Mali Population 2017
Mali is a large, landlocked country in West Africa with more than 1.24 million square kilometers (480,000 sq ft) of land. In 2012, an armed conflict broke out and Tuareg rebels took control, declaring secession of a new state, Azawad. While it was recaptured, negotiations are expected to take place. In 2017, Mali has an estimated population of 18.54 million, an increase from 2013's estimate of 14.85 million.
90% of people in Mali live in the southern region with the Niger and Senegal rivers, far from the Sahara desert. About 68% of the population is rural, with 5-10 of people living a nomadic lifestyle. Mali has a very young population with nearly half of people under the age of 15 and a median age of 15.9. While the total fertility rate is high at 6.4 per woman, Mali has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world at 1 death per 10 live births.
The people of Mali are comprised of several sub-Saharan ethnic groups. The largest is the Bambara, accounting for 37% of the population. While the official language of Mali is French, 80% of people speak Bambara and there are at least 40 African languages in use. The Bambara, Sonike, Khassonke and Malinke are part of the larger Mande group, which accounts for half of the country's population. Other large ethnic groups include the Fula (17%), Voltaic (12%), Songhai (6%) and the Tuareg and Moor (10%).