: 24,000 (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases[edit]

Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and hepatitis E, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis
Respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
Animal contact disease: rabies (2009)

Nationality[edit]

Noun: Cameroonian(s)
Adjective: Cameroonian

Religions[edit]

Roman Catholic[7] 38.4%, Protestant[7] 26.3%, other Christian[7] 4.5%, Islam[7] 20.9%, Animist[7] 5.6%, Other[7] 1%, Non-believer[7] 3.2% (2005 est.)

Literacy[edit]

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 75% (2015 est.)
Male: 81.2%
Female: 68.9%

Education expenditure[edit]

2.8% of GDP (2013)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cameroon - Third General Census of Population and Housing 2005 - IPUMS Subset (download first findings "Rapport de presentation des résultats définitifs" - pdf)
  2. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision". Esa.un.org. Retrieved 2017-08-27.
  4. ^ "MEASURE DHS: Demographic and Health Surveys". microdata.worldbank.org.
  5. ^ "Cameroun : Enquête Démographique et de Santé et à Indicateurs Multiples 2011" (PDF). Dhsprogram.com. Retrieved 2017-08-27.
  6. ^ "World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations". esa.un.org. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Africa ::CAMEROON". CIA The World Factbook.
  8. ^ "LA POPULATION DU CAMEROUN EN 2010" (PDF). Statistics-cameroon.org. Retrieved 2017-08-27.

External links[edit]