Guinea Bissau, officially the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, is a country in West Africa bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Senegal, and Guinea. Guinea Bissau's population is believed to have grown to 1.97 million, compared to the official population of 1.3 million at the 2002 census. The population density of Guinea Bissau is 44 people per square kilometer (154th in the world). The only city with a population of more than 30,000 is Bissau, the capital, with an estimated population of 388,000 in 2005. The next-largest city is Bafata, with about 23,000 people.
Guinea Bissau Demographics
Guinea Bissau is an ethnically diverse country. The Fula (30%) and Mandinka-speaking people (13%) make up the largest percentage of the population and live mostly in the north and northeast. The Balanta (30%) and Papel (7%) people live in the southern coastal area. The Manjaco (14%) and Mancanha people live in the central and northern coastal regions of the country. The rest of the population is mostly Mesticos of mixed African and Portuguese descent with a small Cape Verdean population.
Guinea Bissau did have a high Portuguese population until it gained independence, at which point most Portuguese people left.
While Portuguese is the official language of Guinea Bissau, only 14% of the population speaks the language. 44% speak Kriol, a Portuguese-based creole language, while the rest speak several native African languages. Because Guinea Bissau is surrounded by French-speaking countries, French is taught in schools as well.
About 50% of the population practices Islam, while 10% practice Christianity. An estimated 40% continue to practice indigenous religions, although many residents combine Islamic and Christian faiths with traditional beliefs.