Population of Burkina Faso 2017


Current population of Burkina Faso is 20,107,509 people (July 2017 est.).

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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)


noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe

Ethnic Groups

Mossi 52.5%, Fulani 8.4%, Gurma 6.8%, Bobo 4.8%, Gurunsi 4.5%, Senufo 4.4%, Bissa 3.9%, Lobi 2.5%, Dagara 2.4%, Tuareg/Bella 1.9%, Dioula 0.8%, unspecified/no answer 0.1%, other 7% (2010 est.)


French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population


Muslim 61.6%, Catholic 23.2%, traditional/animist 7.3%, Protestant 6.7%, other/no answer 0.2%, none 0.9% (2010 est.)

Demographic Profile

Burkina Faso has a young age structure – the result of declining mortality combined with steady high fertility – and continues to experience rapid population growth, which is putting increasing pressure on the country’s limited arable land. More than 65% of the population is under the age of 25, and the population is growing at 3% annually. Mortality rates, especially those of infants and children, have decreased because of improved health care, hygiene, and sanitation, but women continue to have an average of almost 6 children. Even if fertility were substantially reduced, today’s large cohort entering their reproductive years would sustain high population growth for the foreseeable future. Only about a third of the population is literate and unemployment is widespread, dampening the economic prospects of Burkina Faso’s large working-age population.

Migration has traditionally been a way of life for Burkinabe, with seasonal migration being replaced by stints of up to two years abroad. Cote d’Ivoire remains the top destination, although it has experienced periods of internal conflict. Under French colonization, Burkina Faso became a main labor source for agricultural and factory work in Cote d’Ivoire. Burkinabe also migrated to Ghana, Mali, and Senegal for work between the world wars. Burkina Faso attracts migrants from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Mali, who often share common ethnic backgrounds with the Burkinabe. Despite its food shortages and high poverty rate, Burkina Faso has become a destination for refugees in recent years and currently hosts about 50,000 Malians.

Age Structure

0-14 years: 44.88% (male 4,519,960/female 4,503,937)
15-24 years: 20.07% (male 2,024,501/female 2,012,053)
25-54 years: 29.42% (male 2,999,941/female 2,915,264)
55-64 years: 3.2% (male 284,374/female 359,159)
65 years and over: 2.43% (male 181,996/female 306,324) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 92.2
youth dependency ratio: 87.6
elderly dependency ratio: 4.6
potential support ratio: 21.6 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 17.2 years
male: 17 years
female: 17.3 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

3% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

41.2 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Death Rate

11.2 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Net Migration Rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Population Distribution

the population is concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country; the east, north, and southwest are less populated


urban population: 31.5% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 5.29% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

OUAGADOUGOU (capital) 2.741 million (2015)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.77 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother’s Mean Age at First Birth

19.4 years

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

371 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 73.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 80.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 55.5 years
male: 53.4 years
female: 57.6 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

5.71 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

20.8% (2015)

Health Expenditures

5% of GDP (2014)

Physicians Density

0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital Bed Density

0.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 75.8% of population
total: 82.3% of population

urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 24.2% of population
total: 17.7% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 50.4% of population
rural: 6.7% of population
total: 19.7% of population

urban: 49.6% of population
rural: 93.3% of population
total: 80.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

0.8% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

95,000 (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

3,100 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

5.2% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

26.2% (2010)

Education Expenditures

3.9% of GDP (2015)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 36%
male: 43%
female: 29.3% (2015 est.)

School Life Expectancy (Primary to Tertiary Education)

total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 7 years (2013)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 1,521,006
percentage: 38% (2006 est.)