Afghanistan Population 2018

36,049,034

Afghanistan's population is estimated at 36.37 million in 2018 based on the most recent UN data. It's unclear how accurate these estimates may be, given that the last census was nearly 40 years ago in 1979. This census estimated the population at 15.5 million.

If the current estimate is correct, then Afghanistan would be the 40th most populous country in the world, falling after Morocco.

Most Afghans live in rural areas in tribal and kinship groups. Around 10% of the population lives in the capital city, Kabul. Kabul's 2015 population is estimated at 3.1 million, which makes it the only Afghan city with a population of more than 1 million. The second-largest city is Kandahar, with less than 400,000 people.

Afghanistan Population History

In 1979, a countrywide census was due to take place, but because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, it was never completed. However, early indications pointed to the figure of 15.5 million citizens that has already been quoted.

More recently in 2008, a further census was cancelled due to security fears. While this was a serious blow to the economic situation within the country, Abdul Sakhri, vice-president of the central statistics office deemed the project "too risky".

"Sadly, it hits where help is needed the most - in the war-torn southern regions. We were planning to track each village's humanitarian needs - for instance water supply or educational requirements - as well as the population. It's a huge missed opportunity".

Afghanistan Population Density and Demographics

The estimated figure of 32 million in 2015 equates to a population density of 49 people per square kilometre or 127 per square mile. This makes Afghanistan the 150th most densely populated country in the world.

As you would expect, there is a diverse range of ethnic groups within the country. Of the 31 million or so Afghan residents, 42% are Pashtun, 27% Tajik, 9% Hazara, 9% Uzbek, 4% Aimak, 3% Turkmen, 2% Baloch and 4% fall into an unspecified "other" group. The Afghan government recently began issuing ID cards that state the ethnicity of each citizen, which should eventually reveal more precise numbers about the many ethnic groups in the country.

Pashto and Dari are the official languages. Dari is spoken in mostly Tajik and Hazara areas, while Pashto is mostly spoken in Pashtun areas. Turkmen and Uzbek are spoken in the northern regions of the country. Many residents of the country are multilingual.

Muslims account for 99% of the population of Afghanistan, with between 80% and 89% practicing Sunni Islam while 10-19% are Shia. There are zero public Christian churches in Afghanistan.

As far as the ages of the population are concerned, this is another significant factor and one that is contributing to a rise in numbers overall. At the start of 2012, it was claimed that just 2.4% of all Afghan citizens were aged over 65.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 27 seconds
One death every 2 minutes
One net migrant every 9 minutes
Net gain of one person every 37 seconds

Afghanistan Population in 2018Source: James Solly

Afghanistan Population Pyramid 2018

0k100k200k300k400k500k600kAfghanistan Male Population0k100k200k300k400k500k600kAfghanistan Female Population10095908580757065605550454035302520151050

Afghanistan Median Age

18.6


Total

18.5


Male

18.6


Female

Afghanistan Population by Age

There are 17,551,159 adults in Afghanistan.

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

Afghanistan Population Growth

Sadly, a structured census seems to be some way in the future but for now, the estimates predict continued growth for Afghanistan's population. The United Nations projects that Afghanistan's population will surge to 56.5 million by 2050.

About Afghanistan

Official NameIslamic Republic of Afghanistan
Languages SpokenDari, Pashto, Turkmen
Is LandlockedYes
Latitude/Longitude3365
Currencies UsedAfghanistan Afghani
DemonymAfghan

Afghanistan Population Density

Afghanistan Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Kabul3,043,532
Kandahar391,190
Mazar-e Sharif303,282
Herat272,806
Jalalabad200,331
Kunduz161,902
Ghazni141,000
Balkh114,883
Baghlan108,449
Gardez103,601
Khost96,123
Maymana75,900
Khanabad71,531
Bazarak65,000
Khulm64,933
Taloqan64,256
Bamyan61,863
Pul-e Khumri56,369
Shibirghan55,641
Charikar53,676

Afghanistan Population Clock

The population of Afghanistan (as of 2/13/2018)?36,049,034
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)36,373,176
Births Per Day3,171
Deaths Per Day641
Net Migrations Per Day -164
Net Change Per Day 2,366
Population Change Since January 1st104,104

Afghanistan Population Indicators

IndicatorValue
Crude Birth Rate 32.259 births/thousand
Crude Death Rate 6.526 deaths/thousand
Crude Net Migration Rate -1.672 people/thousand
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes) 64.22 years
Male Life Expectancy 62.93 years
Female Life Expectancy 65.62 years
Total Fertility Rate 4.412 children/woman
Net Reproduction Rate 1.92 surviving daughters/woman
Sex Ratio At Birth 1.06 males per female
Infant Mortality Rate 51.881 deaths/1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality 68.162 deaths/thousand
Mean Age at Childbearing 29.092 years
Rate of Natural Increase 25.733

Afghanistan Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
201836,373,17651.51%48.49%55.77392.37%
201735,530,08151.53%48.47%54.47402.52%
201634,656,03251.55%48.45%53.13402.73%
201533,736,49451.55%48.45%51.72403.21%
201028,803,16751.38%48.62%44.16422.81%
200525,070,79851.73%48.27%38.44454.53%
200020,093,75651.49%48.51%30.81493.28%
199517,099,54151.75%48.25%26.22516.90%
199012,249,11451.17%48.83%18.78580.78%
198511,783,05051.07%48.93%18.0756-2.32%
198013,248,37050.85%49.15%20.31511.02%
197512,590,28650.82%49.18%19.30482.50%
197011,126,12351.00%49.00%17.06482.28%
19659,938,41451.28%48.72%15.24472.01%
19608,996,35151.68%48.32%13.79481.70%
19558,270,58152.22%47.78%12.68481.30%
19507,752,11852.88%47.12%11.89450.00%

Afghanistan Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202038,054,94151.46%48.54%58.35370.00%
202542,388,40051.38%48.62%64.99372.18%
203046,699,54551.29%48.71%71.60351.96%
203550,907,55051.21%48.79%78.05361.74%
204054,914,12251.11%48.89%84.19321.53%
204558,614,31551.01%48.99%89.87331.31%
205061,928,11850.89%49.11%94.95331.11%
205564,833,86950.76%49.24%99.40310.92%
206067,307,30350.62%49.38%103.20310.75%
206569,312,24050.47%49.53%106.27310.59%
207070,828,56250.31%49.69%108.59330.43%
207571,835,18750.15%49.85%110.14340.28%
208072,324,43549.99%50.01%110.89350.14%
208572,356,27649.85%50.15%110.94360.01%
209071,993,32049.73%50.27%110.3838-0.10%
209571,316,11649.65%50.35%109.3440-0.19%