Rwanda Demographics

What is the population of Rwanda?

Population 12,712,431
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 2.7%
Urban Population 19.100000
Population in Major Urban Areas KIGALI (capital) 1.004 million
Nationality Noun Rwandan(s)
Ethnic Groups Hutu 84%, Tutsi 15%, Twa (Pygmoid) 1%

Rwanda Learning

What is school like in Rwanda?


The heavy war that took place in Rwanda destroyed the schools infrastructure. Many describe schools as simply shells consisting of walls with gaping holes or doors and windows which do not have any grills or window panes. Many school buildings were also destroyed so it is not strange to find other children learning under trees. On average the teacher student ratio in many primary schools is about 1:80. When it comes to supplies needed to facilitate learning, the priority is basically pen and paper, with children sharing text books due to the scarcity in many rural schools. Most children will learn about computers in high school or college. There is however a lot of rehabilitation especially where infrastructure is involved thanks to assistance from the international community.


School normally begins at 8:00 am with a regular routine of cleaning up the compound by picking all the garbage before going for assembly where the teachers on duty will make announcements and do a routine check up for hygiene. The teacher will check for which children may not be in a semblance of uniform, did not cut their nails, or their hair is unkempt. These children may get a punishment, which involves receiving strokes of the cane. The regular lessons are 35 minutes long and subjects are taught either in French or in the local language for the elementary classes. There is usually a short break at 10:00 or 10:30 am of 10 to 30 minutes in length. There are likely to be no balls at the break so boys will fashion their own soccer balls using plastic bags which they bundle together by using twine. After a second session of classes children will break for lunch which takes about one hour. Many schools supply lunch which consists of plantain bananas and groundnut sauce. In the schools where this is not provided, most children will go without a meal as they wait for the afternoon lessons.

Teachers usually have to do with the few supplies that are available and most of the time they improvise in order to have any teaching aids. The basic teaching materials the teacher will get are a few text books and they have to improvise ways in which they will be shared among the students. There is currently a great deal of emphasis from various organizations to jump start the education programs through provision of some basic salaries because teachers are de-motivated due to small and irregular payments.

The afternoon session begins at 2:00 pm and will end at about 3:30 pm. For the children in the upper classes there will be one more period where some extra curricular activities are undertaken, but this is more often than not done once or twice a week. Extra curricular activities usually include dance, music, drama, debating or anything that the environment may allow. As soon as school is over, the children will begin the long trek home getting home as late as 5:30 pm. The first assignment for them at home is to pick up the water containers and rush to the river to replenish the water supply at home. It is during this trip to the river that most of them will take their bath and run back home with 20 liter water containers balanced on their heads. The older children will have the responsibility of bathing their younger siblings since their parents are likely to be busy working in the farm.

To School

School is likely to begin anywhere between 7:30 and 8:00 am so most children will leave home at about 6:30 am since there is no organized school transport, for the long trek to school. On many occasions however, it is not surprising for more than half the children to come to school on an empty stomach since there may not be any food back at home. For some of them the only hope will be a school meal where that is made available. School dropout rates are high where meals are not offered in poor neighborhoods.

Rwanda Population Comparison

Rwanda Health Information

What are the health conditions in Rwanda?

Life Expectancy at Birth 58.850000
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 9.41
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 61.030000
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 10.8%
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .06
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 1.6
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 80.700000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 340
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 51.6%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.71
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 4.3%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 61.000000
Underweight - percent of children under five years 11.5%

Rwanda Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Rwanda?

Life Expectancy at Birth 58.850000
Median Age 18.700000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 51.6%
Infant Mortality Rate 61.030000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 340
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.71

Rwanda median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 35
Median Age 18.700000
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population .95
Population Growth Rate 2.7%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.030000
Age Structure 41.530000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 51.6%
Infant Mortality Rate 61.030000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 340
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.71

Rwanda Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Rwanda?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

There are very few emergency municipal response services. Ambulances are available in Kigali through SAMU by calling 912 from any mobile phone, or through King Faisal Hospital at 078 830 9003. Ambulance service is basic and works solely as transportation, usually with no medical treatment involved. The ambulance companies expect payment either up front or upon delivery. They charge an initial 5,000 Rwandan Francs (RWF),then an addition charge per kilometer traveled. Outside of Kigali, ambulances are extremely scarce. Medical and dental facilities are limited, and some medicines are in short supply or unavailable; you should carry your own supply of properly-labeled medications to cover your entire stay. In Kigali, King Faisal Hospital is a private facility that offers 24-hour assistance with physicians and nurses on duty in the emergency room. There are several dental clinics and a few private dentists. Charitable hospitals run by U.S. organizations with some surgical facilities can be found in Kibagora, in southwestern Rwanda, in Ruhengeri, near the gorilla trekking area, and in Rwinkwavu, near the entrance to Akagera National Park. Medical care in Rwanda is not practiced on the same standard one would expect in the US. There are some western trained physicians but many are locally trained where the standard of medical education is not on par with the United States.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a current list of healthcare providers and facilities in Rwanda on its website.

There are periodic outbreaks of meningitis in Rwanda, and the meningitis vaccine is recommended if you are traveling during the dry season, May-October. Yellow fever can cause serious medical problems, but the vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease. The yellow fever vaccine is required for all travelers over 9 months of age, and travelers who cannot show proof of vaccination will not be permitted to enter Rwanda. Tuberculosis (TB) is an increasingly serious health concern in Rwanda. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.

Malaria is endemic to Rwanda. We strongly encourage U.S. citizens visiting Rwanda to take prophylactic medications to prevent malaria. These should be initiated prior to entry into the endemic area. Many malaria prophylactic medicines are not available in Rwanda and, because of possible counterfeit of anti-malarial medications, these should be obtained from a reliable pharmaceutical source before arrival. Multiple outbreaks of Ebola have been reported in neighboring DRCin 2007 and Uganda in 2008, but none within Rwanda. Rabies is present throughout the country. All bites, scratches, and licks should be taken seriously and post-exposure rabies treatment sought. Pre-exposure rabies immunization is recommended for long-term travelers, and those adventure travelers who will be more than 24 hours away from reliable post-exposure treatment. Post exposure treatment for rabies is not always reliably available.

Schistosomiasis, transmitted by waterborne larvae that penetrate intact skin, presents significant risk throughout the country. All fresh water lakes in the area should be considered contaminated. You should avoid swimming or wading in Lake Kivu and all freshwater exposure.

Health Expenditures - percent of GDP


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Rwanda Education

What is school like in Rwanda?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 5.1%
Literacy - female 64.7%
Literacy - male 76.3%
Literacy - total population 70.4%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 10.000000

Rwanda Literacy

Can people in Rwanda read?

Literacy - female 64.7%
Literacy - male 76.3%
Literacy - total population 70.4%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write

Rwanda Crime

Is Rwanda a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Pick-pocketing in crowded public places is common, as is petty theft from cars, hotel rooms, and other public places, including churches. Smart phones and other portable/mobile electronics are particularly targeted by thieves. Although violent crimes such as carjacking, robbery, rape, and home invasion occur in Rwanda, they are rarely committed against foreigners. The Embassy has also noted an increase in reported residential burglary attempts throughout Kigali. Burglars may break and enter or attempt to trick domestic staff into allowing them unimpeded entrance. You are advised to remain alert, exercise caution, and follow appropriate personal security measures. U.S. citizens who reside in Rwanda should also ensure that their domestic staff understands these measures.

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

Rwanda Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Rwanda, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own and 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. 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 are crimes prosecutable in the United States. Rwanda has strictly enforced laws on appropriate speech regarding the genocide. If you break local laws in Rwanda, 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 wherever you are.

Persons violating Rwandan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Rwanda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Please see our information on U.S. Criminal Penalties.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Rwanda you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

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