Demographics of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Last updated
Democratic Republic of the Congo population pyramid in 2020 Democratic Republic of the Congo single age population pyramid 2020.png
Democratic Republic of the Congo population pyramid in 2020
Young women preparing fufu (1988). Fufuprep.jpg
Young women preparing fufu (1988).

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

Contents

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 Kikongo, Tshiluba, Swahili, and Lingala.

Population

The CIA World Factbook estimated the population to be over 105 million as of 2021 (the exact number being 105,044,646), now exceeding that of Vietnam (with 98,721,275 inhabitants as of 2020) and ascending the country to the rank of 15th most populous in the world. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 46.3%. 51.1% of the population was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 2.7% was 65 years or older . [1]

Total populationPopulation aged 0–14 (%)Population aged 15–64 (%)Population aged 65+ (%)
195012 184 00043.752.53.8
195513 580 00043.853.13.1
196015 368 00043.853.32.9
196517 543 00043.953.22.8
197020 267 00044.452.82.8
197523 317 00044.952.32.8
198027 019 00045.451.82.8
198531 044 00046.151.12.8
199036 406 00047.050.22.8
199544 067 00047.949.42.7
200049 626 00048.049.42.7
200557 421 00047.549.92.7
201065 966 00046.351.12.7

The total number of males was approximately 45,548,000 (48.1%), while the total number of females was approximately 49,134,000 (51.9%)

Age GroupMale (%)Female (%)Total (%)
0-420.619.420.00
5-917.516.717.1
10-1415,113,914,5
15-199,38,79,0
20-246,87,97,3
25-296,07,56,8
30-344,85,65,2
35-394,24,74,4
40-444,03,33,6
45-493,12,62,8
50-542,43,52,9
55-591,92,22,1
60-642,01,51,8
65-691,11,21,1
70-740,60,80,7
75-790,40,40,4
80+0,30,40,3
Age groupMale (%)Female (%)Total (%)
0-1453,250,051,5
15-6444,447,246,0
65+2,42,82,5

Census

The first and so far only census conducted in DR Congo dates from 1984. [2]

Vital statistics

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

PeriodLive births per yearDeaths per yearNatural change per yearCBR*CDR*NC*TFR*IMR*
1950-1955608 000329 000279 00047.225.521.75.98167
1955-1960683 000341 000342 00047.223.623.75.98158
1960-1965780 000369 000411 00047.422.425.06.04151
1965-1970898 000402 000496 00047.521.326.36.15143
1970-19751 037 000433 000604 00047.619.927.76.29134
1975-19801 208 000488 000720 00048.019.428.66.46129
1980-19851 425 000550 000874 00049.119.030.16.72125
1985-19901 689 000632 0001 057 00050.118.731.46.98121
1990-19952 035 000743 0001 292 00050.618.532.17.14119
1995-20002 335 000923 0001 412 00049.819.730.17.04128
2000-20052 580 000973 0001 607 00048.218.230.06.70120
2005-20102 772 0001 058 0001 714 00044.917.227.86.07116
*CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000 people); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000 people); NC = natural change (per 1000 people), also equals CBR minus CDR; IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)

Fertility and Births

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) (Wanted Fertility Rate) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR) for urban and rural areas: [3]

The Wanted Fertility Rate is an estimate of what the fertility rate would be if all unwanted births were avoided. [4]

YearCBR (Total)TFR (Total)CBR (Urban)TFR (Urban)CBR (Rural)TFR (Rural)
200744,16,3 (5,6)40,45,4 (4,8)46,87,0 (6,2)
2013-1444,16,6 (5,7)40,55,4 (4,6)45,97,3 (6,5)

Fertility data per province, as of 2014: [5]

ProvinceTotal fertility ratePercentage of women age 15-49 currently pregnantMean number of children ever born to women age 40-49
Kinshasa 4.25.74.8
Bas-Congo 6.012.66.5
Bandundu 6.312.16.1
Équateur 7.014.36.5
Orientale 5.911.65.3
Nord-Kivu 6.59.76.7
Sud-Kivu 7.712.57.4
Maniema 6.914.87.0
Katanga 7.812.87.3
Kasaï Oriental 7.312.47.5
Kasaï Occidental 8.214.27.5

Life expectancy

PeriodLife expectancy in
Years [6]
1950–195539.06
1955–1960Increase2.svg 40.55
1960–1965Increase2.svg 41.63
1965–1970Increase2.svg 42.99
1970–1975Increase2.svg 44.77
1975–1980Increase2.svg 45.63
1980–1985Increase2.svg 47.13
1985–1990Increase2.svg 48.25
1990–1995Increase2.svg 49.59
1995–2000Decrease2.svg 48.89
2000–2005Increase2.svg 51.84
2005–2010Increase2.svg 55.48
2010–2015Increase2.svg 58.10

Ethnic groups

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 collectively make up about 45% of the population. 5,000 people from Belgium and 5,000 people from Greece currently live in DR Congo. [7]

A family from the Mongo ethnic group. Mongo family in Equateur Province.jpg
A family from the Mongo ethnic group.

Bantu peoples (80%):

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

Central Sudanic/Ubangian  :

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

Nilotic peoples  :

Alur, Kakwa, Bari, Logo

Pygmy peoples  :

Mbuti, Twa, Baka, Babinga

More than 600,000 pygmies (around 1% of the total population) are believed to live in DR Congo, mainly in forests, where they survive by hunting wild animals and gathering fruits. [8]

Languages

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

French is generally the language of instruction in schools. English is taught as a compulsory foreign language in Secondary and High Schools 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. Former President Kabila himself is fluent in both English and French, as was his father.

Religions

A survey conducted by the Demographic and Health Surveys program in 2013-2014 indicated that Christians constituted 93.7% of the population (Catholics 29.7%, Protestants 26.8%, and other Christians 37.2%). An indigenous religion, Kimbanguism, was practiced by 2.8% of the population, while Muslims make up 1.2%. [9]

Another estimate (by the Pew Research Center in 2010) found Christianity was followed by 95.8% of the population. [10]

The CIA The World Factbook gives the following percentages: Roman Catholic 29.9%, Protestant 26.7%, Kimbanguist 2.8%, Other Christian 36.5%, Islam 1.3%, Other (includes Syncretic Sects and Indigenous beliefs) 2.7%. [11]

The Joshua Project, a Christian missionary organisation, gives the following percentages: 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%. [12]

Other demographic statistics

Demographics of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands. Congo dem demographie.png
Demographics of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.
Population pyramid of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2017 Congopop.svg
Population pyramid of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2017

These are some other demographic statistics according to the World Population Review in 2019. [13]

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook. [14]

Population

85,281,024 (July 2018 est.)
81.34 million
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 2017 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 41.25% (male 17,735,697 /female 17,446,866)
15-24 years: 21.46% (male 9,184,871 /female 9,117,462)
25-54 years: 30.96% (male 13,176,714 /female 13,225,429)
55-64 years: 3.63% (male 1,472,758 /female 1,625,637)
65 years and over: 2.69% (male 974,293 /female 1,321,297) (2018 est.)

Median age

total: 18.8 years. Country comparison to the world: 206th
male: 18.6 years
female: 19 years (2018 est.)

Birth rate

40.1 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Death rate

9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.7 children born/woman (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.33% (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 31st
2.42% (2016)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.9 years (2013/14 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Contraceptive prevalence rate

20.4% (2013/14)

Net migration rate

-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 105th
-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. [15]

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. [15]

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. [15]

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. [15]

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. [15]

Religions

Roman Catholic (55.8%), Other Christian (39.1%), Folk religion (2.5%), Islam (2.1%), None (0.5%)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 97.5 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 91.5 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 16.8 (2015 est.)

Gender ratio

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

total population: 58.1 years (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 213rd
male: 56.5 years (2018 est.)
female: 59.7 years (2018 est.)
total population: 56.93 years
male: 55.39 years
female: 58.51 years (2015 est.) [16]

Urbanization

urban population: 44.5% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 4.53% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

HIV/AIDS

Adult prevalence rate: 0.7% (2017 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 390,000 (2017 est.)
Deaths: 17,000 (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

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

Nationality

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

Literacy

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba
Total population: 77%
Male: 88.5%
Female: 66.5% (2016 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years (2013)
male: 11 years (2013)
female: 9 years (2013)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 8.7% (2012 est.) Country comparison to the world: 134th
male: 11.3% (2012 est.)
female: 6.8% (2012 est.)

Congolese diaspora

The table below shows DRC born people who have emigrated abroad in selected Western countries (although it excludes their descendants). [17]

RankCountryRegionYearDRC born population
1Flag of France.svg  France Europe2010 59,641
2Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Europe2015 44,715
3Flag of the United States.svg  United States North America2011-13 20,410
4Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada North America2011 19,890
5Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Europe2011 19,193
6Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Europe2011 (foreign citizens) 9,299
7Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Europe2011 6,724
8Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Europe2015 6,010
9Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Europe2015 4,973
10Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Oceania2011 2,576
11Flag of Norway.svg  Norway Europe2015 2,210
12Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Europe2015 3,092
13Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Europe2013 1,494
14Flag of Finland.svg  Finland Europe2015 1,523
15Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Europe2015 1,264
16Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Europe2015 1,258

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

See also

Congolese ethnic groups:

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References

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PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document: "2007 edition".