According to current projections, Rwanda’s population is estimated to continue growing the rest of the century and reach 33.35 million people by 2099. The population, which currently sits at 12.95 million in 2020, is projected to surpass 20 million people in 2042 and 30 million people in 2076.
Rwanda’s population grew 2.58% from 2019 to 2020, adding about 325,000 people to the population. The fertility rate in Rwanda is 4.10 births per woman, which is boosting the population growth despite negative net migration. The fertility rate is currently on a declining trend, which will lead to the slowing of the population growth rate as well.
Rwanda’s high population growth has put an increased demand on food, infrastructure, and services that Rwanda is not yet equipped to provide for a fast-growing population. The government has made efforts around family planning to decrease the fertility rate and slow the population growth.
|Rwanda Population (as of 8/24/2023)||14,141,895|
|Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2023)||14,094,683|
|Births per Day||1,122|
|Deaths per Day||223|
|Migrations per Day||-25|
|Net Change per Day||874|
|Population Change Since Jan. 1||205,390|
Net increase of 1 person every 1.65 minutes
Population estimates based on interpolation of data from World Population Prospects
|One birth every 1.28 minutes|
|One death every 6.45 minutes|
|One emigrant every 57.6 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 1.65 minutes|
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.
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.
There are people over age 18 in Rwanda.
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.
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 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.