Cameroon People - 2022


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


29,321,637 (2022 est.)


noun: Cameroonian(s)

adjective: Cameroonian

Ethnic groups

Bamileke-Bamu 24.3%, Beti/Bassa, Mbam 21.6%, Biu-Mandara 14.6%, Arab-Choa/Hausa/Kanuri 11%, Adamawa-Ubangi, 9.8%, Grassfields 7.7%, Kako, Meka/Pygmy 3.3%, Cotier/Ngoe/Oroko 2.7%, Southwestern Bantu 0.7%, foreign/other ethnic group 4.5% (2018 est.)


24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)

major-language sample(s):
The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information. (English)

The World Factbook, une source indispensable d'informations de base. (French)

French audio sample:


Roman Catholic 38.3%, Protestant 25.5%, other Christian 6.9%, Muslim 24.4%, animist 2.2%, other 0.5%, none 2.2% (2018 est.)

Demographic profile

Cameroon has a large youth population, with more than 60% of the populace under the age of 25. Fertility is falling but remains at a high level, especially among poor, rural, and uneducated women, in part because of inadequate access to contraception. Life expectancy remains low at about 55 years due to the prevalence of HIV and AIDs and an elevated maternal mortality rate, which has remained high since 1990. Cameroon, particularly the northern region, is vulnerable to food insecurity largely because of government mismanagement, corruption, high production costs, inadequate infrastructure, and natural disasters. Despite economic growth in some regions, poverty is on the rise, and is most prevalent in rural areas, which are especially affected by a shortage of jobs, declining incomes, poor school and health care infrastructure, and a lack of clean water and sanitation. Underinvestment in social safety nets and ineffective public financial management also contribute to Cameroon’s high rate of poverty.  The activities of Boko Haram, other armed groups, and counterinsurgency operations have worsened food insecurity in the Far North region.  

International migration has been driven by unemployment (including fewer government jobs), poverty, the search for educational opportunities, and corruption. The US and Europe are preferred destinations, but, with tighter immigration restrictions in these countries, young Cameroonians are increasingly turning to neighboring states, such as Gabon and Nigeria, South Africa, other parts of Africa, and the Near and Far East. Cameroon’s limited resources make it dependent on UN support to host more than 490,000 refugees and asylum seekers as of September 2022. These refugees and asylum seekers are primarily from the Central African Republic and Nigeria.  Internal and external displacement have grown dramatically in recent years.  Boko Haram's attacks and counterattacks by government forces in the Far North since 2014 have increased the number of internally displaced people.  Armed conflict between separatists and Cameroon's military in the Northwest and Southwest since 2016 have displaced hundreds of thousands of the country's Anglophone minority.

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.34% (male 5,927,640/female 5,820,226)

15-24 years: 20.04% (male 2,782,376/female 2,776,873)

25-54 years: 30.64% (male 4,191,151/female 4,309,483)

55-64 years: 3.87% (male 520,771/female 552,801)

65 years and over: 3.11% (male 403,420/female 460,248) (2020 est.)

2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 82.3

youth dependency ratio: 77.3

elderly dependency ratio: 4.9

potential support ratio: 20.3 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 18.5 years

male: 18.2 years

female: 18.8 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.75% (2022 est.)

Birth rate

35.53 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

Death rate

7.73 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

Population distribution

population concentrated in the west and north, with the interior of the country sparsely populated as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 59.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

4.164 million YAOUNDE (capital), 3.927 million Douala (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

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

25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.1 years (2018 est.)

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

Maternal mortality ratio

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

Infant mortality rate

total: 48.73 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 53.58 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 43.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 63.27 years

male: 61.49 years

female: 65.09 years (2022 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.55 children born/woman (2022 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

19.3% (2018)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 95.1% of population

rural: 56.2% of population

total: 78.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 4.9% of population

rural: 43.8% of population

total: 21.4% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

3.6% of GDP (2019)

Physicians density

0.13 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

1.3 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 83.2% of population

rural: 27.7% of population

total: 59.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 16.8% of population

rural: 72.3% of population

total: 40.3% of population (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

2.9% (2021 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 and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Cameroon 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

11.4% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 4.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.36 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.16 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 1.56 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 7.3% (2020 est.)

male: 13.2% (2020 est.)

female: 1.4% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

11% (2018/19)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 10.7%

women married by age 18: 29.8%

men married by age 18: 2.9% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

3.2% of GDP (2020 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 77.1%

male: 82.6%

female: 71.6% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 13 years

female: 11 years (2016)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 6.3%

male: 5.8%

female: 6.8% (2014 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Cameroon on this page is re-published from the 2022 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cameroon 2022 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cameroon 2022 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 01 Dec 23, Copyright © 23 ITA all rights reserved.