Congo Democratic Republic of the People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


105,044,646 (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


noun: Congolese (singular and plural)

adjective: Congolese or Congo

Ethnic groups

more than 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) - make up about 45% of the population


French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba

printed major-language sample:
Buku oyo ya bosembo ya Mokili Mobimba Ezali na Makanisi ya Liboso Mpenza. (Lingala)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.


Roman Catholic 29.9%, Protestant 26.7%, other Christian 36.5%, Kimbanguist 2.8%, Muslim 1.3%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 1.2%, none 1.3%, unspecified .2% (2014 est.)

Demographic profile

Despite a wealth of fertile soil, hydroelectric power potential, and mineral resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) struggles with many socioeconomic problems, including high infant and maternal mortality rates, malnutrition, poor vaccination coverage, lack of access to improved water sources and sanitation, and frequent and early fertility. Ongoing conflict, mismanagement of resources, and a lack of investment have resulted in food insecurity; almost 30 percent of children under the age of 5 are malnourished. The overall coverage of basic public services – education, health, sanitation, and potable water – is very limited and piecemeal, with substantial regional and rural/urban disparities. Fertility remains high at almost 5 children per woman and is likely to remain high because of the low use of contraception and the cultural preference for larger families.

The DRC is a source and host country for refugees. Between 2012 and 2014, more than 119,000 Congolese refugees returned from the Republic of Congo to the relative stability of northwest DRC, but more than 540,000 Congolese refugees remained abroad as of year-end 2015. In addition, an estimated 3.9 million Congolese were internally displaced as of October 2017, the vast majority fleeing violence between rebel group and Congolese armed forces. Thousands of refugees have come to the DRC from neighboring countries, including Rwanda, the Central African Republic, and Burundi.

Age structure

0-14 years: 46.38% (male 23,757,297/female 23,449,057)

15-24 years: 19.42% (male 9,908,686/female 9,856,841)

25-54 years: 28.38% (male 14,459,453/female 14,422,912)

55-64 years: 3.36% (male 1,647,267/female 1,769,429)

65 years and over: 2.47% (male 1,085,539/female 1,423,782) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 95.4

youth dependency ratio: 89.5

elderly dependency ratio: 5.9

potential support ratio: 17 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 16.7 years

male: 16.5 years

female: 16.8 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

3.16% (2021 est.)

Birth rate

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

Death rate

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

Net migration rate

-0.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Population distribution

urban clusters are spread throughout the country, particularly in the northeast along the boarder with Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi; the largest city is the capital, Kinshasha, located in the west along the Congo River; the south is least densely populated as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 46.2% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.33% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

14.970 million KINSHASA (capital), 2.643 million Mbuji-Mayi, 2.584 million Lubumbashi, 1.524 million Kananga, 1.321 million Kisangani, 1.133 million Bukavu (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.9 years (2013/14 est.)

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

Maternal mortality rate

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

Infant mortality rate

total: 62.63 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 68.39 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 56.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 61.43 years

male: 59.66 years

female: 63.25 years (2021 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.7 children born/woman (2021 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

28.1% (2017/18)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 84.3% of population

rural: 32.4% of population

total: 55.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 15.7% of population

rural: 67.6% of population

total: 44.8% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

3.3% (2018)

Physicians density

0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 54.7% of population

rural: 29.8% of population

total: 40.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 44.5% of population

rural: 70.2% of population

total: 59.3% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.7% (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

510,000 (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

17,000 (2020 est.)

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, dengue fever, and trypanosomiasis-gambiense (African sleeping sickness)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: on 7 February 2021, the Ministry of Health declared the 12th outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo; on 12 March 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Travel Health Notice recommending travelers avoid non-essential travel for an Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu (Kivu Nord) province in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; travelers to this area could be infected with Ebola if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids; travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or after travel

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

6.7% (2016)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

23.1% (2017/18)

Education expenditures

1.5% of GDP (2017)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba

total population: 77%

male: 88.5%

female: 66.5% (2016)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 11 years

male: 10 years

female: 9 years (2013)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 8.7%

male: 11.3%

female: 6.8% (2012 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Congo Democratic Republic of the 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 Congo Democratic Republic of the 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Congo Democratic Republic of the 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.