Burkina Faso Population 2017
Burkina Faso's population is growing rapidly. The 2006 census found a population of 14 million, which has already grown to almost 18 million. The country does have a low population density, however, of just 57 people per square kilometer, which ranks 145th in the world.
Most of the population is located in the center and south of Burkina Faso, with a density that goes over 48 people per square kilometer in some areas. Hundreds of thousands of people regularly migrate to Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire for seasonal work. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou, or just Ouaga, with a population of 1.8 million.
Burkina Faso Demographics
Most of the 17 million people in Burkina Faso belong to one of two West African ethnic cultural groups: the Voltaic and the Mande. Voltaic Mossi make up about 50% of the population and are descended from warriors who moved to the area from Ghana around 1100, establishing an empire that lasted over 800 years.
In 1995, the ethnic composition of Burkina Faso was: 48% Mossi, 10% Fulani, 7% Lobi, 7% Bobo, 6.7% Mande, 5% Senufo, 5% Gurunsi, 4.8% Gurma and 3.1% Tuareg.
About 69 languages are spoken in the country, 60 of which are indigenous. About 40% of the population speaks Mossi, although the official language is still French, which was introduced during the country's colonial period.
The median age is just under 17 years old. A 2005 World Health Organization report estimated that almost 73% of girls and women in Burkina Faso have undergone female genital mutilation, which is done according to traditional rituals in the area. Burkina Faso is one of the last great strongholds of slavery in the world, and children in the country are often victims to slavery.
Activists in the country have lobbied for more attention to birth control, which has been largely ignored as attention has focused on preventing HIV/AIDs. Without controlling its population, Burkina Faso will have difficulty improving living standards.