Demographics of Rwanda

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Demographics of Rwanda

Post  kosovohp on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:22 am

2010 estimates place Rwanda's population at 10,746,311.[54] This population is young: an estimated 42.7% are under 15, and 97.5% are under 65. The birth rate is estimated at 40.16 births per 1,000 people, the death rate at 14.91.[54] The life expectancy is 56.77 years (55.43 years for males and 58.14 years for females), the 33rd lowest out of 224 countries.[54][123]

Rwanda's population density, at 408 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,060 /sq mi), is amongst the highest in Africa; however, the population is predominantly rural with few large towns and dwellings evenly spread throughout the country.[87] The only area of the country which is not densely populated is the savanna land in the former province of Umutara and Akagera National Park in the east.[124] Kigali is the largest city, with a population of around one million.[125] Other cities include Gitarama, Butare and Gisenyi, all with populations below 100,000.[2] Rural to urban migration, which before 1994 was very low, now stands at 4.2% per year, with the rapidly increasing population of Kigali placing a burden on infrastructure.[54][126][127] The sex ratio of the country is relatively even.[54]

Rwandans form three separate groups, the Hutus, Tutsis and Twas.[9] Unlike the disparate ethnic groups of neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania, these three groups share a common history, culture and language and are classified as social groups rather than tribes. Opinion is divided on the origins of these groups, but it is likely they were the result of a series of migrations. The Tutsi were traditionally the ruling class, from whom the Kings and the majority of chiefs were derived, while the Hutus were agriculturalists.[128] The Twas are a pygmy people thought to descend from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants. During the colonial era, both Germany and Belgium sought to reinforce the distinction and associated power structures as a method of ruling the country - by favouring the Tutsi elite, the Hutus and Twas could be more easily suppressed. This policy brought the groups into violent conflict, eventually leading to the 1959 wind of destruction, the civil war and the Genocide. The current government discourages the Hutu/Tutsi/Twa distinction, and has removed the classification from identity cards.[129]
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Most Rwandans are Christian, but there have been significant changes since the genocide with many conversions to Evangelical Christian faiths and Islam.[130] As of 2006, Catholics represented 56.5 % of the poulation, Protestants 37.1 % (of whom 11.1 % were Seventh Day Adventists) and Muslims 4.6 %.[131] 1.7 % claimed no religious beliefs.[131] Traditional African religion, despite officially representing only 0.1 % of the population, retains an influence. Many Rwandans view the Christian God as synonymous with the traditional Rwandan God Imana

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