Mali: People & Society#

Population17,467,108 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Malian(s)
adjective: Malian
Ethnic groupsBambara 34.1%, Fulani (Peul) 14.7%, Sarakole 10.8%, Senufo 10.5%, Dogon 8.9%, Malinke 8.7%, Bobo 2.9%, Songhai 1.6%, Tuareg 0.9%, other Malian 6.1%, from member of Economic Community of West African States 0.3%, other 0.4% (2012-13 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official), Bambara 46.3%, Peul/Foulfoulbe 9.4%, Dogon 7.2%, Maraka/Soninke 6.4%, Malinke 5.6%, Sonrhai/Djerma 5.6%, Minianka 4.3%, Tamacheq 3.5%, Senoufo 2.6%, Bobo 2.1%, unspecified 0.7%, other 6.3%
note: Mali has 13 national languages in addition to its official language (2009 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 94.8%, Christian 2.4%, Animist 2%, none 0.5%, unspecified 0.3% (2009 est.)
Demographic profileMali’s total population is expected to double by 2035; its capital Bamako is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa. A young age structure, a declining mortality rate, and a sustained high total fertility rate of 6 children per woman – the third highest in the world – ensure continued rapid population growth for the foreseeable future. Significant outmigration only marginally tempers this growth. Despite decreases, Mali’s infant, child, and maternal mortality rates remain among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa because of limited access to and adoption of family planning, early childbearing, short birth intervals, the prevalence of female genital cutting, infrequent use of skilled birth attendants, and a lack of emergency obstetrical and neonatal care. Mali’s high total fertility rate has been virtually unchanged for decades, as a result of the ongoing preference for large families, early childbearing, the lack of female education and empowerment, poverty, and extremely low contraceptive use. Slowing Mali’s population growth by lowering its birth rate will be essential for poverty reduction, improving food security, and developing human capital and the economy. Mali has a long history of seasonal migration and emigration driven by poverty, conflict, demographic pressure, unemployment, food insecurity, and droughts. Many Malians from rural areas migrate during the dry period to nearby villages and towns to do odd jobs or to adjoining countries to work in agriculture or mining. Pastoralists and nomads move seasonally to southern Mali or nearby coastal states. Others migrate long term to Mali’s urban areas, Cote d’Ivoire, other neighboring countries, and in smaller numbers to France, Mali’s former colonial ruler. Since the early 1990s, Mali’s role has grown as a transit country for regional migration flows and illegal migration to Europe. Human smugglers and traffickers exploit the same regional routes used for moving contraband drugs, arms, and cigarettes. Between early 2012 and 2013, renewed fighting in northern Mali between government forces and Tuareg secessionists and their Islamist allies, a French-led international military intervention, as well as chronic food shortages, caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Malians. Most of those displaced domestically sought shelter in urban areas of southern Mali, except for pastoralist and nomadic groups, who abandoned their traditional routes, gave away or sold their livestock, and dispersed into the deserts of northern Mali or crossed into neighboring countries. Almost all Malians who took refuge abroad (mostly Tuareg and Maure pastoralists) stayed in the region, largely in Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
Age structure0-14 years: 47.27% (male 4,145,290/female 4,110,642)
15-24 years: 19.19% (male 1,601,474/female 1,751,161)
25-54 years: 26.82% (male 2,173,415/female 2,511,844)
55-64 years: 3.76% (male 327,923/female 329,296)
65 years and over: 2.95% (male 257,519/female 258,544) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 100.2%
youth dependency ratio: 95.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 5%
potential support ratio: 19.8% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 16.2 years
male: 15.5 years
female: 16.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.96% (2016 est.)
Birth rate44.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate12.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Population distributionthe overwhelming majority of the population lives in the southern half of the country, with greater density along the border with Burkina Faso
Urbanizationurban population: 39.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 5.08% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationBAMAKO (capital) 2.515 million (2015)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth18.8
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012/13 est.)
Maternal mortality rate587 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 100 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 106.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 93.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 55.8 years
male: 53.9 years
female: 57.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate5.95 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate10.3% (2012/13)
Health expenditures6.9% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Hospital bed density0.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 96.5% of population
rural: 64.1% of population
total: 77% of population
urban: 3.5% of population
rural: 35.9% of population
total: 23% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 37.5% of population
rural: 16.1% of population
total: 24.7% of population
urban: 62.5% of population
rural: 83.9% of population
total: 75.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.25% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS124,200 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths6,500 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.7% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight27.9% (2006)
Education expenditures3.6% of GDP (2014)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.7%
male: 48.2%
female: 29.2% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 8 years
male: 9 years
female: 7 years (2011)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 1,485,027
percentage: 36% (2010 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 11.1%
male: NA
female: NA (2014 est.)