Comoros People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


864,335 (July 2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163


noun: Comoran(s)

adjective: Comoran

Ethnic groups

Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava


Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (official; a blend of Swahili and Arabic) (Comorian)


Sunni Muslim 98%, other (including Shia Muslim, Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Protestant) 2%

note: Sunni Islam is the state religion

Demographic profile

Comoros’ population is a melange of Arabs, Persians, Indonesians, Africans, and Indians, and the much smaller number of Europeans that settled on the islands between the 8th and 19th centuries, when they served as a regional trade hub. The Arab and Persian influence is most evident in the islands’ overwhelmingly Muslim majority – about 98% of Comorans are Sunni Muslims. The country is densely populated, averaging nearly 350 people per square mile, although this varies widely among the islands, with Anjouan being the most densely populated.

Given the large share of land dedicated to agriculture and Comoros’ growing population, habitable land is becoming increasingly crowded. The combination of increasing population pressure on limited land and resources, widespread poverty, and poor job prospects motivates thousands of Comorans each year to attempt to illegally migrate using small fishing boats to the neighboring island of Mayotte, which is a French territory. The majority of legal Comoran migration to France came after Comoros’ independence from France in 1975, with the flow peaking in the mid-1980s.

At least 150,000 to 200,000 people of Comoran citizenship or descent live abroad, mainly in France, where they have gone seeking a better quality of life, job opportunities, higher education (Comoros has no universities), advanced health care, and to finance elaborate traditional wedding ceremonies (aada). Remittances from the diaspora are an economic mainstay, in 2013 representing approximately 25% of Comoros’ GDP and significantly more than the value of its exports of goods and services (only 15% of GDP). Grand Comore, Comoros’ most populous island, is both the primary source of emigrants and the main recipient of remittances. Most remittances are spent on private consumption, but this often goes toward luxury goods and the aada and does not contribute to economic development or poverty reduction. Although the majority of the diaspora is now French-born with more distant ties to Comoros, it is unclear whether they will sustain the current level of remittances.

Age structure

0-14 years: 36.68% (male 154,853/female 155,602)

15-24 years: 20.75% (male 85,208/female 90,422)

25-54 years: 33.99% (male 136,484/female 151,178)

55-64 years: 4.49% (male 17,237/female 20,781)

65 years and over: 4.08% (male 15,437/female 19,079) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 75.5

youth dependency ratio: 67.4

elderly dependency ratio: 5.4

potential support ratio: 18.6 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 20.9 years

male: 20.2 years

female: 21.5 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 188

Population growth rate

1.41% (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 70

Birth rate

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

country comparison to the world: 53

Death rate

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

country comparison to the world: 133

Net migration rate

-2.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 171

Population distribution

the capital city of Maroni, located on the western side of the island of Grande Comore, is the country's largest city; however, of the three islands that comprise Comoros, it is Anjouan that is the most densely populated as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 29.6% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.97% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

62,000 MORONI (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23 years (2012 est.)

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

Maternal mortality rate

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

country comparison to the world: 40

Infant mortality rate

total: 58.21 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 68.34 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 47.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 66.9 years

male: 64.65 years

female: 69.21 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 188

Total fertility rate

2.86 children born/woman (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 54

Contraceptive prevalence rate

19.4% (2012)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 97.4% of population

rural: 88.5% of population

total: 91% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.6% of population

rural: 11.5% of population

total: 8.9% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

4.6% (2018)

Physicians density

0.27 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

2.2 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 62.4% of population

rural: 43.6% of population

total: 49% of population

unimproved: urban: 37.6% of population

rural: 56.4% of population

total: 51% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

<.1 est.>

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS - deaths

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

7.8% (2016)

country comparison to the world: 157

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

16.9% (2012)

country comparison to the world: 30

Education expenditures

2.5% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 153


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 58.8%

male: 64.6%

female: 53% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2014)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 19.5%

male: 20%

female: 18.8% (2014)

country comparison to the world: 76

NOTE: The information regarding Comoros 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 Comoros 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Comoros 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.