Congo, Democratic Republic of the Demographics

What is the population of Congo, Democratic Republic of the?

Population 101,780,263
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 2.54%
Urban Population 34.300000
Population in Major Urban Areas KINSHASA (capital) 8.798 million; Lubumbashi 1.556 million; Mbuji-Mayi 1.504 million; Kananga 888,000; Kisangani 820,000
Nationality Noun Congolese (singular and plural)
Ethnic Groups over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population
Language Note Although French is the official language and is used in larger businesses and government, it is spoken by only about 10 percent of the population. Lingala is increasingly used as the national language. Regional languages are: Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba, and Swahili.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Learning

What is school like in Congo, Democratic Republic of the?

Education Culture

As much as the government would like to express their desire to have every school age child into school and getting basic education, it is quite difficult to realize this dream considering the poverty levels of the rural folk. The cost of educating a single child in the DRC is about US$63 per year, a cost most of the parents do not find reasonable since they do not comprehend the benefits of education. Instead they would rather have their children contribute to the farm work from which the families are able to feed themselves. This attitude has contributed largely to the large number of school drop outs. It is also estimated that a primary schoolteacher earns about US$20 per month.


Besides the old buildings, the learning facilities and stationery are in many cases unavailable due to the lack of funds. In some parts of the Republic, especially in the eastern parts of the DRC around Kisangani and Goma areas, schools are rare and the greater percentage of school age kids do not go to school. This is partly due to the existence of several rebel groups who recruit child soldiers in their armies since they are much easier to manipulate and command.

As much as school uniforms are a mandatory requirement in all schools in the DRC, it is not strange to find schoolchildren going to school with their casual clothing due to the poverty situation especially in the rural areas. In reality, it is not common to find a school going child wearing shoes as this is considered a luxury that most parents cannot afford. Shoes are not considered as part of school uniform in most of the rural areas. Most of the learning is done using chalk and board writing for the teacher and schoolbooks for students although the lower primary school kids may occasionally be subjected to writing on the floors under trees. Electronics and computer technology may be available in towns such as Kinshasa but not in the rural areas since most of the rural schools do not even have electricity. The lower primary school syllabus includes basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics while the upper primary level which begins at the fourth year include subjects such as history, geography, natural science, social science, art, music and the French language which is the official language. Many schools in the rural areas teaching using the local Lingala language especially in the case of younger school kids.

To School

Local government schools may be available within a radius of one to five kilometers or more depending on the area where a child lives. In urban areas, some of the children may be lucky to have means of transport to school depending on the type of schools they attend. It is however important to note that apart from some of the prominent private schools, most of the public schools do not have school transport and children must thus rely on public or private means to get to school if the school happens to be a long distance from their homes.

Most of the public schools are quite dilapidated perhaps courtesy of the long wars that have plagued the country due to the struggle for its extensive resources. It is not unusual to find a school that conducts its learning activities in dilapidated bullet ridden buildings due to the conflict.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Population Comparison

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Health Information

What are the health conditions in Congo, Democratic Republic of the?

Life Expectancy at Birth 56.140000
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 10.54
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 74.870000
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 8.5%
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .11
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population .8
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 79.100000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 540
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth (age 25-49) 20.2
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 17.7%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.95
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 4.7%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 29.100000
Underweight - percent of children under five years 28.2%

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Congo, Democratic Republic of the?

Life Expectancy at Birth 56.140000
Median Age 17.700000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 17.7%
Infant Mortality Rate 74.870000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 540
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.95

Congo, Democratic Republic of the median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 36
Median Age 17.700000
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.4
Population Growth Rate 2.54%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.030000
Age Structure 42.200000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 17.7%
Infant Mortality Rate 74.870000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 540
Mother's mean age at first birth 20.2
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.95

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Congo, Democratic Republic of the?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities are severely limited, and medical materials are in short supply. It is wise to carry properly labeled prescription drugs and other medications; an adequate supply of prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies is generally not available. Payment for any medical services is expected in cash, in advance of treatment.

Malaria is common throughout the DRC and malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended. It is advisable to consult your primary care provider, prior to travel, concerning proper prophylaxis. Outbreaks of polio, cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, the Ebola virus, measles, influenza, and hemorrhagic fever also occur. Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in the DRC. Travelers are encouraged to obtain tuberculosis testing pre-travel and repeat 8-12 weeks after return. Travelers should take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Many insect-borne illnesses are present. Follow insect precautions at all times, including using insect repellant and mosquito nets when possible. A yellow fever vaccine is required for entry into the country. Travelers are encouraged to avoid contact with non-chlorinated fresh water to prevent schistosomiasis.

There is a high risk of traveler’s diarrhea and cholera throughout the country. This can be mitigated by using good judgment when choosing what food to eat and water to drink. When in restaurants, it is best to ask for bottled water and avoid ice.

Health Expenditures - percent of GDP


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Congo, Democratic Republic of the Education

What is school like in Congo, Democratic Republic of the?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 2.5%
Literacy - female 55.1%
Literacy - male 76.2%
Literacy - total population 67.2%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 10.000000

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Literacy

Can people in Congo, Democratic Republic of the read?

Literacy - female 55.1%
Literacy - male 76.2%
Literacy - total population 67.2%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Crime

Is Congo, Democratic Republic of the a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

In the DRC, poor economic conditions continue to foster crime, especially in urban areas. Most reported criminal incidents in Kinshasa involve crimes of opportunity, which include pick-pocketing and petty theft, often committed by homeless street children called “sheggehs.” Travel in certain areas of Kinshasa, Kisangani, Lubumbashi, and other major cities is generally safe during daylight hours, but travelers are urged to be vigilant against criminal activity that targets non-Congolese, particularly in traffic jams and areas surrounding hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, and nightclubs. Outlying, remote areas are less secure because of high levels of criminal activity and the lack of adequate training, supervision, and salary for security forces. Individuals purporting to be security officials have detained and robbed U.S. citizens and other foreigners in Kinshasa. This type of crime occurs more frequently during the holiday season, including the Christmas and New Year's holidays and prior to the beginning of the school year.

Vehicle thefts, burglaries, and armed robberies occur throughout the country with reports of some carjackings in the North Kivu area resulting in deaths. The Embassy recommends that motorists drive with doors locked and windows closed at all times. Do not permit soldiers or police officers to enter your vehicle, and avoid getting into the vehicle of anyone purporting to be a security official. Have color photocopies of your passport and other identity documents that you can give to security or police officials instead of the originals. If confronted, remain courteous and calm and, if threatened, do not resist. Please report any incident to the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa.

Laws and regulations are not administered consistently in the DRC. Legal recourse in cases of theft and robbery is limited. Valuable items should be kept at home or in a secure location.

If you use public transportation or visit busy areas, be on guard against robbery and pick-pocketing, which are problems in all major cities in the DRC. The “sheggehs,” particularly in Kinshasa, can be aggressive and persistent.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in the DRC, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In the DRC, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and 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 the DRC, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not wherever you go.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

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