Uganda People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


44,712,143 (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: Ugandan(s)

adjective: Ugandan

Ethnic groups

Baganda 16.5%, Banyankole 9.6%, Basoga 8.8%, Bakiga 7.1%, Iteso 7%, Langi 6.3%, Bagisu 4.9%, Acholi 4.4%, Lugbara 3.3%, other 32.1% (2014 est.)


English (official language, taught in schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages and the language used most often in the capital), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili (official), Arabic


Protestant 45.1% (Anglican 32.0%, Pentecostal/Born Again/Evangelical 11.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.7%, Baptist .3%), Roman Catholic 39.3%, Muslim 13.7%, other 1.6%, none 0.2% (2014 est.)

Demographic profile

Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world; its total fertility rate is among the world’s highest at 5.8 children per woman. Except in urban areas, actual fertility exceeds women’s desired fertility by one or two children, which is indicative of the widespread unmet need for contraception, lack of government support for family planning, and a cultural preference for large families. High numbers of births, short birth intervals, and the early age of childbearing contribute to Uganda’s high maternal mortality rate. Gender inequities also make fertility reduction difficult; women on average are less-educated, participate less in paid employment, and often have little say in decisions over childbearing and their own reproductive health. However, even if the birth rate were significantly reduced, Uganda’s large pool of women entering reproductive age ensures rapid population growth for decades to come.

Unchecked, population increase will further strain the availability of arable land and natural resources and overwhelm the country’s limited means for providing food, employment, education, health care, housing, and basic services. The country’s north and northeast lag even further behind developmentally than the rest of the country as a result of long-term conflict (the Ugandan Bush War 1981-1986 and more than 20 years of fighting between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Ugandan Government forces), ongoing inter-communal violence, and periodic natural disasters.

Uganda has been both a source of refugees and migrants and a host country for refugees. In 1972, then President Idi AMIN, in his drive to return Uganda to Ugandans, expelled the South Asian population that composed a large share of the country’s business people and bankers. Since the 1970s, thousands of Ugandans have emigrated, mainly to southern Africa or the West, for security reasons, to escape poverty, to search for jobs, and for access to natural resources. The emigration of Ugandan doctors and nurses due to low wages is a particular concern given the country’s shortage of skilled health care workers. Africans escaping conflicts in neighboring states have found refuge in Uganda since the 1950s; the country currently struggles to host tens of thousands from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and other nearby countries.

Age structure

0-14 years: 48.21% (male 10,548,913/female 10,304,876)

15-24 years: 20.25% (male 4,236,231/female 4,521,698)

25-54 years: 26.24% (male 5,202,570/female 6,147,304)

55-64 years: 2.91% (male 579,110/female 681,052)

65 years and over: 2.38% (male 442,159/female 589,053) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 92.3

youth dependency ratio: 88.5

elderly dependency ratio: 3.8

potential support ratio: 26.2 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 15.7 years

male: 14.9 years

female: 16.5 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

3.31% (2021 est.)

Birth rate

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

Death rate

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

Net migration rate

-3.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Population distribution

population density is relatively high in comparison to other African nations; most of the population is concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country, particularly along the shores of Lake Victoria and Lake Albert; the northeast is least populated as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 25.6% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 5.41% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.470 million KAMPALA (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

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

25-54 years: 0.85 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.85 male(s)/female

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

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

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.4 years (2016 est.)

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

Maternal mortality rate

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

Infant mortality rate

total: 31.49 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 34.98 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 27.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 68.58 years

male: 66.34 years

female: 70.9 years (2021 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.45 children born/woman (2021 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

41.8% (2018)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 92.9% of population

rural: 77.2% of population

total: 80.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 7.1% of population

rural: 22.8% of population

total: 19.2% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

6.5% (2018)

Physicians density

0.17 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

0.5 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 67.8% of population

rural: 26.6% of population

total: 36.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 32.2% of population

rural: 73.4% of population

total: 63.8% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

5.4% (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

1.4 million (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

22,000 (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

5.3% (2016)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

10.4% (2016)

Education expenditures

2.1% of GDP (2018)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 76.5%

male: 82.7%

female: 70.8% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 10 years

female: 10 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 14.8%

male: 12.7%

female: 17.3% (2017 est.)

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