Population of Gambia 2017


Current population of Gambia is 2,051,363 people (July 2017 est.).


noun: Gambian(s)
adjective: Gambian

Ethnic Groups

Mandinka/Jahanka 33.8%, Fulani/Tukulur/Lorobo 22.1%, Wolof 12.2%, Jola/Karoninka 10.9%, Serahuleh 7%, Serer 3.2%, Manjago 2.1%, Bambara 1%, Creole/Aku Marabout 0.8%, other 0.9%, non-Gambian 5.2%, no answer 0.7% (2013 est.)


English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars


Muslim 95.7%, Christian 4.2%, none 0.1%, no answer 0.1% (2013 est.)

Demographic Profile

The Gambia’s youthful age structure – almost 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – is likely to persist because the country’s total fertility rate remainsstrong at nearly 4 children per woman. The overall literacy rate is around 55%, and is significantly lower for women than for men. At least 70% of the populace arefarmers who are reliant on rain-fed agriculture and cannot afford improved seeds and fertilizers. Crop failures caused by droughts between 2011 and 2013 have increased poverty, food shortages, and malnutrition.

The Gambia is a source country for migrants and a transit and destination country for migrants and refugees. Since the 1980s, economic deterioration, drought, and high unemployment, especially among youths, have driven both domestic migration (largely urban) and migration abroad (legal and illegal). Emigrants are largely skilled workers, including doctors and nurses, and provide a significant amount of remittances. The top receiving countries for Gambian emigrants are Spain, the US, Nigeria, Senegal, and the UK. While the Gambia and Spain do not share historic, cultural, or trade ties, rural Gambians have migrated to Spain in large numbers becauseof its proximity and the availability of jobs in its underground economy (this flow slowed following the onset of Spain’s late 2007 economic crisis).

The Gambia’s role as a host country to refugees is a result of wars in several of its neighboring West African countries. Since 2006, refugees from the Casamance conflict in Senegal have replaced their pattern of flight and return with permanent settlement in The Gambia, often moving in with relatives along the Senegal-Gambiaborder. The strain of providing for about 7,400 Casamance refugees has increased poverty among Gambian villagers.

Age Structure

0-14 years: 37.44% (male 385,646/female 382,328)
15-24 years: 20.47% (male 207,611/female 212,366)
25-54 years: 34.4% (male 345,788/female 359,976)
55-64 years: 4.2% (male 41,295/female 44,865)
65 years and over: 3.48% (male 33,153/female 38,335) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 92.3
youth dependency ratio: 87.8
elderly dependency ratio: 4.5
potential support ratio: 22.3 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 20.7 years
male: 20.4 years
female: 21 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

2.1% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

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

Death Rate

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

Net Migration Rate

-1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Population Distribution

settlements are found scattered along the Gambia River; the largest communities, including the capital of Banjul, and the country’s largest city, Serekunda, are found at the mouth of the Gambia River along the Atlantic coast


urban population: 60.8% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.96% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

BANJUL (capital) 504,000 (2015)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother’s Mean Age at First Birth

20.9 years

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

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

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 62 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 67.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 56.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 64.9 years
male: 62.5 years
female: 67.3 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

3.52 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

9% (2013)

Health Expenditures

7.3% of GDP (2014)

Physicians Density

0.11 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density

1.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 94.2% of population
rural: 84.4% of population
total: 90.2% of population

urban: 5.8% of population
rural: 15.6% of population
total: 9.8% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 61.5% of population
rural: 55% of population
total: 58.9% of population

urban: 38.5% of population
rural: 45% of population
total: 41.1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

1.7% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

20,000 (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

1,100 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

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

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

9.1% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

16.4% (2013)

Education Expenditures

2.8% of GDP (2013)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 55.5%
male: 63.9%
female: 47.6% (2015 est.)

School Life Expectancy (Primary to Tertiary Education)

total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2010)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 103,389
percentage: 25% (2006 est.)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24

total: 44.3%
male: 38.1%
female: 49.5% (2012 est.)