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The Maka-Njem ethnic groups of Cameroon.
The Maka-Njem ethnic groups of Cameroon.
The Duala ethnic groups of Cameroon.
The Duala ethnic groups of Cameroon.
The demographic profile of Cameroon is complex for a country of its population. Cameroon is comprised of an estimated 250 distinct ethnic groups, which may be formed into five large regional-cultural divisions:
  • western highlanders ( Semi-Bantu or grassfielders), including the Bamileke, Bamun (or Bamoun), and many smaller Tikar groups in the Northwest (est. 38% of total population);
  • coastal tropical forest peoples, including the Bassa, Duala (or Douala), and many smaller groups in the Southwest (12%);
  • southern tropical forest peoples, including the Beti-Pahuin, Bulu (a subgroup of Beti-Pahuin), Fang (subgroup of Beti-Pahuin), Maka-Njem, and Baka pygmies (18%);
  • predominantly Islamic peoples of the northern semi-arid regions (the Sahel) and central highlands, including the Fulani (or Peuhl in French) (14%); and
  • the " Kirdi", non-Islamic or recently Islamic peoples of the northern desert and central highlands (18%).
A Tikar family in the Northwest Province
A Tikar family in the Northwest Province
An up-to-date demographic profile is unavailable from the country's government, which hasn't published census data since 1976.

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Contents

Demographic data



Demographic data - Contents

The Cameroon government held two national censuses during the country's first 44 years as an independent country, in 1976 and again in 1987. Results from the second head count were never published. A third census, expected to take years to product results, began on November 11, 2005, with a three-week interviewing phase. It is one of a series of projects and reforms required by the International Monetary Fund as prerequisites for foreign debt relief.Nearly all of the following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook.
Estimated number of inhabitants (in thousands), based on 2005 data from the   Food and Agriculture Organization.
Estimated number of inhabitants (in thousands), based on 2005 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization.


Population
16,380,005
Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)


Age structure
0-14 years: 41.7% (male 3,457,180/female 3,375,668)
15-64 years: 55% (male 4,537,281/female 4,477,163)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 239,634/female 293,079) (2005 est.)


Median age
Total: 18.6 years
Male: 18.45 years
Female: 18.76 years (2005 est.)


Population growth rate
1.93% (2005 est.)


Birth rate
34.67 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)


Death rate
15.4 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)


Net migration rate
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)


Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2005 est.)


Infant mortality rate
Total: 68.26 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 72.14 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 64.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)


Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 47.84 years
Male: 47.04 years
Female: 48.67 years (2005 est.)


Total fertility rate
4.47 children born/woman (2005 est.)


HIV/AIDS
Adult prevalence rate: 6.9% (2003 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 560,000 (2003 est.)
Deaths: 49,000 (2003 est.)


Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever are high risks in some locations
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis
Respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2004)


Nationality
Noun: Cameroonian(s)
Adjective: Cameroonian


Ethnic groups
Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%


Religions
Indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%


Languages
There are 24 major African language groups in Cameroon; additionally, English and French are official languages. Cameroonian Pidgin English is also widely spoken.Peoples concentrated in the Southwest and Northwest Provinces — around Buea and Bamenda — use standard English and Cameroonian Pidgin English, as well as their local languages. In the three northern provinces — Adamawa, North, and Extreme North — either French or Fulfulde (the language of the Fulani) is widely spoken. Elsewhere, French is the principal second language, although pidgin and some local languages such as Ewondo, the dialect of a Beti clan from the Yaoundé area, have a wide currency.Indigenous languages of Cameroon include:
  • Basaa
  • Bikya
  • Bung
  • Kanuri
  • Ngumba
  • Yeni
  • Bamum


Literacy
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 79%
Male: 84.7%
Female: 73.4% (2003 est.)
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