Burundi People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


12,241,065 (July 2021 est.)

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

country comparison to the world: 77


noun: Burundian(s)

adjective: Burundian

Ethnic groups

Hutu, Tutsi, Twa (Pygmy)


Kirundi only 29.7% (official); French only .3% (official); Swahili only .2%; English only .1% (official); Kirundi and French 8.4%; Kirundi, French, and English 2.4%, other language combinations 2%, unspecified 56.9% (2008 est.)

note: data represent languages read and written by people 10 years of age or older; spoken Kirundi is nearly universal


Roman Catholic 62.1%, Protestant 23.9% (includes Adventist 2.3% and other Protestant 21.6%), Muslim 2.5%, other 3.6%, unspecified 7.9% (2008 est.)

Demographic profile

Burundi is a densely populated country with a high population growth rate, factors that combined with land scarcity and poverty place a large share of its population at risk of food insecurity. About 90% of the population relies on subsistence agriculture. Subdivision of land to sons, and redistribution to returning refugees, results in smaller, overworked, and less productive plots. Food shortages, poverty, and a lack of clean water contribute to a 60% chronic malnutrition rate among children. A lack of reproductive health services has prevented a significant reduction in Burundi’s maternal mortality and fertility rates, which are both among the world’s highest. With two-thirds of its population under the age of 25 and a birth rate of about 6 children per woman, Burundi’s population will continue to expand rapidly for decades to come, putting additional strain on a poor country.

Historically, migration flows into and out of Burundi have consisted overwhelmingly of refugees from violent conflicts. In the last decade, more than a half million Burundian refugees returned home from neighboring countries, mainly Tanzania. Reintegrating the returnees has been problematic due to their prolonged time in exile, land scarcity, poor infrastructure, poverty, and unemployment. Repatriates and existing residents (including internally displaced persons) compete for limited land and other resources. To further complicate matters, international aid organizations reduced their assistance because they no longer classified Burundi as a post-conflict country. Conditions have deteriorated since renewed violence erupted in April 2015, causing another outpouring of refugees. In addition to refugee out-migration, Burundi has hosted thousands of refugees from neighboring countries, mostly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and lesser numbers from Rwanda.

Age structure

0-14 years: 43.83% (male 2,618,868/female 2,581,597)

15-24 years: 19.76% (male 1,172,858/female 1,171,966)

25-54 years: 29.18% (male 1,713,985/female 1,748,167)

55-64 years: 4.17% (male 231,088/female 264,131)

65 years and over: 3.06% (male 155,262/female 207,899) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 91

youth dependency ratio: 86.4

elderly dependency ratio: 4.5

potential support ratio: 22 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 17.7 years

male: 17.4 years

female: 18 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 217

Population growth rate

3.68% (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

Birth rate

35.48 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Death rate

6.07 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

Net migration rate

7.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Population distribution

one of Africa's most densely populated countries; concentrations tend to be in the north and along the northern shore of Lake Tanganyika in the west; most people live on farms near areas of fertile volcanic soil as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 14.1% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 5.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.075 million BUJUMBURA (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

21.5 years (2016/17 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality rate

548 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Infant mortality rate

total: 38.96 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 43.21 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 34.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 67.07 years

male: 64.98 years

female: 69.22 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 187

Total fertility rate

5.1 children born/woman (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Contraceptive prevalence rate

28.5% (2016/17)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 97.6% of population

rural: 77.8% of population

total: 80.3% of population

unimproved: urban: -1.1% of population

rural: 22.2% of population

total: 19.7% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

7.7% (2018)

Physicians density

0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

0.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 85.2% of population

rural: 53.4% of population

total: 57.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 14.8% of population

rural: 46.6% of population

total: 42.6% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

1% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

83,000 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

HIV/AIDS - deaths

1,700 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

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

5.4% (2016)

country comparison to the world: 178

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

27% (2018/19)

country comparison to the world: 9

Education expenditures

5.1% of GDP (2018)

country comparison to the world: 54


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 68.4%

male: 76.3%

female: 61.2% (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 2.9%

male: 4.4%

female: 2% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174

NOTE: The information regarding Burundi on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Burundi 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Burundi 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.