Central African Republic People - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


5,552,228 (2023 est.)


noun: Central African(s)

adjective: Central African

Ethnic groups

Baya 28.8%, Banda 22.9%, Mandjia 9.9%, Sara 7.9%, M'Baka-Bantu 7.9%, Arab-Fulani (Peuhl) 6%, Mbum 6%, Ngbanki 5.5%, Zande-Nzakara 3%, other Central African Republic ethnic groups 2%, non-Central African Republic ethnic groups .1% (2003 est.)


French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages


Christian 89%, Muslim 9%, folk religion 1%, unaffiliated 1% (2020 est.)

note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority

Demographic profile

The Central African Republic’s (CAR) humanitarian crisis has worsened since the coup of March 2013. CAR’s high mortality rate and low life expectancy are attributed to elevated rates of preventable and treatable diseases (including malaria and malnutrition), an inadequate health care system, precarious food security, and armed conflict. Some of the worst mortality rates are in western CAR’s diamond mining region, which has been impoverished because of government attempts to control the diamond trade and the fall in industrial diamond prices. To make matters worse, the government and international donors have reduced health funding in recent years. The CAR’s weak educational system and low literacy rate have also suffered as a result of the country’s ongoing conflict. Schools are closed, qualified teachers are scarce, infrastructure, funding, and supplies are lacking and subject to looting, and many students and teachers have been displaced by violence.

Rampant poverty, human rights violations, unemployment, poor infrastructure, and a lack of security and stability have led to forced displacement internally and externally. Since the political crisis that resulted in CAR’s March 2013 coup began in December 2012, approximately 600,000 people have fled to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other neighboring countries, while another estimated 515,000 were displaced internally as of December 2022. The UN has urged countries to refrain from repatriating CAR refugees amid the heightened lawlessness.


Age structure

0-14 years: 38.84% (male 1,104,007/female 1,052,411)

15-64 years: 57.71% (male 1,577,102/female 1,627,133)

65 years and over: 3.45% (2023 est.) (male 83,431/female 108,144)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 102.8

youth dependency ratio: 97.7

elderly dependency ratio: 5.1

potential support ratio: 19.7 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 20 years

male: 19.7 years

female: 20.3 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.77% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

32.37 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate

11.51 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate

-3.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

majority of residents live in the western and central areas of the country, especially in and around the capital of Bangui as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 43.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.32% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

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

Major urban areas - population

958,000 BANGUI (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

835 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 81.74 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 87.69 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 75.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 55.96 years

male: 54.64 years

female: 57.31 years (2023 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.99 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

1.97 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

17.8% (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 83.9% of population

rural: 47.5% of population

total: 62.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 16.1% of population

rural: 52.5% of population

total: 37.1% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

9.4% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

1 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 53.8% of population

rural: 12.4% of population

total: 29.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 46.2% of population

rural: 87.6% of population

total: 70.1% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

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

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: on 22 March 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; the Central African Republic 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

7.5% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.94 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.55 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.04 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.33 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

20.5% (2019)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

64.7% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 25.8%

women married by age 18: 61%

men married by age 18: 17.1% (2019 est.)

Education expenditures

2.2% of GDP (2020 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 37.4%

male: 49.5%

female: 25.8% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 7 years

male: 8 years

female: 6 years (2012)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 11.8%

male: 10.6%

female: 13.1% (2021 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Central African Republic on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Central African Republic 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Central African Republic 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.