Gabon: 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: Gabonese (singular and plural)
adjective: Gabonese
Ethnic groupsBantu tribes, including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba); other Africans and Europeans, 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality
LanguagesFrench (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
ReligionsCatholic 41.9%, Protestant 13.7%, other Christian 32.4%, Muslim 6.4%, animist 0.3%, other 0.3%, none/no answer 5% (2012 est.)
Demographic profileGabon’s oil revenues have given it one of the highest per capita income levels in sub-Saharan Africa, but the wealth is not evenly distributed and poverty is widespread. Unemployment is especially prevalent among the large youth population; more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25. With a fertility rate still averaging more than 4 children per woman, the youth population will continue to grow and further strain the mismatch between Gabon’s supply of jobs and the skills of its labor force. Gabon has been a magnet to migrants from neighboring countries since the 1960s because of the discovery of oil, as well as the country’s political stability and timber, mineral, and natural gas resources. Nonetheless, income inequality and high unemployment have created slums in Libreville full of migrant workers from Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, and elsewhere in West Africa. In 2011, Gabon declared an end to refugee status for 9,500 remaining Congolese nationals to whom it had granted asylum during the Republic of the Congo’s civil war between 1997 and 2003. About 5,400 of these refugees received permits to reside in Gabon.
Age structure0-14 years: 41.98% (male 366,875/female 363,031)
15-24 years: 20.37% (male 177,501/female 176,653)
25-54 years: 29.59% (male 257,841/female 256,604)
55-64 years: 4.28% (male 35,895/female 38,533)
65 years and over: 3.77% (male 28,137/female 37,471) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 73.1%
youth dependency ratio: 64.3%
elderly dependency ratio: 8.8%
potential support ratio: 11.3% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.6 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.92% (2016 est.)
Birth rate34.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate13.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanizationurban population: 87.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationLIBREVILLE (capital) 707,000 (2015)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth20.3
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
Maternal mortality rate291 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 45.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 38 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 52.1 years
male: 51.6 years
female: 52.5 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.43 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate31.1% (2012)
Health expenditures3.4% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density6.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 97.2% of population
rural: 66.7% of population
total: 93.2% of population
urban: 2.8% of population
rural: 33.3% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 43.4% of population
rural: 31.5% of population
total: 41.9% of population
urban: 56.6% of population
rural: 68.5% of population
total: 58.1% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate3.76% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS46,700 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths1,300 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate15.8% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight6.5% (2012)
Education expenditures2.7% of GDP (2014)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.2%
male: 85.3%
female: 81% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 35.7%
male: 30.6%
female: 41.9% (2010 est.)