Demographics of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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.
According to the 2019 revision of the World Population Prospects the total population was 84,068,091 in 2018, 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 .
|Total population||Population aged 0–14 (%)||Population aged 15–64 (%)||Population aged 65+ (%)|
|1950||12 184 000||43.7||52.5||3.8|
|1955||13 580 000||43.8||53.1||3.1|
|1960||15 368 000||43.8||53.3||2.9|
|1965||17 543 000||43.9||53.2||2.8|
|1970||20 267 000||44.4||52.8||2.8|
|1975||23 317 000||44.9||52.3||2.8|
|1980||27 019 000||45.4||51.8||2.8|
|1985||31 044 000||46.1||51.1||2.8|
|1990||36 406 000||47.0||50.2||2.8|
|1995||44 067 000||47.9||49.4||2.7|
|2000||49 626 000||48.0||49.4||2.7|
|2005||57 421 000||47.5||49.9||2.7|
|2010||65 966 000||46.3||51.1||2.7|
Structure of the population (DHS 2013-2014) (Males 45 548, Females 49 134 = 94 682) :
|Age Group||Male (%)||Female (%)||Total (%)|
|Age group||Male (%)||Female (%)||Total (%)|
Registration of vital events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is incomplete. The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates. 
|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
Total Fertility Rate (TFR) (Wanted Fertility Rate) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR):
|Year||CBR (Total)||TFR (Total)||CBR (Urban)||TFR (Urban)||CBR (Rural)||TFR (Rural)|
|2007||44,1||6,3 (5,6)||40,4||5,4 (4,8)||46,8||7,0 (6,2)|
|2013-14||44,1||6,6 (5,7)||40,5||5,4 (4,6)||45,9||7,3 (6,5)|
Fertility data as of 2013-2014 (DHS Program):
|Province||Total fertility rate||Percentage of women age 15-49 currently pregnant||Mean number of children ever born to women age 40-49|
|Period||Life expectancy in |
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. 5,000 people from Belgium and 5,000 people from Greece currently live in DR Congo.
Bantu peoples (80%):
- Luba (18%), Mongo (17%), Kongo (12%)
- Others: Ambala, Ambuun, Angba, Babindi, Baboma, Baholo, Balunda, Bangala, Bango, Batsamba, Bazombe, Bemba, Bembe, Bira, Bowa, Dikidiki, Dzing, Fuliru, Havu, Hema, Hima, Hunde, Hutu, 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, Tchokwé, Téké, Tembo, Tetela, Topoke, Ungana, Vira, Wakuti, Yaka, Yakoma, Yanzi, Yeke, Yela etc.
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.
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.
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, has the adherence of 2.8%, while Muslims make up 1.2%.
Joshua Project figures: 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%.
Other demographic statistics
Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review in 2019.
- One birth every 9 seconds
- One death every 40 seconds
- One net migrant every 28 minutes
- Net gain of one person every 12 seconds
- 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.)
- 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.)
- total: 18.8 years. Country comparison to the world: 206th
- male: 18.6 years
- female: 19 years (2018 est.)
- 32.8 births/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 29th
- 33.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
- 9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 50th
- 9.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
- 4.54 children born/woman (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 25th
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 10%
- 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.)
- 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.)
- urban population: 44.5% of total population (2018)
- rate of urbanization: 4.53% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
- 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)
- Noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
- Adjective: Congolese or Congo
- 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.)
This article needs to be updated.August 2016)(
The table below shows DRC born people who have emigrated abroad in selected Western countries (although it excludes their descendants).
|Rank||Country||Region||Year||DRC born population|
|3||United States||North America||2011-13||20,410|
|6||Germany||Europe||2011 (foreign citizens)||9,299|
These are only estimates and do not account for Congolese migrants residing illegally in these and other countries. citation needed][
- Twa peoples
- Lunda people
- Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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