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Demographics of Algeria

The people of Algeria:

Ninety-one percent of the Algerian population lives along the Mediterranean coast on 12% of the country's total land mass. Forty-five percent of the population are urban, and urbanization continues, despite government efforts to discourage migration to the cities. About 1.5 million nomads and semi-settled Bedouin still live in the Saharan area. According to 1986 data, 45% of the population is under age 15.

Nearly all Algerians are Muslim, of Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber stock. A mostly foreign Roman Catholic community of about 45,000 exists, as do very small Protestant and Jewish communities. As of January 2002, there were about 600 American citizens in the country, the majority of whom live and work in the oil/gas fields of the south.

Algeria's educational system has grown dramatically since 1962; in the last 12 years, attendance has doubled to more than 5 million students. Education is free and compulsory to age 16. Despite government allocation of substantial educational resources, population pressures and a serious shortage of teachers have severely strained the system, as have terrorist attacks against the educational infrastructure during the 1990s. Modest numbers of Algerian students study abroad, primarily in Europe and Canada. In 2000, the government launched a major review of the country's educational system.

Housing and medicine continue to be pressing problems in Algeria. Failing infrastructure and the continued influx of people from rural to urban areas has overtaxed both systems. According to the UNDP, Algeria has one of the world's highest per housing unit occupancy rates for housing, and government officials have publicly stated that the country has an immediate shortfall of 1.5 million housing units.

Population: 32,818,500 (July 2003 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.8% (male 5,485,197; female 5,285,434) 15-64 years: 63% (male 10,460,475; female 10,224,389) 65 years and over: 4.2% (male 624,839; female 738,166) (2003 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.65% (2003 est.)

Birth rate: 21.94 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate: 5.09 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2003 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 37.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.54 years male: 69.14years female: 71.02 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.55 children born/woman (2003 est.)

noun: Algerian(s) adjective: Algerian

Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

Religions: Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%

Languages: Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects (Kabyle, ...)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 70% male: 78.8% female: 61% (2003 est.)


Much of the material in this article comes from the CIA World Factbook 2003 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.

See also : Algeria