Lesotho PEOPLE 2018, CIA World Factbook
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Lesotho PEOPLE 2018

SOURCE: 2018 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











Lesotho PEOPLE 2018
SOURCE: 2018 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on February 28, 2018

Population:
1,958,042
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
[see also: Population country ranks ]

Nationality:
noun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
adjective: Basotho

Ethnic groups:
Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%

Languages:
Sesotho (official) (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Religions:
Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%

Demographic profile:
Lesotho faces great socioeconomic challenges. More than half of its population lives below the property line, and the country’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is the second highest in the world. In addition, Lesotho is a small, mountainous, landlocked country with little arable land, leaving its population vulnerable to food shortages and reliant on remittances. Lesotho’s persistently high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates have been increasing during the last decade, according to the last two Demographic and Health Surveys. Despite these significant shortcomings, Lesotho has made good progress in education; it is on-track to achieve universal primary education and has one of the highest adult literacy rates in Africa. Lesotho’s migration history is linked to its unique geography; it is surrounded by South Africa with which it shares linguistic and cultural traits. Lesotho at one time had more of its workforce employed outside its borders than any other country. Today remittances equal about 17% of its GDP. With few job options at home, a high rate of poverty, and higher wages available across the border, labor migration to South Africa replaced agriculture as the prevailing Basotho source of income decades ago. The majority of Basotho migrants were single men contracted to work as gold miners in South Africa. However, migration trends changed in the 1990s, and fewer men found mining jobs in South Africa because of declining gold prices, stricter immigration policies, and a preference for South African workers. Although men still dominate cross-border labor migration, more women are working in South Africa, mostly as domestics, because they are widows or their husbands are unemployed. Internal rural-urban flows have also become more frequent, with more women migrating within the country to take up jobs in the garment industry or moving to care for loved ones with HIV/AIDS. Lesotho’s small population of immigrants is increasingly composed of Taiwanese and Chinese migrants who are involved in the textile industry and small retail businesses.

Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.12% (male 316,106/female 312,869)
[see also: Age structure - 0-14 years country ranks ]
15-24 years: 19.43% (male 181,481/female 199,039)
[see also: Age structure - 15-24 years country ranks ]
25-54 years: 37.94% (male 362,798/female 380,001)
[see also: Age structure - 25-54 years country ranks ]
55-64 years: 5.01% (male 52,293/female 45,828)
[see also: Age structure - 55-64 years country ranks ]
65 years and over: 5.5% (male 55,163/female 52,464) (2017 est.)

population pyramid:
A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page under the References tab.

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 66.9
[see also: Dependency ratios - total dependency ratio country ranks ]
youth dependency ratio: 59.5
[see also: Dependency ratios - youth dependency ratio country ranks ]
elderly dependency ratio: 7.4
[see also: Dependency ratios - elderly dependency ratio country ranks ]
potential support ratio: 13.5 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - potential support ratio country ranks ]

Median age:
total: 24.2 years
[see also: Median age - total country ranks ]
male: 24.2 years
[see also: Median age - male country ranks ]
female: 24.2 years (2017 est.)
[see also: Median age - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world: 164

Population growth rate:
0.28% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
[see also: Population growth rate country ranks ]

Birth rate:
24.6 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
[see also: Birth rate country ranks ]

Death rate:
15 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
[see also: Death rate country ranks ]

Net migration rate:
-6.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203
[see also: Net migration rate country ranks ]

Population distribution:
relatively higher population density in the western half of the nation, with the capital of Maseru, and the smaller cities of Mafeteng, Teyateyaneng, and Leribe attracting the most people

Urbanization:
urban population: 28.4% of total population (2017)
[see also: Urbanization - urban population country ranks ]
rate of urbanization: 2.85% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
[see also: Urbanization - rate of urbanization country ranks ]

Major urban areas - population:
MASERU (capital) 267,000 (2014)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
[see also: Sex ratio - at birth country ranks ]
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
[see also: Sex ratio - 0-14 years country ranks ]
15-24 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
[see also: Sex ratio - 15-24 years country ranks ]
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
[see also: Sex ratio - 25-54 years country ranks ]
55-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
[see also: Sex ratio - 55-64 years country ranks ]
65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female
[see also: Sex ratio - 65 years and over country ranks ]
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - total population country ranks ]

Mother's mean age at first birth:
21 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio:
487 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
[see also: Maternal mortality ratio country ranks ]

Infant mortality rate:
total: 46.1 deaths/1,000 live births
[see also: Infant mortality rate - total country ranks ]
male: 49.7 deaths/1,000 live births
[see also: Infant mortality rate - male country ranks ]
female: 42.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
[see also: Infant mortality rate - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world: 37

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 53 years
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - total population country ranks ]
male: 53 years
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - male country ranks ]
female: 53.1 years (2017 est.)
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world: 216
[See also: Healthy Life Expectancy ]
[See also: Health Performance ]

Total fertility rate:
2.63 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
[see also: Total fertility rate country ranks ]

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
60.2% (2014)
[see also: Contraceptive prevalence rate country ranks ]

Health expenditures:
10.6% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 19
[see also: Health expenditures country ranks ]

Hospital bed density:
1.3 beds/1,000 population (2006)
[see also: Hospital bed density country ranks ]

Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 94.6% of population rural: 77% of population total: 81.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 5.4% of population rural: 23% of population total: 18.2% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 37.3% of population rural: 27.6% of population total: 30.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 62.7% of population rural: 72.4% of population total: 69.7% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
25% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
[see also: HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
330,000 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
[see also: HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS country ranks ]

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
9,900 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
[see also: HIV/AIDS - deaths country ranks ]

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
16.6% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 122
[see also: Obesity - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
10.3% (2014)
country comparison to the world: 54
[see also: Children under the age of 5 years underweight country ranks ]

Education expenditures:
13% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 1

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.4%
[see also: Literacy - total population country ranks ]
male: 70.1%
[see also: Literacy - male country ranks ]
female: 88.3% (2015 est.)
[see also: Literacy - female country ranks ]

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - total country ranks ]
male: 10 years
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - male country ranks ]
female: 11 years (2014)
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - female country ranks ]

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 34.4%
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - total country ranks ]
male: NA
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - male country ranks ]
female: NA (2013 est.)
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world: 26


NOTE: 1) The information regarding Lesotho on this page is re-published from the 2018 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Lesotho PEOPLE 2018 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Lesotho PEOPLE 2018 should be addressed to the CIA.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may habe the following issues:
  a) The assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assignes counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order






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