Central African Republic Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Central African Republic Country Overview

Where is Central African Republic located? The Central African Republic, as the name suggests, is located in the center of Africa and is a landlocked country. The Central African Republic is located on the time zone map in “West Africa Time” and there is a time difference of +1 hour to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). There it is 1 hour later than on the world clock. Even in the summer months, this difference to world time remains, since there is no time changeover to summer time.

Central African Republic National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Central African Republic is 5,990,855, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 5,990,855
Population growth rate 2.09%
Birth rate 34.30 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 50.90 years
Men life expectancy 49.64 years
Women life expectancy 52.20 years
Age structure
0-14 years 39.89%
15-64 years 56.72%
65 years and above 3.39%
Median age 19.50 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.98
Population density 9.62 residents per km²
Urbanization 42.70%
Central Africans – last census 2003: 3,895,139 residents – mainly Ubangi groups: 34% Banda, 27% Gbaya, 11% Ngbandi, 10% Azande, Yakoma and others; Bantu; French people
Indigenous religions 35%, Protestants 25%, Catholics (Roman Catholic) 25%, Muslims 15%, Note: Animism and animistic practices have a great influence on the Christian majority
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.381
HDI ranking 188th out of 194

People in Central African Republic

Almost 5 million people live in the Central African Republic. The population is growing by 2 percent annually. The birth rate is 4.7 children per woman. As a result, the population is very young: 40 percent are under 15 years old, and a total of 60 percent are under 25 years old. The average age is 20 years.

However, life expectancy is low. For men it is 52 years, for women 55 years. Many babies die at birth, 41 out of 1,000. That is one of the worst values ​​in the world. Poverty, hunger and disease make life difficult.

While the rainforests in the southwest and the dry savannas in the north are sparsely populated, most of the people live in the area of ​​the capital Bangui as well as on the rivers. 41 percent of the population live in urban areas, so the majority still live in rural areas.

Pygmies, who were among the first residents of the country, now only make up a very small proportion of the population. They live secluded in the rainforests of the southwest. Bantu people also live here, who also form a minority in the Central African Republic. They include the Yakoma and the G’bakka, each with 4 percent of the population.

The Baya (also spelled Gbaya) are the largest ethnic group with 33 percent today. You live in the north of the country. The second largest group are the Banda with 27 percent. This is followed by the Manschia (13 percent), the Sara (10 percent) and the Mboum (7 percent). The Azande live in the southeast and Fula in the northwest. There are around 80 peoples in total.

Languages in Central African Republic

The Central African Republic has two official languages: French and Sango. Sango originated from the Ngbandi language, which was spoken by the people of the same name on the Ubangi River. It developed into a lingua franca with which the different peoples could communicate. Sango is spoken far more than French.

However, a total of 72 languages ​​are spoken in the country. After all, every ethnic group has its own language. Most of these languages ​​belong to the Niger-Congo languages and here again to the Ubangic languages ​​(on the left in turquoise on the map). Sango is also an Ubangic language. Most of the residents are at least bilingual.

Religions in Central African Republic

80 percent of the population are Christians, with Catholics and Protestants each making up half. Most of the Christians live in the south of the country. Traditional faith is still practiced by many people, sometimes mixed with Christian elements. 10 percent are attached to Islam. The Muslims live more in the north, east and north-west.