Benin Population 2020

12,044,791

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin and formerly Dahomey, is a West African country bordered by Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Togo. Despite its small size, Benin has an estimated 2020 population of 12.12 million, up from 10.6 million in 2014. This makes it the 77th most populous country in the world.

Benin Area and Population Density

Most of Benin's population lives on the southern coastline on the Bight of Benin, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea. The capital is Porto-Novo with a population of 265,000 but the largest city is Cotonou with a population of 685,000. Benin is a relatively small country -- the 101st largest in the world -- with a population density of 78 people per square kilometer, or 120th in the world. Despite its size, it has an estimated 2020 population of 12.12 million, up from the 2013 census population of 9.98 million.

Largest Cities in Benin

Just under half of the people living in Benin live in urban areas, and there are several significant cities in the country that house them. The largest city, and economic and government center of the country is Cotonou with a population of 818,100. Two-thirds of Benin's industries are found in Cotonou. The next largest city is the nations' capital Porto-Novo with a population of 234,300. The city is located on the Gulf of Guinea, and although it is the capital, most activities associated with a capital city actually happen in Cotonou. Other notable cities are Parakou with a population os 227,900, Djougou with a population of 206,500 and Bohicon with a population of 164,700.

Benin Demographics

Benin has a young population with a life expectancy of just 59 years. There are 42 different African ethnic groups, the ancestors of a number of groups who have settled in the area over centuries and migrated to the country. Major ethnic groups include the Yoruba in the southeast (who migrated from Nigeria), the Dendi in the north-central region (who originated from Mali), the Bariba and Fula in the northeast, the Betammaribe and Somba, the Fon near Abomey, and the Aja, Xueda, and Mina.

In 2002, the composition of the country was 39% Fon, 15% Adja, 12% Yoruba, 9% Bariba, 7% Fula, 6% Ottamari, 4% Kabye and 2.5% Dendi.

A wave of recent migration has brought many other African nationals to the country, including Togolese and Ingerians. There is also a group of Indians and Lebanese in the region for commerce and trade. There is a European population of about 5,500, most of which include personnel of embassies, foreign aid missions, and missionary groups.

Benin has one of the world's highest death rates for children under five with little access to healthcare. Benin also has one of the world's lowest literacy rates at about 43%.

Benin Religion, Economy and Politics

The country of Benin is relatively divided in terms of religion. Christianity is the largest religion, with 48.5% of the population practicing one denomination or another. An additional 27.7% practice Islam, 12.2% of people have an uncommon religion or no religion at all, and 11.6% of the people follow Vodun. Vodun is a traditional African religion that believes in many gods.

Benin is one of the largest cotton producers in Africa, and this industry alone accounts for 40% of the national GDP, and 80& of their exports. Other common exports from Benin include textiles, cocoa beans, maize, beans, rice, nuts, and various tubers. Without any other major industries, it has been difficult for the economy in Benin to thrive. However, Patrice Talon- the president elected in 2016, is working on expanding private exports which are expected to encourage growth by allowing Benin to export to more countries.

Benin Population History

Became its own nation, free from France and accepted into the UN, in 1960. The growth rate of the country saw a sharp increase at that time, going from 0.43% to 1.09% in 1960. The population continued to expand significantly as they began navigating their way as an independent country. Drawing many immigrants, the rate of growth got to 2.31% by 1975 and over 3% annually by 1990. The population has more than quadrupled since its independence in 1960.

Benin Population Growth

The birth rate in Benin remains very high at just under 5 births per woman, and consequently, the rate of population growth is also high. As one of the world's poorest nations, the infrastructure can not accommodate this level of growth. Like many countries in Africa, it has long been a part of the culture to have large families since it used to be assumed some children wouldn't survive. Health conditions have improved enough that this is no longer an issue and efforts are being made to educate young people about family planning in order to slow the growth rate down. as of 2019, Benin was growing at an annual rate of 2.75%.

Benin Population Projections

Fortunately, it is expected that the growth rate in Benin will begin to slow in the coming years, but the population will still come close to doubling over the next 30 years. Current projections believe that the growth rate will peak at 2.77% in 2020, before finally getting below 2% close to 2050. These predictions say that the population of Benin will be 12,122,985 in 2020, 15,628,437 in 2030, 19,613,944 in 2040, and 23,929,846 in 2050.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 1 minutes
One death every 5 minutes
One net migrant every 288 minutes
Net gain of one person every 2 minutes

Benin Population in 2018Source: By Dominik Schwarz [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Benin Population Pyramid 2020

Benin Population by Age

There are 6,044,792 adults in Benin.

Census Years

Year Date
20232023
201325 May 2013
200211 February 2002
199215 February 1992

Benin is rapidly growing with a population growth rate of nearly 3%. From 2011 to 2012, the country added 271,000 people, and its population has grown from 10.05 million in 2012 to an estimated population today of 10.88 million. This trend is expected to continue in the near future.

Official NameRepublic of Benin
Languages SpokenFrench
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude9.50, 2.25
Currencies UsedCommunauté Financière Africaine (BCEAO) Franc
DemonymBeninese
BordersBurkina Faso
Niger
Nigeria
Togo
Name Population Location
Cotonou780,000Map
Abomey-Calavi385,755Map
Djougou237,040Map
Porto-Novo234,168Map
Parakou163,753Map
Bohicon125,092Map
Kandi109,701Map
Lokossa86,971Map
Ouidah83,503Map
Abomey82,154Map
Natitingou80,892Map
Save75,970Map
Nikki54,009Map
Dogbo41,312Map
Cove38,566Map
Malanville37,117Map
Pobe32,983Map
Savalou30,187Map
Sakete30,111Map
Come29,208Map

Benin Population Clock

The population of Benin (as of 4/2/2020)?12,044,791
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2020)12,123,200
Births Per Day1,170
Deaths Per Day284
Net Migrations Per Day-5
Net Change Per Day881
Population Change Since January 1st81,933

Benin Population Estimator

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Estimate as of April 2nd 2020 is: 12,044,673

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202012,123,20049.94%50.06%107.65772.73%
201911,801,15149.92%50.08%104.79772.75%
201811,485,04449.90%50.10%101.98782.77%
201711,175,19849.88%50.12%99.23812.79%
201610,872,06349.86%50.14%96.54812.80%
201510,575,95249.83%50.17%93.91852.83%
20109,199,25949.67%50.33%81.68902.88%
20057,982,22549.55%50.45%70.88923.06%
20006,865,95149.27%50.73%60.96943.06%
19955,905,55849.02%50.98%52.44953.47%
19904,978,49648.68%51.32%44.211033.08%
19854,278,50148.44%51.56%37.991062.85%
19803,717,16548.29%51.71%33.011072.63%
19753,265,16548.20%51.80%28.991102.31%
19702,912,34048.09%51.91%25.861092.04%
19652,632,35647.86%52.14%23.371091.60%
19602,431,62247.57%52.43%21.591091.09%
19552,303,58747.20%52.81%20.451090.43%
19502,255,22646.59%53.41%20.021050.00%
Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202012,123,20049.94%50.06%107.65770.00%
202513,822,07150.02%49.98%122.73772.66%
203015,672,30450.07%49.93%139.16782.54%
203517,662,70050.09%49.91%156.83772.42%
204019,775,01350.10%49.90%175.59752.28%
204521,986,22550.09%49.91%195.22732.14%
205024,280,47750.08%49.92%215.59682.00%
205526,641,58150.06%49.94%236.56671.87%
206029,055,57450.03%49.97%257.99671.75%
206531,492,27350.00%50.00%279.63641.62%
207033,932,76449.95%50.05%301.30631.50%
207536,344,05049.90%50.10%322.71621.38%
208038,697,82949.85%50.15%343.61591.26%
208540,984,74549.79%50.21%363.91561.15%
209043,182,34049.73%50.27%383.43541.05%
209545,265,07649.67%50.33%401.92520.95%
  1. World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1979, 1992 and 2002 censuses, with preliminary results of the 2013 census, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  2. GeoNames Gazetteer