Namibia is one of the driest countries in the world, and sparsely populated. The country became independent as late as 1990, struggling with huge income gaps.
Key figures and facts
- Capital: Windhoek
- Ethnic groups: Ovambo 50%, kavango 9%, herero 7%, damara 7%, European and African descent 7%, European descent 6%, nama 5% capricious 4%, san 3%, hybrid 2% and tswana 0.5% (2011)
- Language: Oshiwambo 49%, nama/damara 11%, Afrikaans (common language for the majority of the population) 10%, herero 9%, kwangeli 9%, caprivi 5%, English (official) 3.4%, other 4% (2011)
- Religion: Christians 80-90% (at least 50% Lutherans), local religions 10-20%
- Population: 2 534 000 (2017)
- Control Form: Republic
- Area: 824 290 km²
- Currency: Dollar (NAD)
- GNP per capita: 10 625 PPP $
- National Day: March 21st
Population of Namibia
Namibia has a population of 2,348,000 (World Bank 2014). Annual population growth is estimated at 1.9%. Life expectancy at birth is 66.7 for women and 61.2 for men (2014). The average life expectancy dropped a few years as a result of AIDS, with a bottom year in 2002 with life expectancy for women 56.2 and for men at 52.1. According to the World Bank, an estimated 17% of the adult population with HIV/AIDS lived in 2003, while the figure in 2014 is 14.3. A major problem in this connection is also the high number of children who have been infected in the womb and over 80,000 orphans. The peak in the number of HIV-infected children under 16 was reached in 2010 by 25,000, compared to 23,000 in 2014.
The majority of the population consists of various Bantu people. The largest groups are ovambo (50%), kavango (9%), herero (7%), damara (7%), white (6%) and nama (5%). There are also elements of the khoi-khoi and san groups (3%). The largest city is the capital Windhoek.
About 90% of the population is Christian, of which 51% are Lutherans and 16% Catholics; furthermore, there are members of Native African churches and also Anglicans. The church played an important role in Namibia’s struggle for political liberation from South Africa. About 10% belong to local traditional religions.
After independence, English is the official language, although only approximately 2% of the population has the language as their mother tongue. Afrikaans was previously the official language, and before that German. 10% and 2% respectively of the population now speak Afrikaans and German as their mother tongue. The majority of Namibians speak different bantu languages. The main ones are ovambo, kavango (okavango) and herero. Khoisans (nama, san and khoi-khoi) are spoken by close to 250,000 people.