Central African Republic: People & Society#

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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African
Ethnic groupsBaya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
LanguagesFrench (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Religionsindigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%
note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
Demographic profileThe Central African Republic’s (CAR) humanitarian crisis has worsened since a coup in March 2013. CAR’s high mortality rate and low life expectancy are attributed to elevated rates of preventable and treatable diseases (including malaria and malnutrition), an inadequate health care system, precarious food security, and armed conflict. Some of the worst mortality rates are in western CAR’s diamond mining region, which is impoverished because of government attempts to control the diamond trade and the fall in industrial diamond prices. To make matters worse, the government and international donors have reduced health funding in recent years. The CAR’s weak educational system and low literacy rate have also suffered as a result of the country’s ongoing conflict. Schools are closed, qualified teachers are scarce, infrastructure, funding, and supplies are lacking and subject to looting, and many students and teachers are displaced by violence. Rampant poverty, human rights violations, unemployment, poor infrastructure, and a lack of security and stability have led to forced displacement internally and externally. Since the political crisis that resulted in CAR’s March 2013 coup began in December 2012, approximately 370,000 people have fled to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and other neighboring countries, while an estimated 385,000 are displaced internally. The UN has urged countries to refrain from repatriating CAR refugees amid the heightened lawlessness.
Age structure0-14 years: 40.27% (male 1,114,727/female 1,102,809)
15-24 years: 19.98% (male 553,264/female 547,308)
25-54 years: 32.24% (male 888,304/female 887,348)
55-64 years: 4.04% (male 101,306/female 120,964)
65 years and over: 3.47% (male 74,516/female 116,711) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 75.2%
youth dependency ratio: 68.4%
elderly dependency ratio: 6.8%
potential support ratio: 14.8% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.6 years
male: 19.3 years
female: 19.9 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.12% (2016 est.)
Birth rate34.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate13.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanizationurban population: 40% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationBANGUI (capital) 794,000 (2015)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate882 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 88.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 95.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 80.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 52.3 years
male: 51 years
female: 53.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.36 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate15.2% (2010/11)
Health expenditures4.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 89.6% of population
rural: 54.4% of population
total: 68.5% of population
urban: 10.4% of population
rural: 45.6% of population
total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 43.6% of population
rural: 7.2% of population
total: 21.8% of population
urban: 56.4% of population
rural: 92.8% of population
total: 78.2% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate3.7% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS118,800 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths7,800 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate4.4% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight23.5% (2011)
Education expenditures1.2% of GDP (2011)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 36.8%
male: 50.7%
female: 24.4% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 7 years
male: 8 years
female: 6 years (2012)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 532,518
percentage: 47% (2006 est.)