Benin Population 2017
Most of Benin's population lives on the southern coastline on the Bight of Benin, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea. The capital is Porto-Novo with a population of 265,000 but the largest city is Cotonou with a population of 685,000. Benin is a relatively small country -- the 101st largest in the world -- with a population density of 78 people per square kilometer, or 120th in the world. Despite its size, it has an estimated 2015 population of 10.88 million, up from the 2013 census population of 9.98 million.
Benin has a young population with a life expectancy of just 59 years. There are 42 different African ethnic groups, the ancestors of a number of groups who have settled in the area over centuries and migrated to the country. Major ethnic groups include the Yoruba in the southeast (who migrated from Nigeria), the Dendi in the north-central region (who originated from Mali), the Bariba and Fula in the northeast, the Betammaribe and Somba, the Fon near Abomey, and the Aja, Xueda, and Mina.
In 2002, the composition of the country was 39% Fon, 15% Adja, 12% Yoruba, 9% Bariba, 7% Fula, 6% Ottamari, 4% Kabye and 2.5% Dendi.
A wave of recent migration has brought many other African nationals to the country, including Togolese and Ingerians. There is also a group of Indians and Lebenese in the region for commerce and trade. There is a European population of about 5,500, most of which include personnel of embassies, foreign aid missions, and missionary groups.
Benin has one of the world's highest death rates for children under five with little access to healthcare. Benin also has one of the world's lowest literacy rates at about 43%.