Rwanda Population 2019

12,762,826

Rwanda is a sovereign state in central Africa with a widely varied geography. Rwanda has one of the highest population densities in Africa (1,060/sq mi) with a young, mostly rural population. In 2019, the population is estimated at 12.63 million, an increase from 2013's estimate of 11.8 million. This puts Rwanda 76th in the world.

Rwanda Area and Population Density

Rwanda is a landlocked nation found in east Africa between Uganda and Burundi and covers 10,169 square miles (26,338 square kilometers) of surface area. For such a small nation, Rwanda is very densely populated. Using the 2019 population of 12.63 million people, the population density of Rwanda is 1242.0 people per square mile (479.5 people per square kilometer), which ranks 14th</sup in the world.

Largest Cities in Rwanda

There are very few major towns in Rwanda, with only 17% of the population living in urban areas. The capital city of Kigali is by far the largest city with a population of 745,261, and more than a million people living in the greater metropolitan area. The city is the economic center of the country but also served as the headquarters of the Rwandan Genocide that occurred in 1994. Other larger towns are Gitarama, Butare, Ruhengeri, and Gisenyi, all with less than 100,000 people.

Rwanda Demographics

Rwandans are comprised of three primary groups: the Hutu (84%), Tutsi (15%) and Twa (1%) people. The Twa are forest-dwelling pygmy people descended from the earliest inhabitants of the region. There is a great deal of debate about the differences and origins of the Hutu and Tutsi, however.

Rwanda Religion, Economy and Politics

94% of the people in Rwanda practice some form of Christianity, making it the dominant religion by far. Of the remaining population, 4.6% practice Islam, and 1.4% practice something else. Of the 94% of the population that is Christian, 56.9% are Catholic, 26.0% are Protestant, and 11.1% are Seventh-Day Adventists. Within the small percentage of people that practice other religions, there are a few secretive and small groups of Buddhists and Hindus- most of which have immigrated from elsewhere.

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Since the turn of the 21st century, Rwanda has been experiencing significant economic growth- largely due to policy reform. Unfortunately, it is projected that the current growth is unsustainable because the foundation of the government is institutionally weak. The main industries within Rwanda are agriculture, energy, industry, and tourism.

Rwanda Population History

Rwanda was first settled by hunter-gatherers, then Bantu settlers. In 1884, Germany colonized the country, then Belgium during WWI. In 1959, the Hulu people revolted, massacring a large number of Tutsi people and establishing a new state three years later. The Tutsi launched a civil war in 1990, then a genocide in 1994 in which Hutu extremists killed up to one million Tutsi and Hutu.

Rwanda Population Growth

The rate of growth in Rwanda took a sharp upswing around 2000 following the genocide that took so many lives but has since steadied into consistent annual growth over 2%. This growth, however, is posing some challenges for Rwanda, as it is already Africa's most densely populated non-island nation. An increase in food supply must match the rate of population increase, yet there is no more space for additional agriculture. Like many countries in Africa, large families are part of their culture and the birth rate is over 5 children born per woman.

Rwanda Population Projections

Efforts are being made in Rwanda to educated young people about family planning and contraceptives in order to curb the extreme population increase trend. Efforts have already proven to be showing signs of success and it is expected that the rate of growth will continue to decline in the years to come. It is projected that the population growth rate will peak in 2020 at 2.39% before gradually decreasing more than a full percentage point to 1.29% by 2050. These predictions put the population of Rwanda at 13,087,173 in 2020, 16,024,252 in 2030, 19,065,658 in 2040, and 21,886,077 in 2050.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 1 minutes
One death every 8 minutes
One net migrant every 58 minutes
Net gain of one person every 2 minutes

Rwanda Population in 2018Source: By Arthur Buliva [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Rwanda Population Pyramid 2019

Rwanda Population by Age

There are 6,793,877 adults in Rwanda.

Census Years

Year Date
20222022
201230 August 2012
200230 August 2002
199115 August 1991

Rwanda has worked hard to control its growth as Africa's most densely populated county, but it's expected to still reach 16 million by 2020.

Official NameRepublic of Rwanda
Languages SpokenEnglish, French, Kinyarwanda
Is LandlockedYes
Latitude/Longitude-2.00, 30.00
Currencies UsedRwanda Franc
DemonymRwandan
BordersBurundi
Dr Congo
Tanzania
Uganda
Name Population Location
Kigali745,261Map
Butare89,600Map
Gitarama87,613Map
Musanze86,685Map
Gisenyi83,623Map
Byumba70,593Map
Cyangugu63,883Map
Kibuye48,024Map
Rwamagana47,203Map
Kibungo46,240Map
Nzega33,832Map

Rwanda Population Clock

The population of Rwanda (as of 12/4/2019)?12,762,826
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2019)12,626,950
Births Per Day1,075
Deaths Per Day179
Net Migrations Per Day-25
Net Change Per Day871
Population Change Since January 1st293,527

Rwanda Population Estimator

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Estimate as of December 4th 2019 is: 12,765,969

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
201912,626,95049.15%50.85%479.42762.64%
201812,301,97049.14%50.86%467.08762.68%
201711,980,96149.13%50.87%454.89762.67%
201611,668,82749.12%50.88%443.04762.64%
201511,369,07149.10%50.90%431.66762.52%
201010,039,33849.02%50.98%381.17832.58%
20058,840,21548.93%51.07%335.64892.19%
20007,933,68148.85%51.15%301.23926.33%
19955,836,49548.63%51.37%221.6096-4.35%
19907,288,88249.32%50.68%276.74853.47%
19856,146,89149.29%50.71%233.38913.59%
19805,153,31249.22%50.78%195.66913.38%
19754,364,70649.16%50.84%165.72963.04%
19703,757,35849.14%50.86%142.66993.04%
19653,235,53149.10%50.90%122.851011.96%
19602,935,58249.11%50.89%111.461013.04%
19552,527,29449.12%50.88%95.961042.94%
19502,186,18549.15%50.85%83.001090.00%
Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202012,952,21849.16%50.84%491.77760.00%
202514,576,98549.22%50.78%553.46762.39%
203016,234,38749.26%50.74%616.39762.18%
203517,921,52149.28%50.72%680.44752.00%
204019,633,86449.29%50.71%745.46761.84%
204521,357,19949.29%50.71%810.89741.70%
205023,048,00549.29%50.71%875.09721.54%
205524,671,98249.29%50.71%936.74711.37%
206026,191,92349.29%50.71%994.45691.20%
206527,589,16649.29%50.71%1047.50681.04%
207028,851,41649.30%50.70%1095.43670.90%
207529,974,86849.32%50.68%1138.08660.77%
208030,959,06849.35%50.65%1175.45650.65%
208531,801,86349.38%50.62%1207.45640.54%
209032,495,53249.41%50.59%1233.79630.43%
209533,031,19349.45%50.55%1254.13630.33%
  1. Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
  2. Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
  3. World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1978, 1990, and 2002 censuses adjusted for underenumeration, with provisional results from the 2012 census adjusted for underenumeration, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration. The 2002 and 2012 censuses were conducted on a 'de jure' basis.

  4. GeoNames Gazetteer