Chad Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Chad Country Overview

Where is Chad located? The Republic of Chad is a landlocked country located in central Africa. The official languages ​​in Chad are Arabic and French, which bears witness to the colonial era. On the time zone map, Chad is in the world time zone “West Africa Time”, where there is a time difference of +1 hour to the world clock. As in most African countries, there is no daylight saving time change in Chad due to its proximity to the equator.

Chad National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Chad is 16,877,357, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 16,877,357
Population growth rate 3.18%
Birth rate 35.60 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 49.07 years
Men life expectancy 47.95 years
Women life expectancy 50.22 years
Age structure
0-14 years 48.12%
15-64 years 49.47%
65 years and above 2.39%
Median age 17.40 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.93
Population density 13.14 residents per km²
Urbanization 24.90%
approx. 200 ethnic groups: approx. 15% Sudanese Arabs; 40% Islamic peoples (Kanembu, Boulala, Hadjerai, Dadjo, Maba, Tubu-Daza, Tama, Zaghawa and others; in the S 30% Sara and others; Hausa, Fulbe)
Muslim 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous religions (mainly animism) 25%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.401
HDI ranking 187th out of 194

People in Chad

More than 15 million people live in Chad. With a birthrate of almost six (5.7) children per woman, the population is growing rapidly. It increases by 2.8 percent per year. That is one of the highest values ​​in the world.

The population is therefore also very young. 47 percent of all Chadians are under 15 years old! The average age of all residents is only 16.1 years. However, life expectancy is low. It is only 58 years.

Most of the Chadians live in the south of the country. The desert in the north is home to only a few nomads. Overall, only 23 percent live in cities, so the majority live in rural areas.

The Sara, who live in the south of the country, form the largest group with 30 percent. Arabs form the second largest group with 12 percent. They live more in the north of the country. The Tubu are also at home there. Their central settlement area is in and around the Tibesti Mountains.

Zaghawa live in the east of the country and the adjacent areas in Sudan. The President of Chad, Idriss Déby, is a Zaghawa. The Kanembu live on Lake Chad. Other larger ethnic groups are the Ouaddau and the Hadjarai.

Languages in Chad

The official languages ​​in Chad are French and Arabic. Arabic is spoken by around a quarter of the population – as a mother tongue or as a second language, while French is only spoken by a small minority. However, a total of around 120 languages ​​are spoken in the country. The most common among them is the language of the Sara people, who form the largest ethnic group in Chad.

Religions in Chad

In the north of the country there are mainly Muslims, in the south Christians. A total of 53 percent belong to Islam, 34 percent are Christians (20 percent Catholics and 14 percent Protestants). 7 percent follow the traditional African natural religions. Some of these are mixed with Christian elements. The country is also culturally divided into an Arab-Islamic north and a black African- Christian south.