Lesotho Population 2018

2,272,082

Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a small landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. The estimated 2018 population of Lesotho is 2.26 million, which ranks 145th in the world.

Lesotho is just 30,000 square kilometers in space and has an estimated population of 2.26 million. This compares to the 2004 census population of 2.03 million. Lesotho has a population density of 68 people per square kilometer (162/sq mi), or 138th in the world. Population density is lowest in the highlands. The capital and largest city is Maseru,

Lesotho Demographics

About 99.7% of Lesotho's population identifies as Basotho, a Bantu-speaking people. There are several subgroups of the Basotho, including the Batloung (Tlou), Bakuena (Kuena), Baphuthi (Phuti), Bataung (Tau), Batsoeneng (Tsoene), Matebele and Bafokeng. The main language is Sesotho, although English is the other official language.

About 90% of the population is Christian. Protestants make up 45% of the population, with Roman Catholics accounting for 45%. Muslims, Hindus, Baha'i, and indigenous religions account for the remaining 10%.

Lesotho has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa with about 85% of the adult population being literate, partly because Lesotho spends 12% of its GDP on education. Unlike most countries, Lesotho has a higher female literacy rate than male literacy rate.

About 25% of the population lives in urban areas while the majority live in rural areas. The urbanization rate of Lesotho is 3.5% per year, however. Nearly 40% of the population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 USD per day.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 9 minutes
One death every 19 minutes
One net migrant every 131 minutes
Net gain of one person every 18 minutes

Lesotho Population in 2018Source: Vaiz Ha [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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

Lesotho Population Growth

Lesotho has a high infant mortality rate of 8.3% and a very high HIV/AIDS rate. The HIV prevalence is around 24%, which is one of the highest in the world. Around half of women under 40 have HIV in urban areas, and the country has a life expectancy of just 42 years old.

About Lesotho

Official NameKingdom of Lesotho
Languages SpokenEnglish, Sotho
Is LandlockedYes
Latitude/Longitude-29.528.5
Currencies UsedLesotho Loti, South Africa Rand
DemonymMosotho

Countries Bordering Lesotho

South Africa

Lesotho Population Density

Lesotho Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Maseru118,355
Mafeteng57,059
Leribe47,675
Maputsoe32,117
Mohale's Hoek28,310
Qacha's Nek25,573
Quthing24,130
Butha-Buthe16,330
Nako13,146
Mokhotlong8,809
Thaba-Tseka5,423
Teyateyaneng5,115

Lesotho Population Clock

The population of Lesotho (as of 10/20/2018)?2,272,082
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)2,263,010
Births Per Day168
Deaths Per Day76
Net Migrations Per Day -11
Net Change Per Day 81
Population Change Since January 1st23,733

Lesotho Population Estimator

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Estimate as of October 20th 2018 is: 2,272,034

Lesotho Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20182,263,01048.58%51.42%74.551451.33%
20172,233,33948.55%51.45%73.571451.34%
20162,203,82148.52%51.48%72.601451.34%
20152,174,64548.50%51.50%71.641451.28%
20102,040,55148.44%51.56%67.221460.92%
20051,949,54348.33%51.67%64.221460.85%
20001,868,69948.12%51.88%61.561461.19%
19951,761,35948.70%51.30%58.031441.89%
19901,603,93848.30%51.70%52.841451.73%
19851,472,19247.19%52.82%48.501452.36%
19801,310,11846.77%53.23%43.161442.63%
19751,150,63546.16%53.84%37.911432.18%
19701,033,05046.22%53.78%34.031432.04%
1965933,65546.07%53.93%30.761431.86%
1960851,59146.53%53.47%28.051431.57%
1955787,80646.87%53.13%25.951411.43%
1950733,94546.90%53.10%24.181410.00%

Lesotho Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20202,322,21748.65%51.35%76.501450.00%
20252,466,33048.83%51.17%81.251461.21%
20302,607,95749.00%50.99%85.921461.12%
20352,752,56149.18%50.82%90.681471.09%
20402,902,19749.33%50.67%95.611441.06%
20453,054,50249.43%50.57%100.631441.03%
20503,203,47049.48%50.52%105.531430.96%
20553,343,81749.48%50.52%110.161400.86%
20603,469,80649.44%50.56%114.311390.74%
20653,578,71849.39%50.61%117.901390.62%
20703,670,73149.33%50.67%120.931390.51%
20753,746,38249.28%50.72%123.421390.41%
20803,806,34949.23%50.77%125.391380.32%
20853,851,47449.19%50.81%126.881380.24%
20903,882,49549.16%50.84%127.901380.16%
20953,900,15849.13%50.87%128.481380.09%
Data Sources
  1. Bureau of Statistics
  2. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1956, 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2006 censuses adjusted for underenumeration, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer