GuineaBissau People - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


2,078,820 (2023 est.)


noun: Bissau-Guinean(s)

adjective: Bissau-Guinean

Ethnic groups

Balanta 30%, Fulani 30%, Manjaco 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel 7%, unspecified smaller ethnic groups 6% (2015 est.)


Portuguese-based Creole, Portuguese (official; largely used as a second or third language), Pular (a Fula language), Mandingo


Muslim 46.1%, folk religions 30.6%, Christian 18.9%, other or unaffiliated 4.4% (2020 est.)

Demographic profile

Guinea-Bissau’s young and growing population is sustained by high fertility; approximately 60% of the population is under the age of 25 as of 2020. Its large reproductive-age population and total fertility rate of more than 4 children per woman offsets the country’s high infant and maternal mortality rates. The latter is among the world’s highest because of the prevalence of early childbearing, a lack of birth spacing, the high percentage of births outside of health care facilities, and a shortage of medicines and supplies.

Guinea-Bissau’s history of political instability, a civil war, and several coups (the latest in 2012) have resulted in a fragile state with a weak economy, high unemployment, rampant corruption, widespread poverty, and thriving drug and child trafficking. With the country lacking educational infrastructure, school funding and materials, and qualified teachers, and with the cultural emphasis placed on religious education, parents frequently send boys to study in residential Koranic schools (daaras) in Senegal and The Gambia. They often are extremely deprived and are forced into street begging or agricultural work by marabouts (Muslim religious teachers), who enrich themselves at the expense of the children. Boys who leave their marabouts often end up on the streets of Dakar or other large Senegalese towns and are vulnerable to even worse abuse.

Some young men lacking in education and job prospects become involved in the flourishing international drug trade. Local drug use and associated violent crime are growing.

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.51% (male 444,214/female 439,517)

15-64 years: 54.38% (male 545,116/female 585,284)

65 years and over: 3.11% (2023 est.) (male 26,890/female 37,799)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 76.6

youth dependency ratio: 71.6

elderly dependency ratio: 5

potential support ratio: 20.1 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 18 years

male: 17.4 years

female: 18.6 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.54% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

36.25 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate

7.32 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate

-3.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

approximately one-fifth of the population lives in the capital city of Bissau along the Atlantic coast; the remainder is distributed among the eight other, mainly rural, regions as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 45.5% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.22% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

664,000 BISSAU (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

725 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 47.69 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 53.39 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 41.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 64.1 years

male: 61.84 years

female: 66.42 years (2023 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.65 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

2.29 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

20.6% (2018/19)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 90.6% of population

rural: 59.1% of population

total: 73.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 9.4% of population

rural: 40.9% of population

total: 26.9% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

8.4% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.2 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 62.4% of population

rural: 7.6% of population

total: 31.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 37.6% of population

rural: 92.4% of population

total: 68.2% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

9.5% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 3.21 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.41 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.98 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.54 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 1.28 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 9% (2020 est.)

male: 17% (2020 est.)

female: 0.9% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

18.8% (2019)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

56.7% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 8.1%

women married by age 18: 25.7%

men married by age 18: 2.2% (2019 est.)

Education expenditures

2.7% of GDP (2020 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 52.9%

male: 67%

female: 39.9% (2021)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 12.8%

male: 11.6%

female: 14.2% (2021 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding GuineaBissau on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of GuineaBissau 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about GuineaBissau 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.