Central African Republic Population 2019

4,765,585

The Central African Republic (CAR), or Centrafrique, is a landlocked country located in Central Africa, bordered by Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo. The CAR is a relatively large country with an estimated population in 2019 of 4.75 million, which ranks 126th in the world.

Since its independence in 1960, the population of the Central African Republic has quadrupled. The population in 1960 was 1.2 million, which grew to 3.89 million at the last census in 2003. In 2019, the CAR has an estimated population of 4.75 million, which ranks 121st in the world.

There are no accurate figures on the population of the CAR, and its population is based on an estimate from the United Nations.

Central African Republic Area and Population Density

The landlocked nation on the Central African Republic is very true to its name and can be found right at the center of the African continent. The country shares its borders with the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and it covers 240,534 square miles (622,980 square kilometers) of area, making it the 42nd largest country in the world. Despite its size, the Central African Republic is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world with just 21 people per square mile (8 people per square kilometer), which ranks 183rd in the world.

Largest Cities in the Central African Republic

Less than half of the people living in the Central African Republic reside in urban areas. The capital and largest city is Bangui. Established as a French outpost in 1889, Bangui has a population of 734,000. Bangui is often considered one of the world's most dangerous cities as it is the site of intense rebellions and destruction. The next largest city is the only one with a population exceeding 100,000- Bimbo with 130,000 people living within its city limits. Other sizable cities with populations above 50,000 include Mbaïki, Berbérati, and Kaga Bandoro.

Central African Republic Demographics

The United Nations estimates that the CAR has more than 80 ethnic groups, each of which have their own language. The largest ethnic groups in the country are the Baya, Banda, Mandjia, Sara, M'Baka, Mboum, Yakoma, and the Fula. The Baya, or Gbaya, account for 34% of the CAR's population. There are also some Europeans in the country, most of which are of French descent.

According to the 2003 census, 80% of the population is Christian (51% Protestant and 29% Roman Catholic) while 15% is Muslim. Animism is also practiced by a significant percentage of the population. The CIA World Factbook, however, reports 50% of the population is Christian (split evenly between Roman Catholics and Protestants) while 35% practice indigenous beliefs.

The CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world and one of the 10 poorest in Africa and it ranks 179th out of 187 on the Human Development Index. About 11% of the population between 15 and 49 is HIV positive, yet only 3% of the country has access to antiretroviral therapy.

Central African Republic Religion, Economy and Politics

The constitution in the Central African Republic allows its citizens to have religious freedom, however, it bans religious fundamentalism which is what often leads to extremists. Although it is not the official religion, Christian holidays are observed as national holidays and the majority of people in the country practice some form of the religion. 85% of people in the Central African Republic are Christian, 58% of which are Protestant and 29% are Catholic. 5% of people practice Islam, and the remaining 10% claim no faith.

As one of the least developed countries in the world, the economy is the Central African Republic isn't very strong. Most of its citizens engage in subsistence farming just to take care of their families, and agriculture makes up slightly over half of the country's GDP. Common crops grown include peanuts, millet, maize, cassava, sesame, and sorghum. Most of what gets exported elsewhere are cotton, coffee, and tobacco. The timber and diamond industries account for much of the country's profits, but the money does not reach the majority of its citizens.

Central African Republic Population History

France annexed the land that is now the Central African Republic and turned it into a democracy in the late 1800s. The indigenous people of the area fought back against the French from 1920-1930 and by 1946 the territory was given representation in the French government.

By 1958 the people of the Central African Republic had begun self-governing and they became a fully independent one-party state by the year 1960. In its infancy as a new country, leadership changed hands several times until democratic elections began in 2005. Later that same year, flooding in the capital city of Bangui left 20,000 people homeless.

Central African Republic Population Growth

In recent years, the CAR has been plagued by corruption, authoritarianism and underdevelopment, which led to a rebellion and the 2012-2013 Central African Republic conflict. This conflict led to the overthrowing of the ruler in 2013, which caused virtually all government to disappear and forced the CAR to become, as Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye in "anarchy, a non-state." Earlier in 2014, the president and prime minister resigned.

By mid-2014, one-third of the population, or 1.6 million people, were in need of food, and thousands have been killed in the violence that has lasted for over a year. Tens of thousands of Muslims have also been forced from their home in the Christian-majority country. The CAR is currently in a crisis, and its population growth has come to a halt.

Central African Republic Population Projections

The rate of change in the population growth is expected to be a bit volatile in the years to come as it is anticipated that the Central African Republic will stop losing so many citizens. Current projections believe that the growth rate will be 1.60% before peaking at 2.21% in 2030 and then dwindling back down to 1.62% annually by 2050. If these numbers are to be believed the population in Central African Republic will be 4,920,889 in 2020, 6,123,615 in 2030, 7,481,447 in 2040 and 8,850,780 in 2050.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 3 minutes
One death every 9 minutes
One net migrant every 15 minutes
Net gain of one person every 7 minutes

Central African Republic Population in 2018Source: By Afrika Force from South Africa (Bangui Shopping District) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Central African Republic Population Pyramid 2019

Central African Republic Population by Age

There are 2,300,373 adults in Central African Republic.

Census Years

Year Date
20038 December 2003
19888 December 1988

In recent years, the CAR has been plagued by corruption, authoritarianism and underdevelopment, which led to a rebellion and the 2012-2013 Central African Republic conflict. This conflict led to the overthrowing of the ruler in 2013, which caused virtually all government to disappear and forced the CAR to become, as Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye in "anarchy, a non-state." Earlier this year, the president and prime minister resigned.

As of April 2014, one third of the population, or 1.6 million people, are in need of food, and thousands have been killed in the violence that has lasted for over a year. Tens of thousands of Muslims have also been forced from their home in the Christian-majority country. The CAR is currently in a crisis, and it's population growth has come to a halt.

Official NameCentral African Republic
Languages SpokenFrench, Sango
Is LandlockedYes
Latitude/Longitude7, 21
Currencies UsedCommunauté Financière Africaine (BEAC) CFA Franc BEAC
DemonymCentral African
BordersCameroon
Chad
Dr Congo
Republic Of The Congo
South Sudan
Sudan
Name Population Location
Bangui542,393Map
Bimbo129,655Map
Mbaiki67,132Map
Berberati61,815Map
Kaga Bandoro56,520Map
Bozoum40,201Map
Carnot38,071Map
Sibut34,267Map
Bambari32,547Map
Bria29,027Map
Bouar28,581Map
Bossangoa27,428Map
Nola26,809Map
Bangassou24,361Map
Damara20,093Map
Mobaye19,431Map
Paoua18,441Map
Boda16,655Map
Ippy16,571Map
Batangafo15,310Map

Central African Republic Population Clock

The population of Central African Republic (as of 10/8/2019)?4,765,585
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2019)4,745,185
Births Per Day458
Deaths Per Day158
Net Migrations Per Day-96
Net Change Per Day204
Population Change Since January 1st57,324

Central African Republic Population Estimator

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Estimate as of October 8th 2019 is: 4,768,126

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20194,745,18549.57%50.43%7.621261.69%
20184,666,36849.56%50.44%7.491261.53%
20174,596,02349.56%50.44%7.381261.29%
20164,537,68649.56%50.44%7.281250.99%
20154,493,17049.55%50.45%7.211240.48%
20104,386,76849.50%50.50%7.041211.67%
20054,038,38249.42%50.58%6.481252.10%
20003,640,42749.31%50.69%5.841262.47%
19953,222,65649.29%50.71%5.171282.80%
19902,806,73449.25%50.75%4.511292.00%
19852,542,16949.22%50.78%4.081312.94%
19802,199,35649.17%50.83%3.531312.35%
19751,958,36749.17%50.83%3.141321.58%
19701,811,14449.21%50.79%2.911312.01%
19651,639,70649.22%50.78%2.631301.77%
19601,501,66849.24%50.76%2.411301.39%
19551,401,34149.27%50.73%2.251281.10%
19501,326,65249.30%50.70%2.131250.00%
Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20204,829,76749.57%50.43%7.751250.00%
20255,338,26449.59%50.41%8.571232.02%
20305,942,21149.62%50.38%9.541202.17%
20356,577,41349.62%50.38%10.561162.05%
20407,205,16649.62%50.38%11.571151.84%
20457,813,30049.60%50.40%12.541131.63%
20508,400,95649.56%50.44%13.491121.46%
20558,963,95549.51%50.49%14.391061.31%
20609,495,68749.44%50.56%15.241031.16%
20659,986,40349.36%50.64%16.031011.01%
207010,421,78249.28%50.72%16.73980.86%
207510,789,98749.19%50.81%17.32970.70%
208011,086,00749.10%50.90%17.80970.54%
208511,311,20149.02%50.98%18.16970.40%
209011,473,75448.95%51.05%18.42970.29%
209511,579,14048.88%51.12%18.59960.18%
  1. Direction Générale de la Statistiques, des Etudes Economiques et Sociales
  2. World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1975 census, with the 1988 and 2003 censuses adjusted for underenumeration, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer