Demographics of Cape Verde

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Demographics of Cape Verde, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the Portuguese discovered it in 1456. African slaves were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations. As a result, Cape Verdeans have mixed African and European origins. Vestiges of African culture are most pronounced on the island of Santiago, where 50% of the people live. Survival in a country with few natural resources historically has induced Cape Verdeans to emigrate. In fact, of the more than 1 million people of Cape Verdean ancestry in the world, only a little more than one-third actually live on the islands. Some 500,000 people of Cape Verdean ancestry live in the United States, mainly in New England. Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Senegal also have large communities.

Although the official language is Portuguese, most Cape Verdeans speak a Creole dialect--Crioulo--which consists of archaic Portuguese modified through contact with African and other European languages. Cape Verde has a rich tradition of Crioulo literature and music.

Demographic data from the CIA World Factbook


418,224 (July 2005 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 39% (male 82,249/female 80,752)
15-64 years: 54.3% (male 110,119/female 116,816)
65 years and over: 6.8% (male 10,599/female 17,689) (2005 est.)

Median age

Total: 19.4 years
Male: 18.62 years
Female: 20.25 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate

0.67% (2005 est.)

Birth rate

25.33 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Death rate

6.62 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Net migration rate

-11.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Sex ratio

At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate

Total: 47.77 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 52.95 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 42.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total population: 70.45 years
Male: 67.13 years
Female: 73.86 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.48 children born/woman (2005 est.)


Adult prevalence rate: 0.035% (2001 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 775 (2001)
Deaths: 225 (as of 2001)


Noun: Cape Verdean(s)
Adjective: Cape Verdean

Ethnic groups

Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%


Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs); Protestant (mostly Church of the Nazarene)


Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)


Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 76.6%
Male: 85.8%
Female: 69.2% (2003 est.)


Template:CIA WFB 2005

pt:Demografia de Cabo Verde