Demographics of Djibouti
Demographics of  Djibouti
Population: 882,844 (2010)
Growth rate: 2.237% (2010)
Birth rate: 25.27 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 8.23 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Life expectancy: 61.14 years (2010)
–male: 58.69 years
–female: 63.66 years
Fertility rate: 2.79 children born/woman (2010)
Infant mortality rate: 56.65‰
Age structure:
0-14 years: 35% (male 132,592/female 132,114)
15-64 years: 61.7% (male 206,323/female 260,772)
65-over: 3.3% (male 11,349/female 13,924)
Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
65-over: 0.81 male(s)/female
Nationality: noun: Djiboutian(s) adjective: Djiboutian
Major ethnic: Somali 60%
Afar 35%
Minor ethnic: French
Spoken: Arabic (official), French (official), Somali and Afar

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Djibouti, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Over half of the Republic of Djibouti's inhabitants (totalling well over 700,000) reside in the capital city. The population is divided between the Somalis (predominantly of the Issa clan, along with Gadabuursi and Isaaq representation) and the Afar or Danakil, divided into the `noble' Asaimara (Red) clans and commoner Asdoimara (White) clans. All are Cushitic-speaking peoples, and nearly all are Muslim. Among the 30,000 foreigners residing in Djibouti, the French are the most numerous. Among the French are 3,200 troops of French Foreign Legion. There is also a sizable Arab population living in Djibouti, which constitutes about 5 percent of the population.

The ethnic divide between the Issa and the Afar dominates the social and political landscapes. It is the cause of political hostilities and the root of what some at one time called Djibouti's 'boiling cauldron.' In the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a renewed effort to grow a "greater Afar"[clarification needed] nation that led many to believe that the cauldron would boil over. Ultimately, the conflict abated without significant regime upheaval. In the political sphere there have been attempts at power sharing to try to quell the conflict, though the political dominance of the Issa continues to be a source of Afar resentment and periodic unrest. In the social sphere, the divide looms large.

Djibouti has few natural resources to offer beyond low profit-yielding salt. The arid soils provide little agricultural opportunity, there is little or no mineral wealth, and there is no oil known off the coast. The people, while more educated than many of their regional counterparts, are not well trained enough to offer international business skills. Infrastructure does not provide the requirements for attracting significant international business. Djibouti's main advantages have been its strategic position. It has a vibrant port in a region of large land-locked country. Since the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict Djibouti has profited by providing Ethiopia an alternative to the Eritrean port. As a neighbor to Somalia and bearing a large Somali population, Djibouti has seen its interest involved in the Somali conflict, most notably hosting peace talks in Spring 2000.

In terms of health and welfare, the average life expectancy in Djibouti is 61.14 years of age. The infant mortality rate is 54.94 deaths per 1000 live births. The HIV/AIDs infection rate is lower than many other African countries at only 2.5 percent. About 67.9 percent of the population is literate.

A notable measure of human development is the Human Development Index (HDI), which is formulated by the United Nations Development Program. The HDI is a composite of several indicators, which measure a country's achievements in three main arenas of human development: longevity, knowledge and education, as well as economic standard of living. The HDI places Djibouti in the low human development category, at 147th place.

Note: Although the concept of human development is complicated and cannot be properly captured by values and indices, the HDI, which is calculated and updated annually, offers a wide-ranging assessment of human development in certain countries, not based solely upon traditional economic and financial indicators.


CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook[1], unless otherwise indicated.


757,074 (July 2011 est.)

Age structure

Age range Percentage Male Female Total
0–14 years (35%) 132,592 132,114 264,706
15–64 years (61.7%) 206,323 260,772 467,095
65 years and over (3.3%) 11,349 13,924 25,273
Total 100% 350,264 406,810 757,074

Median age

Total: 21.8 years
Male: 20.2 years
Female: 23.1 years (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

2.237% (2011 est.)

Birth rate

25.27 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death rate

8.23 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net migration rate

5.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


urban population: 76% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population

DJIBOUTI (capital) 567,000 (2009)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant mortality rate

Total: 54.94 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 62.63 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 47.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total population: 61.14 years
Male: 58.69 years
Female: 63.66 years (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.71 children born/woman (2011 est.)


adult prevalence rate: 2.5% (2009 est.)
people living with HIV/AIDS: 14,000 (2009 est.)
deaths: 1,000 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)


noun: Djiboutian(s)
adjective: Djiboutian

Ethnic groups

Somali 60%, Afar 35%, French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian 5%


Muslim 94%, Christian 6%


French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.9%
male: 78%
female: 58.4% (2003 est.)


See also

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2006 edition".

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