South Sudan: People & Society#

Population12,530,717 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: South Sudanese (singular and plural)
adjective: South Sudanese
Ethnic groupsDinka 35.8%, Nuer 15.6%, Shilluk, Azande, Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, Acholi (2011 est.)
LanguagesEnglish (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants), regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk
Religionsanimist, Christian
Demographic profileSouth Sudan, independent from Sudan since July 2011 after decades of civil war, is one of the world’s poorest countries and ranks among the lowest in many socioeconomic categories. Problems are exacerbated by ongoing tensions with Sudan over oil revenues and land borders, fighting between government forces and rebel groups, and inter-communal violence. Most of the population lives off of farming, while smaller numbers rely on animal husbandry; more than 80% of the populace lives in rural areas. The maternal mortality rate is among the world’s highest for a variety of reasons, including a shortage of health care workers, facilities, and supplies; poor roads and a lack of transport; and cultural beliefs that prevent women from seeking obstetric care. Most women marry and start having children early, giving birth at home with the assistance of traditional birth attendants, who are unable to handle complications. Educational attainment is extremely poor due to the lack of schools, qualified teachers, and materials. Less than a third of the population is literate (the rate is even lower among women), and half live below the poverty line. Teachers and students are also struggling with the switch from Arabic to English as the language of instruction. Many adults missed out on schooling because of warfare and displacement. More than 900,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighboring countries since the current conflict began in 2013, almost 200,000 alone have fled since the most recent outbreak of violence in early July 2016. Another 1.7 million South Sudanese are internally displaced. Despite South Sudan’s instability and lack of infrastructure and social services, more than 240,000 people have fled to South Sudan to escape fighting in Sudan.
Age structure0-14 years: 44.86% (male 2,866,374/female 2,755,451)
15-24 years: 20.32% (male 1,338,548/female 1,208,109)
25-54 years: 29.4% (male 1,783,091/female 1,901,553)
55-64 years: 3.31% (male 222,760/female 192,274)
65 years and over: 2.1% (male 145,687/female 116,870) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 83.7%
youth dependency ratio: 77.3%
elderly dependency ratio: 6.4%
potential support ratio: 15.7% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 17.1 years
male: 17 years
female: 17.3 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate3.92% (2016 est.)
Birth rate36.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanizationurban population: 18.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 5.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationJUBA (capital) 321,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate789 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 64.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 69.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 59.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate5.19 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate4% (2010)
Health expenditures2.7% of GDP (2014)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 66.7% of population
rural: 56.9% of population
total: 58.7% of population
urban: 33.3% of population
rural: 43.1% of population
total: 41.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 16.4% of population
rural: 4.5% of population
total: 6.7% of population
urban: 83.6% of population
rural: 95.5% of population
total: 93.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate2.47% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS179,100 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths11,600 (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, dengue fever, trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate6.6% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight27.6% (2010)
Education expenditures0.8% of GDP (2011)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 27%
male: 40%
female: 16% (2009 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 18.5%
male: 20%
female: 17% (2008 est.)