Guinea-Bissau Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Guinea-Bissau Country Overview

Where is Guinea-Bissau located? The  Guinea-Bissau is a Central African country that is one of the least developed countries in the world. On the time zone map, countries are divided into world time zones along the lines of longitude. As a result, Great Britain and Guinea-Bissau, for example, are in the same time zone despite the great distance between them. In the zone known as “Greenwich Mean Time” (GMT), there is no time offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). However, unlike the rest of Europe, Guinea-Bissau does not change clock time to daylight saving time during the summer.

Bordering Countries of Guinea-Bissau

According to abbreviationfinder, Guinea-Bissau is bordered by four countries in West Africa, namely Senegal to the north, Guinea to the east, and both Gambia and Guinea-Conakry to the south. The total length of its land borders is 1,640 kilometers.

The Senegal-Guinea-Bissau border runs for 338 kilometers from east to west along Oio Region. This border was established in 1974 following an agreement between both countries. The Guinea-Bissau-Guinea border runs for 600 kilometers from north to south along Tombali Region and Gabu Region. This boundary was established as part of a peace treaty signed between both countries in 1974 after years of conflict in this region.

The Gambia has a 192 kilometer long boundary with Guinea-Bissau that runs along Cacheu Region from east to west. This boundary was established as part of a peace treaty signed between both countries in 1989 which ended years of conflict in this region. Finally, Guinea-Conakry has a 510 kilometer long boundary with Guinea-Bissau that runs along Bafatá Region and Gabu Region from north to south. This border was also established as part of a peace treaty signed between both countries in 1974 after years of conflict in this region.

Guinea-Bissau National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Guinea-Bissau is 1,927,104, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 1,927,104
Population growth rate 2.51%
Birth rate 32.50 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 49.50 years
Men 47.53 years
Women 51.52 years
Age structure
0-14 years 43.55%
15-64 years 53.42%
65 years and above 3.04%
Median age 19.90 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.95
Population density 53.35 residents per km²
Urbanization 34.00%
approx. 30% Balante, 25% Fulbe, 12% Mandingo, 10% Papéis, 9% Manjaco and others
Indigenous religions 50%, Muslims 45%, Christians 5%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.461
HDI ranking 178th out of 194

People in Guinea-Bissau

About 25 peoples live in Guinea-Bissau. The largest groups are the Balanta (30 percent), who live almost exclusively in Guinea-Bissau, only a few live in Senegal and Gambia. The Fulbe make up 20 percent in Guinea-Bissau. They also live in many other West African countries.

The Manjaco belong to 14 percent of the population and the Mandinka 13 percent. 7 percent belong to the Pepel people. They live in the Biombo region in the west of the country (northwest of Bissau).

The Biafada includes 3 percent and the Bajagós on the Bijagós Islands 2 percent. Minorities are Diola on the border with Casamance (Senegal) and Nalu on the southwest border with Guinea.

Urban and countryside

44 out of 100 people in Guinea-Bissau live in cities, so a small majority of 56 out of 100 people live in the countryside.

Children in Guinea-Bissau

Every woman in Guinea-Bissau has an average of 4.5 children. That is much. With us, each woman has an average of only 1.4 children. Children and young people in Guinea-Bissau make up a large proportion of the population. Around half of the population is under 18 years of age.

Infant mortality is 3.7 percent, child mortality 5.4 percent (as of 2018, ours: 0.2 and 0.3 percent). That means: almost four out of 100 newborn children die, a little more than five out of 100 do not celebrate their first birthday. The numbers have been going down over the past few decades, but they’re still too high.

Languages in Guinea-Bissau

The official language is Portuguese. That is a legacy from the time until 1973, when Guinea-Bissau was a Portuguese colony. School lessons are also in Portuguese. Each ethnic group speaks its own language as its mother tongue, which is why children often only learn Portuguese in school.

The Guinea-Pissau Creole is widespread as a lingua franca and trade. So this is the language that different peoples use to communicate with one another rather than Portuguese. About half of the population speaks this Creole language. It was created by mixing Portuguese with the native languages.

The languages ​​of the peoples are usually called like the people themselves. Balanta speak Balanta, Pepel speak Pepel, Mandinka speak Mandinka. The Fulbe language is called Fulfulde.

Religions in Guinea-Bissau

In Guinea-Bissau, about half (50 percent) of the population belong to Islam. 40 percent practice the old natural religions. They believe that the ancestors affect their lives and that these ancestors need to be appeased and well-tuned. They are worshiped with small altars or offerings made to them. Ten percent are Christians, mostly Catholics.