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Lesotho People 2020

SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











Lesotho People 2020
SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on January 27, 2020

Population:
1,969,334 (July 2020 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 149
[see also: Population country ranks ]
[see also: Population country ranks ]

Nationality:
noun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
adjective: Basotho

Ethnic groups:
Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%

Languages:
Sesotho (official) (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Religions:
Protestant 47.8% (Pentecostal 23.1%, Lesotho Evangelical 17.3%, Anglican 7.4%), Roman Catholic 39.3%, other Christian 9.1%, non-Christian 1.4%, none 2.3% (2014 est.)

Demographic profile:
Lesotho faces great socioeconomic challenges. More than half of its population lives below the property line, and the country’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is the second highest in the world. In addition, Lesotho is a small, mountainous, landlocked country with little arable land, leaving its population vulnerable to food shortages and reliant on remittances. Lesotho’s persistently high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates have been increasing during the last decade, according to the last two Demographic and Health Surveys. Despite these significant shortcomings, Lesotho has made good progress in education; it is on-track to achieve universal primary education and has one of the highest adult literacy rates in Africa.

Lesotho’s migration history is linked to its unique geography; it is surrounded by South Africa with which it shares linguistic and cultural traits. Lesotho at one time had more of its workforce employed outside its borders than any other country. Today remittances equal about 17% of its GDP. With few job options at home, a high rate of poverty, and higher wages available across the border, labor migration to South Africa replaced agriculture as the prevailing Basotho source of income decades ago. The majority of Basotho migrants were single men contracted to work as gold miners in South Africa. However, migration trends changed in the 1990s, and fewer men found mining jobs in South Africa because of declining gold prices, stricter immigration policies, and a preference for South African workers.

Although men still dominate cross-border labor migration, more women are working in South Africa, mostly as domestics, because they are widows or their husbands are unemployed. Internal rural-urban flows have also become more frequent, with more women migrating within the country to take up jobs in the garment industry or moving to care for loved ones with HIV/AIDS. Lesotho’s small population of immigrants is increasingly composed of Taiwanese and Chinese migrants who are involved in the textile industry and small retail businesses.

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31.3% (male 309,991/female 306,321)
[see also: Age structure - 0-14 years country ranks ]
15-24 years: 19.26% (male 181,874/female 197,452)
[see also: Age structure - 15-24 years country ranks ]
25-54 years: 38.86% (male 373,323/female 391,901)
[see also: Age structure - 25-54 years country ranks ]
55-64 years: 4.98% (male 52,441/female 45,726)
[see also: Age structure - 55-64 years country ranks ]
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 57,030/female 53,275) (2020 est.)


[see also: Age structure - 65 years and over country ranks ]
population pyramid:population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Lesotho. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page under the References tab.

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 66.9 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - total dependency ratio country ranks ]
youth dependency ratio: 59.5 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - youth dependency ratio country ranks ]
elderly dependency ratio: 7.4 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - elderly dependency ratio country ranks ]
potential support ratio: 13.5 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - potential support ratio country ranks ]

Median age:
total: 24.7 years
[see also: Median age - total country ranks ]
male: 24.7 years
[see also: Median age - male country ranks ]
female: 24.7 years
[see also: Median age - male country ranks ] (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 164

Population growth rate:
0.16% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 182
[see also: Population growth rate country ranks ]
[see also: Population growth rate country ranks ]

Birth rate:
23.2 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 56
[see also: Birth rate country ranks ]
[see also: Birth rate country ranks ]

Death rate:
15.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 1
[see also: Death rate country ranks ]
[see also: Death rate country ranks ]

Net migration rate:
-6.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 206
[see also: Net migration rate country ranks ]
[see also: Net migration rate country ranks ]

Population distribution:
relatively higher population density in the western half of the nation, with the capital of Maseru, and the smaller cities of Mafeteng, Teyateyaneng, and Leribe attracting the most people

Urbanization:
urban population: 28.6% of total population (2019)
[see also: Urbanization - urban population country ranks ]
rate of urbanization: 2.83% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
[see also: Urbanization - rate of urbanization country ranks ]

Major urban areas - population:
202,000 MASERU (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - at birth country ranks ]
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 0-14 years country ranks ]
15-24 years: 0.92 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 15-24 years country ranks ]
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 25-54 years country ranks ]
55-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 55-64 years country ranks ]
65 years and over: 1.07 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 65 years and over country ranks ]
total population: 98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio country ranks ]
[see also: Sex ratio country ranks ]

Mother's mean age at first birth:
21 years (2014 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
[see also: Mother's mean age at first birth country ranks ]
[see also: Mother's mean age at first birth country ranks ]

Maternal mortality rate:
544 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 17
[see also: Maternal mortality rate country ranks ]
[see also: Maternal mortality rate country ranks ]

Infant mortality rate:
total: 41.5 deaths/1,000 live births
[see also: Infant mortality rate - total country ranks ]
male: 44.8 deaths/1,000 live births
[see also: Infant mortality rate - male country ranks ]
female: 38.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
[see also: Infant mortality rate - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 38

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 53 years
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - total population country ranks ]
male: 53.1 years
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - male country ranks ]
female: 53 years (2020 est.)
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 227
[See also: Healthy Life Expectancy ]
[See also: Health Performance ]

Total fertility rate:
2.5 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 74
[see also: Total fertility rate country ranks ]
[see also: Total fertility rate country ranks ]

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
60.2% (2014)
[see also: Contraceptive prevalence rate country ranks ]
[see also: Contraceptive prevalence rate country ranks ]

Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 94.6% of population
[see also: Drinking water source - improved - urban country ranks ]
rural: 77% of population
[see also: Drinking water source - improved - rural country ranks ]
total: 81.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 5.4% of population
rural: 23% of population
total: 18.2% of population (2015 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:
8.1% (2016)
[see also: Current Health Expenditure country ranks ]

Physicians density:
0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
[see also: Physicians density country ranks ]
[see also: Physicians density country ranks ]

Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 37.3% of population (2015 est.)
[see also: Sanitation facility access - improved - urban country ranks ]
rural: 27.6% of population (2015 est.)
[see also: Sanitation facility access - improved - rural country ranks ]
total: 30.3% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved:
urban: 62.7% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 72.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 69.7% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
23.6% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 2
[see also: HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]
[see also: HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
340,000 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 20
[see also: HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS country ranks ]
[see also: HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS country ranks ]

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
6,100 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 24
[see also: HIV/AIDS - deaths country ranks ]
[see also: HIV/AIDS - deaths country ranks ]

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
16.6% (2016)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 122
[see also: Obesity - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]
[see also: Obesity - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
10.5% (2014)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 60
[see also: Children under the age of 5 years underweight country ranks ]
[see also: Children under the age of 5 years underweight country ranks ]

Education expenditures:
6.4% of GDP (2018)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 23
[see also: Education expenditures country ranks ]
[see also: Education expenditures country ranks ]

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.4%
[see also: Literacy - total population country ranks ]
male: 70.1%
[see also: Literacy - male country ranks ]
female: 88.3% (2015)
[see also: Literacy - female country ranks ]

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - total country ranks ]
male: 10 years
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - male country ranks ]
female: 11 years (2015)
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - female country ranks ]

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 34.4%
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - total country ranks ]
male: NA
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - male country ranks ]
female: NA
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - male country ranks ] (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 24


NOTE: 1) The information regarding Lesotho on this page is re-published from the 2020 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Lesotho People 2020 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Lesotho People 2020 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may have the following issues:
  a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assigns counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order.






This page was last modified 27-Jan-20
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