Demographics of Algeria
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Algeria, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Ninety-one percent of the Algerian population lives along the Mediterranean coast on 12% of the country's total land mass. Forty-five percent of the population is urban, and urbanization continues, despite government efforts to discourage migration to the cities. Currently, 24,182,736 Algerians live in urban areas, and about 1.5 million nomads live in the Saharan area.
99% of the population is classified ethnically as Arab-Berber and 96% religiously as Sunni Muslim, the few non-Sunni Muslims are mainly Ibadis 1.3% from the M'Zab valley (See Islam in Algeria). A mostly foreign Roman Catholic community also about Christians especially Protestant evangelic and almost 500 Jewish, most of them live in Bejaia. The Jewish community of Algeria, which once constituted 2% of the total population, has substantially decreased due to emigration, mostly to France and Israel.
Algeria's educational system has grown rapidly since 1962; in the last 12 years, attendance has doubled to more than 5 million students. Education is free and compulsory to age 16. Despite government allocation of substantial educational resources, population pressures and a serious shortage of teachers have severely strained the system, as have terrorist attacks against the educational infrastructure during the 1990s. Modest numbers of Algerian students study abroad, primarily in France and French-speaking areas of Canada. In 2000, the government launched a major review of the country's educational system.
Housing and medicine continue to be pressing problems in Algeria. Failing infrastructure and the continued influx of people from rural to urban areas has overtaxed both systems. According to the UNDP, Algeria has one of the world's highest per housing unit occupancy rates for housing, and government officials have publicly stated that the country has an immediate shortfall of 1.5 million housing units.
Below is a list of the most important Algerian cities:
|1||Algiers||Algiers Province||2,988,145||11||Biskra||Biskra Province||205,608|| |
|2||Oran||Oran Province||1,224,540||12||Bou Saâda||M'sila Province||201,263|
|3||Constantine||Constantine Province||943,112||13||Tébessa||Tébessa Province||196,537|
|4||Sétif||Sétif Province||609,499||14||Ouargla||Ouargla Province||183,238|
|5||Annaba||Annaba Province||317,206||15||Skikda||Skikda Province||178,687|
|6||Blida||Blida Province||264,598||16||Béjaïa||Béjaïa Province||177,988|
|7||Batna||Batna Province||246,379||17||Bordj Bou Arréridj||Bordj Bou Arréridj Province||167,230|
|8||Chlef||Chlef Province||235,062||18||Béchar||Béchar Province||165,627|
|9||Tlemcen||Tlemcen Province||221,231||19||Ain Beida||Oum El Bouaghi Province||155,852|
|10||Sidi Bel Abbès||Sidi Bel Abbès Province||208,498||20||Médéa||Médéa Province||140,151|
The Algerian Arab population are believed to be between 15% to 17% of the population. The ethnic Berbers in Algeria are believed to be 85% to 88% and are the indigenous ethnic group of Algeria and are believed to be the ancestral stock on which elements from the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks as well as other ethnic groups have contributed to the ethnic makeup of Algeria. Descendants of Andalusian refugees are also present in the population of Algiers and other cities. Moreover, Spanish was spoken by these Aragonese and Castillian Morisco descendants deep into the 18th century, and even Catalan was spoken at the same time by Catalan Morisco descendants in the small town of Grish El-Oued.
In 2008 there were 600,000 to 2 million erstwhile Algerian Turks, descendants of Turk rulers, soldiers, and others who ruled the region during the Ottoman rule in North Africa. Today's Turkish descendants are often called Kouloughlis, meaning descendants of Turkish men and native Algerian women.
The majority of Algerians identifies with an Arabic-based identity due to the 20th century Arab nationalism. The ethnic Berbers are divided into many groups with varying languages. The largest of these are the Kabyles, who live in the Kabylie region east of Algiers, the Chaoui of North-East Algeria, the Tuaregs in the southern desert and the Shenwa people of North Algeria.
During the colonial period, there was a large (10% in 1960) European population who became known as Pied-Noirs. They were primarily of French, Spanish and Italian origin. Almost all of this population left during the war of independence or immediately after its end.
There were an estimated 10,000 Christians in Algeria in 2008. In a 2009 study the UNO estimated there were 45,000 Catholics and 50,000–100,000 Protestants in Algeria. A 2015 study estimates 380,000 Muslims converted to Christianity in Algeria.
Modern Standard Arabic is the official language. Algerian Dziriya (Darja) is the language used by the majority of the population. Colloquial Algerian Arabic is heavily infused with borrowings from French and Berber.
Berber is the official language.
Although French has no official status, Algeria is the second-largest Francophone country in the world in terms of speakers, and French is widely used in government, media (newspapers, radio, local television), and both the education system (from primary school onwards) and academia due to Algeria's colonial history. It can be regarded as the de facto co-official language of Algeria. In 2008, 11.2 million Algerians could read and write in French. An Abassa Institute study in April 2000 found that 60% of households could speak and understand French. In recent decades the government has reinforced the study of French and TV programs have reinforced use of the language.
Algeria emerged as a bilingual state after 1962. Colloquial Algerian Arabic is spoken by about 72% of the population and Berber by 27–30%.
Spoken and popular languages
- Dialectal Algerian Dziriya: 75% (including all dialects: Eastern, Western, Algiers dialect, Saharan)
- French: 70% (as a 2nd or 3rd language, spoken by both low and highly educated people)
- Berber language: 32.5% (including all dialects: Chaouia, Kabyle, Tamahaq, Chenoua, Mozabite (Tumẓabt))
- English: 15% (as a 3rd language, spoken by highly educated people)
- Korandje language (Kwarandzyey): 0.01%
Official and recognized languages
- Modern Standard Arabic: official language of the state, as defined in the Algerian constitution. Classical Arabic can be read and written by about 69.9% of Algerians. The language is used in writing only, not in daily conversation.
- Berber language (Tamazight): official language of the state.
Definition: Age 15 and over can read and write
- Total population: 69.9%
- Male: 79.6%
- Female: 60.1% (2002 est.)
- 14% of GDP (2015)
CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
- Noun: Algerian(s)
- Adjective: Algerian
- total: 27.6 years
- male: 27.4 years
- female: 27.8 years (2011 est.)
Net migration rate
- -0.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
- -0.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
- Urban population: 66% of total population (2010)
- Rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
- Rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
- At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
- Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
- 15–64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
- Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2012 est.)
Infant mortality rate
- Total: 27.73 deaths/1,000 live births
- Male: 30.86 deaths/1,000 live births
- Female: 24.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
- Total: 24.9 deaths/1,000 live births
- Male: 27.82 deaths/1,000 live births
- Female: 21.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
- Total population: 74.73 years
- Male: 72.99 years
- Female: 76.57 years (2012 est.)
- Adult prevalence rate: 0.1% ; note - no country specific models provided (2001 est.)
- People living with HIV/AIDS: 21,000 (2007 est.)
- Deaths: less than 1000 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseases
- Degree of risk: intermediate
- Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
- Vectorborne disease: cutaneous leishmaniasis is a high risk in some locations (2005)
Y-Dna Haplogroup frequencies in coastal Algeria
|1 Oran||102||0||7.85%||5.90%||45.10%||0||0||0||22.50%||4.90%||1%||11.80%||1%||Robino et al. (2008)|
|2 Algiers||35||2.85%||0||11.40%||42.85%||0||11.80%||2.85%||22.85%||5.70%||0||0||0||Arredi et al. (2004)|
|3 Tizi Ouzou||19||0||0||0||47.35%||10.50%||10.50%||0||15.80%||0||0||15.80%||0||Arredi et al. (2004)|
In a recent genetic study by Semino et al. (2004), Algerian Arabs and Berbers were found to have more genetic similarities than was once believed. This led scientists to conclude that the North African population was mainly Berber in origin and that the population had been 'Arabised', by the migration of Near-Eastener people.
Recent studies on the common J1 Y chromosome suggest it arrived over ten thousand years ago in North Africa, and M81/E3b2 is a Y chromosome specific to North African ancestry, dating to the Neolithic. A thorough study by Arredi et al. (2004) which analyzed populations from Algeria concludes that the North African pattern of Y-chromosomal variation (including both E3b2 and J haplogroups is largely of Neolithic origin, which suggests that the Neolithic transition in this part of the world was accompanied by demic diffusion of Afro-Asiatic–speaking pastoralists from the Middle East. This Neolithic origin was later confirmed by Myles et al. (2005) which suggest that "contemporary Berber populations possess the genetic signature of a past migration of pastoralists from the Middle East",
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