According to current projections, South Sudan’s population is expected to grow throughout the rest of the 21st century. At 11.19 million people as of 2020, the population is expected to grow to 19.96 million people by 2050 and 31.74 million by 2100.
South Sudan grew 1.19% from 2019 to 2020, an increase of about 131,000 people. While net migration remains negative for the country, its fertility rate is still relatively high at 4.74 births per woman. This makes for a very young population.
South Sudan’s increasing population must face challenges such as an increasing population density, as much of the country is uninhabitable and 33% of the population occupies 7% of the land. Additionally, economic growth struggles with the increasing population and environmental degradation will continue to worsen.
As the distribution of wealth between Sudan and South Sudan at the point of independence was determined in part by their relative populations, the government in Khartoum had an incentive to manipulate the figures. Additional criticisms of the 2008 Sudan population census were that it excluded the South Sudanese diaspora, that poor weather and communication conditions had prevented some people from being surveyed, and that the Sudanese Government had refused to share the raw population data from the census with the Government of South Sudan.
Accurate South Sudan population statistics are difficult to obtain, a fact which is probably not surprising when you consider that it only gained independence from Sudan on the 9th of July 2011, and is one of the world’s newest countries.
A 2008 census showed that the population of South Sudan was 8,260,490. However, this figure is hotly disputed because the census was conducted by the Sudanese Government of the time and is believed by many to have been manipulated for political reasons.
Fortunately, the growth rate in South Sudan has slowed significantly post Darfur conflict, and rates are expected to continue slowing in the years to come. However, the growth will still be enough to see the population double over the next 30 years or so. Current predictions believe that the 2019 growth rate of 2.66% will peak in 2020 at 2.75% before declining towards 2% by 2040. These projections say that the population of South Sudan will be 13,610,007 in 2020, 17,254,367 in 2030, 21,189,205 in 2040 and 25,366,221 in 2050.
|South Sudan Population (as of 10/1/2023)||11,135,646|
|Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2023)||11,088,796|
|Births per Day||880|
|Deaths per Day||312|
|Migrations per Day||-64|
|Net Change per Day||504|
|Population Change Since Jan. 1||138,096|
Net increase of 1 person every 2.85 minutes
Population estimates based on interpolation of data from World Population Prospects
|One birth every 1.63 minutes|
|One death every 4.62 minutes|
|One emigrant every 22.5 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 2.85 minutes|
The landlocked nation of South Sudan, officially the Republic of South Sudan, is located in East-Central Africa surrounded by Ethiopia, Sudan, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Kenya. The land itself is a combination of swamp, grasslands, and tropical forests and covers 239,285 square miles (619,745 square kilometers) of surface area, which ranks 43rd in the world in terms of size. Using the 2017 population of 12.58 million, the population density of South Sudan is 52.6 people per square mile (20.3 people per square kilometer), which ranks 163rd in the world.
Less than 20% of the people living in Sudan reside in urban areas, meaning there aren't many large cities in the country. The largest city in the capital of Juba with just under half a million people living there. Juba is home to much of South Sudan's economic and financial institutions, but war has ravaged the city for long enough that the infrastructure is still in serious disrepair. The next largest metro area is the city of Bor, which lies on the White Nile and contains 315,000 residents. The only other two South Sudanese cities with populations over 200,000 are the cities of Yei and Wau.
There are people over age 18 in South Sudan.
It is estimated that around 11% of South Sudanese people were not surveyed, which, if correct, would mean that the population of South Sudan in 2008 was around 9.28 million people. The South Sudan population in 2011 was considerably higher - perhaps as much as 10-12 million.
There are more than 60 ethnic groups in South Sudan, including the Dinka, and also many different languages spoken. The vast majority of people in South Sudan speak one of the Nilo-Saharan languages, but the official language is English, and this is also fairly widely spoken.
Data on religion in South Sudan is also extremely limited. As well as indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam have prospered in South Sudan. The last census in South Sudan to survey religion, however, was held in the 1950s.
South Sudan is a fairly religiously divided nation. The top two faiths are traditional African religions and Christianity, and the percentages of each vary depending on who you ask. A study, "Religion in South Sudan," by the Pew Research on Religion, stated that South Sudan's population are 60.5% Christian, 32.9% follow traditional African religion, 6.2% are Muslim, and 0.4% are considered "other."
All of the years of civil war in South Sudan has left its economy very weak and underdeveloped. South Sudan is one of the world's poorest countries, and they have one of the highest maternal mortality and female illiteracy rates in the world. Most homes lack electricity or running water, and paved roads are very uncommon. The largest industry in South Sudan in the international export of lumber. The country also contains many natural resources like copper, chromium, zinc, iron ore, petroleum, mica, silver, gold, and hydropower. The economy is also heavily reliant on agricultural products like cotton, groundnuts, wheat, sugarcane, mangos, bananas, and sweet potatoes.
South Sudan is a relatively new country and doesn't have much of an extensive history. Sudan didn't become an independent nation until 1956 and experienced a few decades of civil unrest as the country settled. The United States launched a missile attack against a pharmaceutical plant in the city of Khartoum, claiming that they were producing chemical weapons. South Sudan participated in the United Nations efforts to end the genocide in Darfur in the early 2000s. The population increased significantly during this period because of the number of refugees in the region. South Sudan ceded from the rest of Sudan in 2011.