Burundi Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Burundi Country Overview

Where is Burundi located? Burundi is a country in East Africa that has a relatively high population density by African standards. The time zone map of the world, which divides countries into world time zones along longitudes, shows that Burundi is in a time zone called “Central Africa Time” (CAT), in which the regional time is 2 hours ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This means that the time difference to Germany is only one hour. In contrast to Germany, there is no time difference to summer time in Burundi in summer.

Bordering Countries of Burundi

According to abbreviationfinder, Burundi is a landlocked nation located in East Africa and it is bordered by five countries: Tanzania to the east and south, Rwanda to the north, Congo to the west, and Uganda to the northwest. Each of these countries has its own unique culture and history that have had a significant influence on Burundi’s culture.

Tanzania, located to the east and south of Burundi, is a large country composed of numerous ethnic groups such as the Sukuma, Haya, Nyamwezi and Chaga. The official language of Tanzania is Swahili which is spoken by most Tanzanians. The country also has some impressive national parks such as Gombe Stream National Park which are home to some rare species of wildlife like chimpanzees.

To the north lies Rwanda; this small African nation was once known as Ruanda until 1962 when it changed its name to Rwanda Republic. The majority of Rwanda’s population consists mainly of Hutu and Tutsi people who practice various religions such as Christianity and Islam. It has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Virunga Mountains (which are home to endangered mountain gorillas) & Nyungwe Forest National Park (which consists mainly of tropical rainforest).

Congo lies directly west of Burundi; it is a large African nation with an incredibly diverse population including over 200 ethnic groups that speak a variety of languages such as Lingala, Kikongo and Swahili. Congo also boasts some impressive wildlife reserves like Kahuzi-Biega National Park which are home to endangered species like lowland gorillas.

Uganda lies northwest of Burundi; this landlocked nation in East Africa has a population primarily composed of people from ethnic groups like Baganda, Banyoro, Basoga and Iteso. It has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Tombs at Kasubi (which were once part of an ancient kingdom), Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (which is home to endangered mountain gorillas) & Rwenzori Mountains National Park (which consists mainly of montane forests).

Burundi National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Burundi is 11,865,821, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 11,865,821
Population growth rate 2.85%
Birth rate 41.30 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 59.69 years
Men 57.92 years
Women 61.50 years
Age structure
0-14 years 45.52%
15-64 years 51.80%
65 years and above 2.69%
Median age 17.00 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.98
Population density 426.37 residents per kmĀ²
Urbanization 9.90%
Ethnicities
85% Hutu, 14% Tutsi, 1% Twa (so-called pygmies); approx. 3,000 Europeans and 2,000 South Asians
Religions
Christians 67% (Catholics (Roman Catholic) 62%, Protestants 5%), indigenous religions 23%, Muslims 10%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.423
HDI ranking 185th out of 194

People in Burundi

Although Burundi is a very small state, a large number of people live there. Around eleven million crowd an area about the size of North Rhine-Westphalia. Similar to the neighboring state of Rwanda, Burundi is heavily populated, which means that many people live in a relatively small area.

The people of Burundi are called Rundi, which sounds pretty funny. They all have the same language and the same culture, but can still be divided into several groups. Almost half of the people are younger than 15 years. 29 out of 1,000 children die in childbirth.

Hutu, Tutsi and Twa

As in Rwanda, Hutu and Tutsi live in Burundi. 80 out of 100 people belong to the Hutu and ten to 15 to the Tutsi, who thus represent the minority. The smallest group are the Twa, the original population of the country. Today they often live separately from the other residents.

It is wrong to speak of different ethics in Burundi, because Hutu and Tutsi speak a common language, Kirundi, and also have the same religious beliefs. The points of contact with neighboring Rwanda are also large. In Burundi, too, the upper class people are mostly Tutsi, the poorer mostly Hutu. But a Hutu could also become a Tutsi.

Huti and Tutsi were enemies for a long time because each felt like something better. So it came to a bad civil war in which many people died. Although the conflicts were great, the hope remains that the youth will emphasize the similarities rather than the differences.

Languages in Burundi

As a language, the Rundi share the Kirundi language, a Bantu language. You also hear French as a foreign language in Burundi, because Belgium ruled Burundi as part of a League of Nations mandate. In the capital, Bujumbura, people also speak Swahili, as does the area around Lake Tanganyika.

Religions in Burundi

80 out of 100 residents of Burundi are Christians and mostly of the Catholic faith. The natural religions are still widespread in the country. The number of people of the Muslim faith is low in Burundi at two in 100.