Libya Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | December 21, 2022

Libya Country Overview

Where is Libya located? The state of Libya is located in North Africa bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Libya is the most developed country in Africa. On the time zone map you can see that Libya, despite its geographical distance, is in the same world time zone as most Eastern European countries. This is because the division into time zones occurs along lines of longitude. The “Eastern European Time” (EET), in which Libya is located, has a standard difference of 2 hours to the coordinated world time (UTC+2). As in most African countries, there is no changeover to daylight saving time in summer.

Libya National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Libya is 6,890,535, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 6,890,535
Population growth rate 1.94%
Birth rate 17.50 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 75.83 years
Men 74.17 years
Women 77.57 years
Age structure
0-14 years 25.53%
15-64 years 70.05%
65 years and above 4.43%
Median age 28.00 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.08
Population density 3.92 residents per km²
Urbanization 86.30%
Libyans – last census 2006: 5,657,692 people – Arabs; Minorities of Berbers (Tuareg, Nilosaharans etc.), Egyptians, black Africans
Muslims (Sunnis) 97%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.708
HDI ranking 110th out of 194

People in Libya

Although Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, only a little over six million people live here. The population density is actually the third smallest in Africa after Namibia and Botswana. Most Libyans live on the coast. Only there are bigger cities. The population is very young: 33 percent are under 14 years old (in Germany: 13 percent).

Arabs and Berbers

Most of the Libyans are Arabs and Berbers. Many Arabs have Berber roots or are Arabized Berbers. Today only a minority of the population calls themselves Berber. Most of them live in the highlands of Jebel Nafusa in north-western Libya.

The Tuareg also belong to the Berbers. They live in the western Sahara of Libya, on the border with Algeria, partly as nomads.

The Tubu people belong to the minorities. They too are desert dwellers and live in the south, in the border area with Chad.

  • Children: Every woman in Libya has an average of 2.2 children. With us, every woman has an average of 1.4 children.
  • Urban and rural: 80 percent of Libya’s residents live in cities. So 20 percent live in the country.

Languages in Libya

The official language in Libya is Arabic. This is standard Arabic. Most Libyans, however, speak one dialect in everyday life, Libyan Arabic. As a commercial language, you can sometimes hear Italian or English.

Minority languages ​​are the Berber languages. Most of Libya’s Berbers live in the Nafusi Mountains and their language is called Nafusi. The Tuareg speak Tamascheq.

The Tubu in the Sahara speak Tedaga.

Religions in Libya

97 percent of the population are Muslims, so they belong to Islam. 0.7 percent are Christians, 0.3 percent Buddhists.