Afghanistan Population 2017

35,931,526

Afghanistan's population is estimated at 35.53 million in 2017 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.

Afghanistan Population in 2018Source: James Solly

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 SpokenTurkmen, Dari, Pashto
BordersIRN, PAK, TKM, UZB, TJK, CHN
Is LandlockedYes
Latitude/Longitude3365
Currencies UsedAFN

Afghanistan Population Density

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
Cool urhajo58,525
Pul-e Khumri56,369
Shibirghan55,641
Charikar53,676
Sar-e Pul52,121
Zaranj49,851
Paghman49,157
Asadabad48,400
Aibak47,823
Fayzabad44,421
Lashkar Gah43,934
Gereshk43,588
Farah43,561
Ghormach30,000
Shindand29,264
Andkhoy29,208
Rustaq25,636
Qarawul24,544
Nahrin22,363
Baraki Barak22,305
Art Khwajah18,623
Kafir Qala18,086
Karukh17,484
Mehtar Lam17,345
Kushk16,952
Shahrak15,967
Asmar15,708
Sang-e Charak15,377
Khash15,133
Markaz-e Woluswali-ye Achin15,098
Jabal os Saraj15,032
Qarqin15,018
Fayroz Koh15,000
Mirabad14,160
Zarghun Shahr13,737
Sangin13,579
Panjab13,471
Uruzgan13,388
Pul-e `Alam13,247
Chiras12,779
Hukumati Azrah12,526
Qarah Bagh12,412
Qalat12,191
Ashkasham12,120
Jurm12,106
Kuhsan12,087
Tukzar12,021
Chahar Burj11,935
Larkird11,635
Rudbar11,034
Farkhar10,480
Zindah Jan10,104
Anar Darah10,023
Tarinkot10,000
Imam Sahib9,659
Darzab9,642
`Alaqahdari Dishu9,196
Tagaw-Bay9,096
Markaz-e Hukumat-e Darweshan9,012
Qala i Naw9,000
Qarchi Gak8,942
Dasht-e Archi8,263
Qal`ah-ye Shahr7,756
Sidqabad7,407
Zarah Sharan7,366
Tir Pul6,979
Basawul6,835
Yangi Qal`ah6,541
Tagab6,400
Khandud5,521
Mir Bachah Kot5,405
Sharan2,200
Maydanshakhr1,600
Parun1,000
Nili

Afghanistan Population Clock

What is the population of Afghanistan (as of 12/12/2017)?35,931,526
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2017)35,530,081
Births Per Day3,156
Deaths Per Day641
Net Migrations Per Day -82
Net Change Per Day 2,433
Population Change Since January 1st841,818

Afghanistan Population Indicators

IndicatorValue
Crude Birth Rate 33.037 births/thousand
Crude Death Rate 6.713 deaths/thousand
Crude Net Migration Rate -0.765 people/thousand
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes) 63.826 years
Male Life Expectancy 62.554 years
Female Life Expectancy 65.2 years
Total Fertility Rate 4.581 children/woman
Net Reproduction Rate 1.983 surviving daughters/woman
Sex Ratio At Birth 1.06 males per female
Infant Mortality Rate 55.216 deaths/1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality 70.795 deaths/thousand
Mean Age at Childbearing 29.117 years
Rate of Natural Increase 26.324
Median Age (Total) 18.6 years
Median Age (Female) 18.6 years
Median Age (Male) 18.5 years

Afghanistan Population History

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
201735,530,08151.53%48.47%54402.62%
201533,736,49451.55%48.45%52403.21%
201028,803,16751.38%48.62%44422.81%
200525,070,79851.73%48.27%38454.53%
200020,093,75651.49%48.51%31493.28%
199517,099,54151.75%48.25%26516.90%
199012,249,11451.17%48.83%19580.78%
198511,783,05051.07%48.93%1856-2.32%
198013,248,37050.85%49.15%20511.02%
197512,590,28650.82%49.18%19482.50%
197011,126,12351.00%49.00%17482.28%
19659,938,41451.28%48.72%15472.01%
19608,996,35151.68%48.32%14481.70%
19558,270,58152.22%47.78%13481.30%
19507,752,11852.88%47.12%12450.00%

Afghanistan Population Projections

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202038,054,94151.46%48.54%58370.00%
202542,388,40051.38%48.62%65372.18%
203046,699,54551.29%48.71%72351.96%
203550,907,55051.21%48.79%78361.74%
204054,914,12251.11%48.89%84321.53%
204558,614,31551.01%48.99%90331.31%
205061,928,11850.89%49.11%95331.11%
205564,833,86950.76%49.24%99310.92%
206067,307,30350.62%49.38%103310.75%
206569,312,24050.47%49.53%106310.59%
207070,828,56250.31%49.69%109330.43%
207571,835,18750.15%49.85%110340.28%
208072,324,43549.99%50.01%111350.14%
208572,356,27649.85%50.15%111360.01%
209071,993,32049.73%50.27%11038-0.10%
209571,316,11649.65%50.35%10940-0.19%