Demographics of Angola

Demographics of Angola

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

Demographics of Angola, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

From the ethnic point of view, three main groups have to be distinguished, each speaking a Bantu language: the Ovimbundu who represent 37% of the population, (Ambundu with 25%, and the Bakongo 13%. Other numerically important groups include the closely interrelated Chokwe and Lunda, the Ganguela and Nhaneca-Humbe, in both cases classification terms which stand for a variety of small groups, the Ovambo, the Herero, the Xindonga and scattered residual groups of Khoisan. In addition, mixed race (European and African) people amount to about 2%, with a small (1%) population of whites, mainly ethnically Portuguese (as a former overseas territory of Portugal until 1975, the Portuguese make up currently the largest non-African population, with certainly more than 100,000, a number that has been constantly increasing from the 2000s, because of Angola's growing demand for qualified human resources.[1][2][3][4] Besides the Portuguese, significant numbers of people from other European and from diverse Latin American countries (especially Brazil) can be found. From the 2000s many Chinese have settled and started up small businesses, while at least as many have come as workforce for large (construction or other) enterprises. Observers claim that the Chinese community in Angola might include as many as 300,000 persons at the end of 2010, but nothing near to reliable statistics are at this stage available on this point.[5] In 1974/75, up to 250,000 Cuban soldiers arrived in Angola to help the MPLA forces during the decolonisation conflict. Once this was over, a massive development cooperation in the field of health and education brought in numerous civil personnel from Cuba. However, only a very small percentage of all these people has remained in Angola, either for personal reasons (intermarriage) or as professionals (e.g. medical doctors). The largest religious denomination is Roman Catholicism, to which adheres about half the population, Roughly 26% are followers of traditional forms of Protestantism (Congregationals, Methodists, Baptista, Lutherans, Reformed), but over the last decades there has in addition been a real explosion of Pentecostal communities and African Initiated Churches. As of 2006, one out of 221 people were Jehovah's Witnesses. Blacks from Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal are mostly Sunnite Muslims, but do not make up more than 1 - 2% of the population. By now few Angolans retain African Traditional Religions following different ethnic faiths.


CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.[6]


Population pyramid for Angola

There are 12,799,293 Angolan citizens as of July 2009, which ranks 70th in the world.

However the results of the voters' registration of 2007-2008, 8.256.000 adults (from 18 years onwards) combined with the data from 2000/2001 that show that only about 45% of the population is in adult age (Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey, INE/UNICEF), give a total population of at least 18,3 million in 2008.The population of the capital Luanda is about 5,3 million.

Population distribution

The population is predominately quite young, with 43.7% between the ages of less than one and 14 years old, 2,678,185 males and 2,625,933 females. 53.5% of the population is between the ages of 15 and 64 years old, with 3,291,954 males and 3,195,688 females. 2.8% are 65 years and over, 148,944 males and 186,367 females as of 2006. The median age for males and females is 18 years old.

Population growth

Population in Angola[7]
Year Million
1971 6.2
1980 7.9
1990 10.7
2000 14.3
2009 18.5

The population is growing by 2.184% annually. There are 44.51 births and 24.81 deaths per 1,000 citizens. The net migration rate is 2.14 migrants per 1,000 citizens. The fertility rate of Angola is 5.97 children born per woman as of 2011. The infant mortality rate is 184.44 deaths for every 1,000 live births with 196.55 deaths for males and 171.72 deaths for females for every 1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth is 37.63 years; 36.73 years for males and 38.57 years for females.

Age Structure

  • 0–14 years: 43.2% (male 2,910,981/female 2,856,527)
  • 15–64 years: 54.1% (male 3,663,400/female 3,549,896)
  • 65 years and over: 2.7% (male 157,778/female 199,959) (2011 est.)

Sex ratio

  • At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
  • 15–64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and older: .79 male(s)/female
  • Total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2011 est.)


The adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS infection is 3.9% as of 2003. There are 240,000 citizens living with AIDS and 21,000 die annually. The risk of contracting disease is very high. There are food and waterborne diseases, bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever; vectorborne diseases, malaria, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness); respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis, and schistosomiasis, a water contact disease, as of 2005.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic groups of Angola 1970

37% of Angolans are Ovimbundu, 25% are Ambundu, 13% are Bakongo, 2% are mestiço, 1-2% are Portuguese or other white people, and other ethnicities make up 22% of Angola's population.


Angola is a majority Christian country, with 53% of citizens professing the religion. Most Angolan Christians are Roman Catholic, 38%, or Protestant, 15%. 46.8% of Angolans practice indigenous beliefs.


Portuguese is the official language of Angola, but Bantu and other African languages are also widely spoken. Literacy is quite low, with 67.4% of the population over the age of 15 able to read and write in Portuguese. 82.9% of males and 54.2% of women are literate as of 2001.


  1. ^ It should be recalled that in 1974, white Angolans made up a population of 330 thousand to 350 thousand people in an overall population of 6,3 thousand Angolans at that time. The only reliable source on these numbers is Gerald Bender & Stanley Yoder, Whites in Angola on the Eve of Independence: The Politics of Numbers, Africa Today, 21 (4) 1974, pp. 23 - 37. Today, many Angolans who are not ethnic Portuguese can claim Portuguese nationality under Portuguese law. Estimates on the overall population are given in O País
  2. ^
  3. ^ Country Studies
  4. ^ (Portuguese) Portugueses em Angola quadruplicaram, Jornal de Notícias (March 10, 2009)
  5. ^ Chinese karaoke fans sing Angola's praises
  6. ^ It should be underlined that many of these statistics are not fully reliable and/or outdated. Updated and reliable data are expected from the population census scheduled for 2013.
  7. ^ CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion Population 1971–2008 IEA (pdf pages 83–85

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