Demographics of Comoros

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The Comorians inhabiting Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Mohéli (86% of the population) share African-Arab origins. Islam is the dominant religion, and Quranic schools for children reinforce its influence. Although Arab culture is firmly established throughout, a small minority are Christian.

The most common language is Comorian, related to Swahili. French and Arabic also are spoken. About 89% of the population is literate.

The Comoros have had seven censuses since World War II:[1][2]

  • 1951
  • 1956
  • 1958-09-07 : 183,133
  • 1966-07-06 :[3]
  • Note: in 1974 Mayotte was removed from the Comoros
  • 1980-09-15 : 335,150
  • 1991-09-15 : 446,817
  • 2003-09-15 : 575,660

Population density figures conceal a great disparity between the republic's most crowded island, Nzwani, which had a density of 470 persons per square kilometer in 1991; Ngazidja, which had a density of 250 persons per square kilometer in 1991; and Mwali, where the 1991 population density figure was 120 persons per square kilometer. Overall population density increased to about 285 persons per square kilometer by 1994. By comparison, estimates of the population density per square kilometer of the Indian Ocean's other island microstates ranged from 241 (Seychelles) to 690 (Maldives) in 1993. Given the rugged terrain of Ngazidja and Nzwani, and the dedication of extensive tracts to agriculture on all three islands, population pressures on Comoros are becoming increasingly critical.

The age structure of the population of Comoros is similar to that of many developing countries, in that the republic has a very large proportion of young people. In 1989, 46.4 percent of the population was under fifteen years of age, an above-average proportion even for sub-Saharan Africa. The population's rate of growth was a relatively high 3.5 percent per annum in the mid 1980s, up substantially from 2.0 percent in the mid-1970s and 2.1 percent in the mid-1960s.

In 1983 the Abdallah regime borrowed US$2.85 million from the International Development Association to devise a national family planning program. However, Islamic reservations about contraception made forthright advocacy and implementation of birth control programs politically hazardous, and consequently little was done in the way of public policy.

The Comorian population has become increasingly urbanized in recent years. In 1991 the percentage of Comorians residing in cities and towns of more than 5,000 persons was about 30 percent, up from 25 percent in 1985 and 23 percent in 1980. Comoros' largest cities were the capital, Moroni, with about 30,000 people, and the port city of Mutsamudu, on the island of Nzwani, with about 20,000 people.

Migration among the various islands is important. Natives of Nzwani have settled in significant numbers on less crowded Mwali, causing some social tensions, and many Nzwani also migrate to Maore. In 1977 Maore expelled peasants from Ngazidja and Nzwani who had recently settled in large numbers on the island. Some were allowed to reenter starting in 1981 but solely as migrant labor.

The number of Comorians living abroad has been estimated at between 80,000 and 100,000; during the colonial period, most of them lived in Tanzania, Madagascar, and other parts of Southeast Africa. The number of Comorians residing in Madagascar was drastically reduced after anti-Comorian rioting in December 1976 in Mahajanga, in which at least 1,400 Comorians were killed. As many as 17,000 Comorians left Madagascar to seek refuge in their native land in 1977 alone. About 100,000 Comorians live in France; many of them had gone there for a university education and never returned. Small numbers of Indians, Malagasy, South Africans, and Europeans (mostly French) live on the islands and play an important role in the economy. Most French left after independence in 1975.

Population[edit]

Demographics of Comoros, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

UN population projections[edit]

Numbers are in thousands. UN medium variant projections.[4]

  • 2010 734.75
  • 2015 832.40
  • 2020 933.33
  • 2025 1,041.15
  • 2030 1,160.26
  • 2035 1,290.20
  • 2040 1,425.97
  • 2045 1,562.91
  • 2050 1,700.13

Vital statistics [5][edit]

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR*
1950-1955 8 000 4 000 4 000 46.8 24.0 22.8 6.00 178
1955-1960 9 000 4 000 5 000 48.9 22.9 26.0 6.60 167
1960-1965 10 000 4 000 6 000 48.0 20.8 27.2 6.91 154
1965-1970 11 000 4 000 6 000 46.8 18.9 27.9 7.05 141
1970-1975 12 000 4 000 8 000 46.8 16.9 29.8 7.05 127
1975-1980 14 000 5 000 10 000 47.9 15.6 32.3 7.05 116
1980-1985 17 000 5 000 12 000 48.6 14.3 34.4 7.05 106
1985-1990 16 000 5 000 11 000 39.6 12.1 27.5 6.00 95
1990-1995 17 000 5 000 12 000 36.6 11.0 25.6 5.30 89
1995-2000 20 000 6 000 15 000 38.6 10.6 28.0 5.30 83
2000-2005 24 000 6 000 18 000 40.2 10.1 30.0 5.30 78
2005-2010 27 000 7 000 20 000 39.0 9.4 29.5 5.08 72
* 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[edit]

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

Population[edit]

690,948 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure[edit]

0-14 years: 42.7% (male 148,009/female 147,038)
15-64 years: 54.3% (male 185,107/female 190,139)
65 years and over: 3% (male 9,672/female 10,983) (2006 est.)

Median age[edit]

Total: 18.6 years
Male: 18.4 years
Female: 18.9 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate[edit]

2.87% (2006 est.)

Sex ratio[edit]

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: 0.88 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth[edit]

Total population: 62.33 years
Male: 60 years
Female: 64.72 years (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS[edit]

Adult prevalence rate: 0.12% (2001 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: NA
Deaths: NA

Nationality[edit]

Noun: Comorian(s)
Adjective: Comorian

Religions[edit]

98% of the population of the Comoros is Muslim Sunni, 2% are Catholic, and evangelical believers represent only 0.1% of the population (Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk, Operation World. Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, 2005, pg. 193).

Languages[edit]

Arabic (official), French (official), Comorian (a Swahili dialect strongly influenced by Arabic, official)

Literacy[edit]

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 56.5%
Male: 63.6%
Female: 49.3% (2003 est.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Comoros population statistics". GeoHive. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Population census of the Comoro Islands, 1951, 1956 and 1958 (mircofilm). New Haven, Connecticut: Research Publications. 1977. OCLC 3659638. 
  3. ^ Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (1966). Recensement de la population des Comores 1966: résultats par village, sexe et groupe d'âge. Paris: Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. OCLC 13015378. 
  4. ^ "World Population Prospects, the 2010 Revision". Esa.un.org. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  5. ^ World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2006 edition". This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.