Cameroon Demographics

What is the population of Cameroon?

Population 27,744,989
Population - note 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
Population Growth Rate 2.04%
Urban Population 52.1%
Population in Major Urban Areas Douala 2.449 million; YAOUNDE (capital) 2.432 million
Nationality Noun Cameroonian(s)
Nationality Adjective Cameroonian
Ethnic Groups Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%
Languages Spoken 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)

Cameroon Health Information

What are the health conditions in Cameroon?

Animal Contact Disease (s) rabies
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 15-49 23.4%
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 11.51
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 51.9%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 25.9%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 94.1%
Food or Waterborne Disease (s) bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 5.2%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 5.3%
HIV/Aids Deaths 34,600
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 1.3
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 53.96
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 62.92
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 58.51
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 690
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 19.7
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 10.3%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 610,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .08
Respiratory disease (s) meningococcal meningitis
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 54.8%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 61.7%
Sanitation Facitlity Access - percent of rural population improved 26.8%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4
Underweight - percent of children under five years 15.1%
Vectorborne Disease (s) malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
Water contact disease (s) schistosomiasis

Cameroon Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Cameroon?

Life Expectancy at Birth 55 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 55 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 54 Years
Median Age 19 Years
Median Age - female 19 Years
Median Age - male 19 Years

Cameroon Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

Cameroon median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 32
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 11.51
Median Age 19 Years
Median Age - female 19 Years
Median Age - male 19 Years
Population Growth Rate 2.04%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.02
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.03
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .84

Cameroon Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Cameroon?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities in Cameroon are extremely limited. Even in large cities, emergency care and hospitalization for major illnesses and surgery are hampered by the lack of trained specialists, outdated diagnostic equipment, and poor sanitation. Medical services in outlying areas may be completely non-existent. Doctors and hospitals often require immediate payment for health services in cash, and require family members or friends to locate and purchase any medical supplies they will need. Pharmacies in larger towns are well stocked, but in other areas many medicines are unavailable. Be aware of the potential for counterfeit medications, often very well packaged, at any location. You should carry your own properly-labeled supply of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

The Centers for Disease Control has a comprehensive review of infectious disease issues and overall health recommendations for traveling to Cameroon.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. If you will be visiting Cameroon, you will need to discuss with your doctor the best ways for you to avoid malaria. Ways to prevent malaria include the following:

Taking a prescription antimalarial drug,
Using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites, and
Sleeping in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms and using bednets.

All of the following antimalarial drugs are equal options for preventing malaria in Cameroon: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. For information that can help you and your doctor decide which of these drugs would be best for you, please see Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria.
Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Cameroon and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.
If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in Cameroon, or for up to one year after returning home, you should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician your travel history and what antimalarials you have been taking.
Schistosomiasis is endemic in Cameroon. Avoid wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in, or drinking from bodies of fresh water such as canals, lakes, rivers, streams, or springs.

There are periodic outbreaks of cholera in Cameroon. People in high-risk areas can protect themselves by following a few simple rules of good hygiene and safe food preparation. These include scrupulous washing of hands under running water, especially before food preparation and eating, thorough cooking of food and consumption while hot, boiling or treatment of drinking water, and use of sanitary facilities. Above all, be very careful with food and water, including ice. Please see this CDC webpage for additional advice.

Yellow fever can cause serious medical problems and the vaccine, required for entry into Cameroon, is very effective. Measles and meningitis are also present in northern Cameroon. You should be sure your vaccinations are current. Polio remains a threat in northern Nigeria and Chad, which share porous borders with Cameroon.

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Cameroon.

Cameroon Education

What is school like in Cameroon?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 3.2%
Literacy - female 73.4%
Literacy - male 84.7%
Literacy - total population 67.9%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
School Life Expectancy - female 10 Years
School Life Expectancy - male 11 Years
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 10 Years

Cameroon Literacy

Can people in Cameroon read?

Literacy - female 73.4%
Literacy - male 84.7%
Literacy - total population 67.9%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)

Cameroon Learning

What is school like in Cameroon?

Classroom

Just like their homes most schools are made of packed earth and the roofs are likely to be iron sheets and there are quite a large number of students since primary school is free of charge, the average ratio of teacher to student may be about 1:50. School subjects are taught in either French or English and is not uncommon to also learn Mathematics, Natural Science, Technology, History, Geography, Civics, Physical Education, Household management and Child care, Manual work, Traditional art crafts, Management of personal funds for church work (Stewardship). Generally, classes are held in classrooms, and occasionally outside for Physical Education and sporting activities, Natural Science laboratories, and Technology. The classes are taught by lecture, and are the only source of information for students who are financially unable to purchase the text

Learning

There are generally a large number of schools that offer very good quality of education to the children of this country. Actually Cameroon seems to have one of the best educational systems in most of Africa. There used to be two educational systems, one for the east and the other for the west but they since merged to form one major and stronger educational system. Schooling starts as early as the age of three. This earliest level of school in not necessarily compulsory so a few parents send their children to attend kindergarten. Primary school education, which is mandatory, takes a total of seven years and it is basically free of charge in all public schools.

Uniquely and quite different from the rest of Africa, pupils in Cameroon can sit for vocational examinations as well as technical ones quite early in life which can allow them to choose the profession they may want to follow later in their lives as they grow up. When they move on to secondary schools children may get to choose to attend one of the three arms of secondary school education. There are grammar schools, vocational institutions as well as other training institutes. The secondary school education itself is not compulsory and so quite a number of children may not get to proceed beyond primary level of education.

To School

The journey to school is usually done on foot because there is no organized school transport and on average school could be about 2 or 4 kilometers away from home but that is considered a normal distance to walk. School begins at 7:30 a.m. in the morning and will generally go until 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon before children walk back to their homes.

Cameroon Crime

Is Cameroon a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Crime is a serious problem throughout Cameroon. U.S. citizens should exercise caution when traveling in Cameroon. Internet-based crime in Cameroon is escalating rapidly, and everyone, including businesses and other institutions, should be extremely skeptical of any financial transactions that involve sending money for goods, services, or adoptions. Crimes against property, such as carjacking and burglaries, have often been accompanied by violent acts and resulted in fatalities. All foreigners are potential targets for theft with possible attendant violence. Armed banditry has been a problem throughout all ten regions in Cameroon. In January 2011, over 20 Peace Corps volunteers were robbed at gunpoint in Kribi. In December 2010, a U.S citizen who was residing in Douala was murdered, and in Yaounde a U.S. citizen and a British citizen were sexually assaulted in separate incidents in March 2011. In August 2012, a U.S. citizen residing in Bamenda was murdered, and a British family was held at gun point in their hotel room for almost an hour in the middle of the night. Shortly after the attackers left, one of the victims went for help only to be shot at several times. This incident happened in the vicinity of Melong and the Mount Manengouba National Park in the Littoral Region.

In the past, armed bandits have erected road barricades to steal vehicles. While there have been no major incidents of banditry involving westerners since 2010, travelers may encounter random security checkpoints intended to curb the practice. Cameroonian law requires that you must carry identification at all times, and security personnel may request that travelers show their passport, residence card, driver's license, and/or vehicle registration at these roadblocks. You should keep certified copies of these important documents in a secure location separate from the originals. In an effort to monitor road safety, security personnel have also established roadblocks along major highways to check for safety triangles and fire extinguishers. Vehicles without these items may be required to pay a fine. Security personnel have been known to ask for bribes, but normally allow expatriate travelers to continue after delaying them for a period of time. The U.S. government does not condone bribery or corruption of any kind.

There have been many crimes involving public transportation. Taxis can be dangerous; U.S. Embassy personnel cannot use taxi cabs in Cameroon. Taxis in Cameroon function more like a U.S. bus system, with drivers stopping along the road to pick up additional passengers as long as there is space left in the vehicle. Taxi drivers and accomplices posing as passengers often conspire to commit serious crimes including rape, robbery, and assault. If you must use a taxi, consider hiring a driver you know and his/her private taxi for your exclusive use for that particular trip. Taxi passengers should be particularly vigilant at night.

The risk of street and residential crime is high. Incidents often involve gangs and relate to home invasion and kidnapping. Periodic efforts by authorities in Yaoundé to clear streets and public spaces of illegally constructed homes and market stalls can become confrontational, and may contribute to surges in criminality as these very modest homes and businesses are destroyed.

Many crimes involve an “inside man” and target individuals or locations involved with payrolls or other activities involving large sums of cash. Carjackings and robberies have also been reported on rural highways, especially in the northern region near Cameroon's border with the Central African Republic and Chad.

The Embassy has identified a wide range of internet scams based in Cameroon. These schemes cover a broad spectrum of bogus activities, including adoptions, insurance claims, dating, real estate, the provision of domestic services (such as nannies and household help), agricultural products, antiques, and exotic or domesticated animals. Often, these are advance-fee scams where the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value, such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift, and then receives little or nothing in return. U.S. citizens should never send money or travel to Cameroon to meet someone contacted via the Internet without first checking with the Embassy’s Commercial Section. Commercial scams targeting foreigners, many including U.S. citizens, continue to be a problem. The scams generally involve phony offers of lucrative sales and repeated requests for additional funds to pay for unforeseen airport and/or customs fees. Do not share your personal financial or account information.

Additionally, the U.S. Embassy is aware of complaints by U.S. citizens shipping vehicles or other merchandise to Cameroon who are unable to complete the transaction as they had expected, and who have ended up being detained based on these commercial disputes. The ability of U.S. Embassy officers to extricate U.S. citizens from the legal consequences of unlawful business deals is limited. U.S. citizens are urged to complete financial transactions with trusted partners only, insist on written contracts, and to avoid informal agreements.

For more information on international financial scams, including those involving internet dating, a promise of an inheritance windfall, a promise of a work contract overseas, overpayment for goods purchased on-line, or money-laundering, see the Department of State's publication International Financial Scams. If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a transaction in Cameroon, contact the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon. The Embassy’s commercial section regularly assists U.S. citizens seeking to determine the legitimacy of commercial transactions.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law. In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

Cameroon Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are in a foreign country, you are subject to that country’s laws and regulations, even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. Cameroonian law does not afford many of the protections to which you may be accustomed in the United States. Legal proceedings tend to be complex, lengthy, and subject to inappropriate influence. If you violate the law in Cameroon, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses, and the condition of detention centers, while improving, is poor. During the February 2008 civil unrest, there were reports of arbitrary arrests by law enforcement officials. Although no expatriates were known to have been arrested, the Department of State cautions you against venturing out during such periods of unrest.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Cameroon are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. There are also some things that might be legal in Cameroon, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in your host country, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Cameroon, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert nearest U.S. Embassy or the Embassy Branch Office in Douala of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the Embassy or Branch Office. In Cameroon, the U.S. Embassy contact number is 22 20 15 00, and is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Cameroon Population Comparison

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