Botswana Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Botswana Country Overview

Where is Botswana located? Botswana is a landlocked country located in South Africa. On the time zone map, which divides countries into world time zones, Botswana is found in a time zone called “Central Africa Time” which is 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC +2). Accordingly, the time difference between Botswana and Germany is only 1 hour. In contrast to Germany, in the African state (like in most other African countries) the time in summer is not changed to daylight saving time.

Botswana National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Botswana is 2,317,233, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 2,317,233
Population growth rate 1.48%
Birth rate 22.10 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 54.47 years
Men 55.98 years
Women 52.92 years
Age structure
0-14 years 31.48%
15-64 years 63.19%
65 years and more 5.33%
Median age 23.10 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.02
Population density 3.98 residents per km²
Urbanization 51.60%
approx. 95% Bantu: mainly Sotho-Tswana (including Bamangwato, Bakwena) and Schona; 2.4% San, 1.3% others
Indigenous religions 50%, Christians 50%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.728
HDI ranking 94th out of 194

People in Botswana

Most of the more than two million residents of Botswana belong to the Sotho-Tswana ethnic group. 75 out of 100 residents belong to them. Most of them belong to the Batswana subgroup. Here you can also hear the country name.

Smaller ethnic groups are the Shona, San, Khoikhoi and Ndebele. 3.6 residents live in one square kilometer.

The Bushmen or San

The indigenous people of the country, the San, live in the remote areas of Botswana. As hunters and gatherers, they still lead a traditional life. They are among the oldest residents of Botswana. Some researchers believe they are the oldest people on earth.

For a long time they lived in southern Africa, including Botswana. They were ousted in the 18th and 19th centuries by the Bantu tribes who invaded their tribal area. Then there were the Europeans who pursued the San and ultimately drove them into the desert. But the San were and are very adaptable and could survive even in these very hostile regions.

You live in and with nature. They only take what nature gives them and not in too large quantities so that something can always grow back. They live the way we should all live: sustainably. But not all San still live as traditionally as their ancestors hundreds or even thousands of years ago. They are often displaced and have to hire themselves out as workers, although they prefer life in the bush. When diamonds were found in Botswana in the 1960s, many locals had to leave their country. They are still fighting for and for their country today.

Languages in Botswana

The official languages ​​in Botswana are English and Setswana. English is spoken in government and administration and the major newspapers are also in English. Setswana is a Bantu language. In elementary school, the children first learn in Setswana, then in the secondary schools they are taught in English.

Religions in Botswana

There is no official state religion in the country. About half of the people still live their traditional African faith, the other half are Christians, mostly Protestants. Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists are few in number, especially in the country’s capital.