Demography and Labor Force


According to the IMF, the Democratic Republic of Congo has a population 72.571 million inhabitants in 2011, with 35% of the total population living in urban areas. As in many developing countries, the population is very young, with a median age of 17.4 years old. Below is a table with the historical and projected figures :

Historical and Projected Population

Year 1995 2005 2012 2015 2025
Population (thousands) 46,705 60,698 73,599 79,375 99,162
Growth (average annual) 2.6 3.0 2.6 2.5 2.0


Source : US Census Bureau, International Data Base

Gender and Age Profile of the Population

  Total Male Female
Population 73,599,190(2012)    
0-14 years 44.4% 16,031,347 15,811,818
15-64 years 53% 18,919,942 19,116,204
65 years and over 2.6% 767,119 1,066,437

Source : UN Data
Congo Population Source: US Census Bureau, International Data Base

Population Growth Rate

Population Growth Rate (average annual 2010-2015) 2.6%
Urban Population Growth Rate(average annual 2010-2015) 4.5%
Rural population Growth Rate (average annual 2010-2015) 1.6%
Urban population (of total) 35%

Source : UN Data

Labour participation, Education and literacy rates by gender

  Male Female
Labour participation rate 86% 57%
Primary-secondary gross enrolment ratio 75% 58%
Literacy Rate (age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba) 81% 54%


Source : UN Data

Although primary education is compulsory, until recently, schooling was essentially funded by parents due to the lack of infrastructure and government funding, especially in isolated, rural areas. In 2009, there were 29,490 primary schools and 14,163 secondary schools within the state sector, but these were unevenly spread throughout the territory. The duration of compulsory education is 6 years between the age of 6 and 12 years old. Secondary education consists of a long cycle and a short cycle. The long cycle has a general, a standard and a technical field. Students who pass the national examination, called the State Exam, receive the State Diploma that certifies the completion of their secondary education.

Since 2006, the new government under Kabila decided that education was one of the 5 key areas, with the budget for education increased to just over 11% of the total.

University and Higher Education

In terms of geographical distribution, of the 561 colleges or universities at higher education level, 70% are found in the nation