The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Census Gives Snapshot of Namibia's Population

IT'S official: Of the 2 113 077 people in Namibia last August, most were women, were aged between 15 and 59 and had never been married.

The Namibia 2011 Population and Housing Census Basic Report, the most extensive census ever done in the country and released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) yesterday, contains a myriad of information.

It shows how the population has grown from a mere 250 000 in 1921, exceeded one million for the first time in 1981 and topped two million in 2011.

Since independence, Namibia's population increased from 1,4 million in 1991 to 1,8 million in 2001 and 2,1 million the decade thereafter.

Between 1991 and 2001, Namibia's population grew at 2,6% per year. This dropped to 1,4% between 2001 and 2011.

The majority of people, 57%, lived in rural areas in 2011, down from 67% in 2001. People living in urban areas, on the other hand, grew from 33% in 2001 to 43% in 2011.

The level of urbanisation increased to 43% in 2011, up from 28% in 1991.

The latest census shows that Namibians made up nearly 97% of the country's population last August. Of the 3% foreigners, Angolans made up the bulk (29%), followed by Zambians (11%) and South Africans (8,7%).

Citizens from Asia and other oceanic countries, including China, represented 4,6% of the foreign nationals in Namibia.

The majority of the population (56,5%) was aged between 15 and 59, followed by those aged between five and 14 (23%). About 13% were toddlers up to four years, while 7% were people aged 60 plus.

The median age in Namibia was 21 years, indicating that the population is rather young, the census report says.

Close to 52% of Namibia's population was women. On average there were 94 men for every 100 women in the country.

About 59% of the population aged 15 and older has never been married, while 35% was married with certificates, traditionally married or lived in consensual union. The high number of people who have never been married can be explained by the young population, the census report states.

Close to 20% of the population aged 15 and older was married with certificate.

On average, women gave birth to 3,6 children. The average age of a woman at the birth of her first child was 21,4.

Nearly 90% of the population older than 15 were literate. However, only 10% of children up to four was attending early childhood development programmes in rural areas.

About 2,7% of all children had no parents, while 13% had lost one parent. In total, there were 2 953 orphan-headed households in Namibia in 2011, representing 0,6% of all households in the country.

The average size of a household was 4,4 persons. Almost half of all households relied on wages and salaries as their main source of income. Sixteen percent relied on farming, while 14% was dependent on old age pensions.

About 38% of all households lived in traditional dwellings, while 16% lived in shacks. The census report states that shacks are found largely in urban areas where they constitute about 27% of all dwellings. By contrast, only 5% of rural households live in shacks.

Nearly 49% of all households used Oshiwambo as their main language, followed by Nama/Damara (11,3%) and Afrikaans (10,4%). Only 3,4% of all households had English as their main language.

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