Population of Uganda 2017


Current population of Uganda is 39,570,125 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: Ugandan(s)
adjective: Ugandan

Ethnic Groups

Baganda 16.5%, Banyankole 9.6%, Basoga 8.8%, Bakiga 7.1%, Iteso 7%, Langi 6.3%, Bagisu 4.9%, Acholi 4.4%, Lugbara 3.3%, other 32.1% (2014 est.)


English (official national language, taught in grade schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages, preferred for native language publications in the capital and may be taught in school), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, Arabic


Protestant 45.1% (Anglican 32.0%, Pentecostal/Born Again/Evangelical 11.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.7%, Baptist .3%), Roman Catholic 39.3%, Muslim 13.7%, other 1.6%, none 0.2% (2014 est.)

Demographic Profile

Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world; its total fertility rate is among the world’s highest at 5.8 children per woman. Except in urban areas, actual fertility exceeds women’s desired fertility by one or two children, which is indicative of the widespread unmet need for contraception, lack of government support for family planning, and a cultural preference for large families. High numbers of births, short birth intervals, and the early age of childbearing contribute to Uganda’s high maternal mortality rate. Gender inequities also make fertility reduction difficult; women on average are less-educated, participate less in paid employment, and often have little say in decisions over childbearing and their own reproductive health. However, even if the birth rate were significantly reduced, Uganda’s large pool of women entering reproductive age ensures rapid population growth for decades to come.

Unchecked, population increase will further strain the availability of arable land and natural resources and overwhelm the country’s limited means for providing food, employment, education, health care, housing, and basic services. The country’s north and northeast lag even further behind developmentally than the rest of the country as a result of long-term conflict (the Ugandan Bush War 1981-1986 and more than 20 years of fighting between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Ugandan Government forces), ongoing inter-communal violence, and periodic natural disasters.

Uganda has been both a source of refugees and migrants and a host country for refugees. In 1972, then President Idi AMIN, in his drive to return Uganda to Ugandans, expelled the South Asian population that composed a large share of the country’s businesspeople and bankers. Since the 1970s, thousands of Ugandans have emigrated, mainly to southern Africa or the West, for security reasons, to escape poverty, to search for jobs, and for access to natural resources. The emigration of Ugandan doctors and nurses due to low wages is a particular concern given the country’s shortage of skilled health care workers. Africans escaping conflicts in neighboring states have found refuge in Uganda since the 1950s; the country currently struggles to host tens of thousands from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and other nearby countries.

Age Structure

0-14 years: 48.05% (male 9,486,324/female 9,526,713)
15-24 years: 21.1% (male 4,130,357/female 4,217,681)
25-54 years: 26.3% (male 5,208,817/female 5,199,556)
55-64 years: 2.57% (male 491,397/female 525,064)
65 years and over: 1.98% (male 343,805/female 440,411) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 101.6
youth dependency ratio: 97.2
elderly dependency ratio: 4.4
potential support ratio: 22.8 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 15.7 years
male: 15.6 years
female: 15.8 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

3.2% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

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

Death Rate

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

Net Migration Rate

-0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Population Distribution

population density is relatively high in comparison to other African nations; most of the population is concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country, particularly along the shores of Lake Victoria and Lake Albert; the northeast is least populated


urban population: 16.1% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 5.43% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

KAMPALA (capital) 1.936 million (2015)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother’s Mean Age at First Birth

18.9 years

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

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

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 57.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 66.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 55.4 years
male: 54 years
female: 56.9 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

5.71 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

34.3% (2015)

Health Expenditures

7.2% of GDP (2014)

Hospital Bed Density

0.5 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 95.5% of population
rural: 75.8% of population
total: 79% of population

urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 24.2% of population
total: 21% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 28.5% of population
rural: 17.3% of population
total: 19.1% of population

urban: 71.5% of population
rural: 82.7% of population
total: 80.9% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

6.5% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

1.4 million (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

28,000 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

3.9% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

14.1% (2011)

Education Expenditures

1.7% of GDP (2014)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 78.4%
male: 85.3%
female: 71.5% (2015 est.)

School Life Expectancy (Primary to Tertiary Education)

total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 10 years (2011)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 117,266
percentage: 25%

note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2010 est.)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24

total: 2.6%
male: 2%
female: 3.2% (2013 est.)