Open translate

Mali People - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


21,359,722 (2023 est.)


noun: Malian(s)

adjective: Malian

Ethnic groups

Bambara 33.3%, Fulani (Peuhl) 13.3%, Sarakole/Soninke/Marka 9.8%, Senufo/Manianka 9.6%, Malinke 8.8%, Dogon 8.7%, Sonrai 5.9%, Bobo 2.1%, Tuareg/Bella 1.7%, other Malian 6%, from members of Economic Community of West Africa 0.4%, other 0.3% (2018 est.)


Bambara (official), French 17.2%, Peuhl/Foulfoulbe/Fulani 9.4%, Dogon 7.2%, Maraka/Soninke 6.4%, Malinke 5.6%, Sonrhai/Djerma 5.6%, Minianka 4.3%, Tamacheq 3.5%, Senoufo 2.6%, Bobo 2.1%, other 6.3%, unspecified 0.7% (2009 est.)

note: Mali has 13 national languages in addition to its official language


Muslim 93.9%, Christian 2.8%, animist 0.7%, none 2.5% (2018 est.)

Demographic profile

Mali’s total population is expected to double by 2035; its capital Bamako is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa. A young age structure, a declining mortality rate, and a sustained high total fertility rate of 5.5 children per woman – the fourth highest in the world, as of 2022 – ensure continued rapid population growth for the foreseeable future. Significant outmigration only marginally tempers this growth. Despite decreases, Mali’s infant, child, and maternal mortality rates remain among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa because of limited access to and adoption of family planning, early childbearing, short birth intervals, the prevalence of female genital cutting, infrequent use of skilled birth attendants, and a lack of emergency obstetrical and neonatal care.

Mali’s high total fertility rate has been virtually unchanged for decades, as a result of the ongoing preference for large families, early childbearing, the lack of female education and empowerment, poverty, and extremely low contraceptive use. Slowing Mali’s population growth by lowering its birth rate will be essential for poverty reduction, improving food security, and developing human capital and the economy.

Mali has a long history of seasonal migration and emigration driven by poverty, conflict, demographic pressure, unemployment, food insecurity, and droughts. Many Malians from rural areas migrate during the dry period to nearby villages and towns to do odd jobs or to adjoining countries to work in agriculture or mining. Pastoralists and nomads move seasonally to southern Mali or nearby coastal states. Others migrate long term to Mali’s urban areas, Cote d’Ivoire, other neighboring countries, and in smaller numbers to France, Mali’s former colonial ruler. Since the early 1990s, Mali’s role has grown as a transit country for regional migration flows and illegal migration to Europe. Human smugglers and traffickers exploit the same regional routes used for moving contraband drugs, arms, and cigarettes.

Between early 2012 and 2013, renewed fighting in northern Mali between government forces and Tuareg secessionists and their Islamist allies, a French-led international military intervention, as well as chronic food shortages, caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Malians. Most of those displaced domestically sought shelter in urban areas of southern Mali, except for pastoralist and nomadic groups, who abandoned their traditional routes, gave away or sold their livestock, and dispersed into the deserts of northern Mali or crossed into neighboring countries. Almost all Malians who took refuge abroad (mostly Tuareg and Maure pastoralists) stayed in the region, largely in Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

Age structure

0-14 years: 47.05% (male 5,054,927/female 4,995,605)

15-64 years: 49.88% (male 5,006,470/female 5,647,289)

65 years and over: 3.07% (2023 est.) (male 323,170/female 332,261)

2023 population pyramid:

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 99.3

youth dependency ratio: 94.5

elderly dependency ratio: 4.9

potential support ratio: 20.6 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 16.3 years (2023 est.)

male: 15.6 years

female: 17 years

Population growth rate

2.93% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

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

Death rate

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

Net migration rate

-3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

the overwhelming majority of the population lives in the southern half of the country, with greater density along the border with Burkina Faso as shown in this


urban population: 46.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 4.57% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

2.929 million BAMAKO (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.2 years (2018 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 20-49

Maternal mortality ratio

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

Infant mortality rate

total: 59 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 64.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 53.5 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 62.8 years (2023 est.)

male: 60.6 years

female: 65.1 years

Total fertility rate

5.45 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

2.68 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

17.2% (2018)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 75.9% of population

total: 86.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 24.1% of population

total: 13.6% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

4.3% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.13 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.1 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 85.7% of population

rural: 44.7% of population

total: 62.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 14.3% of population

rural: 55.3% of population

total: 37.3% 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, dengue fever, and sexually transmitted diseases: hepatitis B (2024)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

aerosolized dust or soil contact diseases: Lassa fever

note: on 31 August 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Mali is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

8.6% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.6 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.49 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 8.3% (2020 est.)

male: 15.6% (2020 est.)

female: 1% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

18.5% (2022)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

77.9% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 15.9%

women married by age 18: 53.7%

men married by age 18: 2.1% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

4.4% of GDP (2021 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 35.5%

male: 46.2%

female: 25.7% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 7 years

male: 8 years

female: 7 years (2017)

NOTE: The information regarding Mali on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Mali 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mali 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.