Afghanistan People - 2023



39,232,003 (2023 est.)

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noun: Afghan(s)

adjective: Afghan

Ethnic groups

Current, reliable statistical data on ethnicity in Afghanistan are not available; Afghanistan's 2004 Constitution cited Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pachaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, and Brahwui ethnicities; Afghanistan has dozens of other small ethnic groups


Afghan Persian or Dari (official, lingua franca) 77%, Pashto (official) 48%, Uzbeki 11%, English 6%, Turkmani 3%, Urdu 3%, Pachaie 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi 1%, other <1% (2020 est.)

major-language sample(s):

کتاب حقایق جهان، مرجعی ضروری برای اطلاعات اولیە (Dari)

د دنیا د حقائېقو کتاب، بنیادی معلوماتو لپاره ضروری سرچینه- (Pashto)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note 1: percentages sum to more than 100% because many people are multilingual

note 2: Uzbeki, Turkmani, Pachaie, Nuristani, Balochi, and Pamiri are the third official languages in areas where the majority speaks them

Dari audio sample:Pashto audio sample

Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other <0.3% (2009 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 39.8% (male 7,926,748/female 7,686,979)

15-64 years: 57.35% (male 11,413,654/female 11,084,665)

65 years and over: 2.85% (2023 est.) (male 515,147/female 604,810)

2023 population pyramid

total dependency ratio: 84.6

youth dependency ratio: 80.2

elderly dependency ratio: 4.8

potential support ratio: 22.5 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 19.5 years

male: 19.4 years

female: 19.5 years (2020 est.)

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Population growth rate

2.26% (2023 est.)

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Birth rate

34.79 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

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Death rate

12.08 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

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Net migration rate

-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

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Population distribution

populations tend to cluster in the foothills and periphery of the rugged Hindu Kush range; smaller groups are found in many of the country's interior valleys; in general, the east is more densely settled, while the south is sparsely populated


urban population: 26.9% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.34% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

4.589 million KABUL (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.9 years (2015 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

620 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

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Infant mortality rate

total: 103.06 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 111.47 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 94.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

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Life expectancy at birth

total population: 54.05 years

male: 52.47 years

female: 55.71 years (2023 est.)

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Total fertility rate

4.53 children born/woman (2023 est.)

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Gross reproduction rate

2.21 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

18.9% (2018)

note:  percent of women aged 12-49

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 68.3% of population

total: 76.5% of population 70.2%

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 31.7% of population

total: 23.5% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

15.5% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.25 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

0.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 88.2% of population

rural: 52% of population

total: 61.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 11.8% of population

rural: 48% of population

total: 38.6% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: Crimea-Congo hemorrhagic fever, malaria

note: Afghanistan is one of two countries with endemic wild polio virus (the other is Pakistan) and considered high risk for international spread of the disease; before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

5.5% (2016)

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Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

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Tobacco use

total: 23.3% (2020 est.)

male: 39.4% (2020 est.)

female: 7.2% (2020 est.)

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Children under the age of 5 years underweight

19.1% (2018)

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Currently married women (ages 15-49)

70.3% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 4.2%

women married by age 18: 28.3% (2017 est.)

Education expenditures

2.9% of GDP (2020 est.)

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definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 37.3%

male: 52.1%

female: 22.6% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 13 years

female: 8 years (2018)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 20.2%

male: 18.6%

female: 26.4% (2021 est.)

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NOTE: The information regarding Afghanistan on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Afghanistan 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Afghanistan 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 22 Aug 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.