Country Listing

Uganda Table of Contents



Population: In 1990, 16.9 million (government estimate); annual growth rate more than 3.2 percent, increasingly tempered by impact of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nearly one-half population under age fifteen. Nearly 10 percent urban, almost half in Kampala. Density varies from more than 120 inhabitants per square kilometer in far southeast and southwest to fewer than 30 inhabitants per square kilometer in northcentral region.

Languages: Three major language families found in Uganda--Bantu, Central Sudanic, and Nilotic. Lake Kyoga rough boundary between Bantu-speakers in south and Nilotic- and Central Sudanic-speakers of north. Official language: English. Swahili and Arabic also widely spoken.

Religion: 66 percent Christian, equally divided between Roman Catholics and Protestants; largest Protestant denomination Anglican (Episcopal). About 15 percent Muslim. Remainder traditional or no religion.

Education: Education not compulsory but highly regarded. Four levels: primary of seven years; lower secondary of three or four years; upper secondary of two years; and postsecondary consisting of university, teachers' colleges, or commercial training. Pupils share expenses with central government on primary and lower secondary levels; thereafter, education free. 1989 primary enrollment more than 2.5 million; secondary, 265,000. Adult literacy rate 50 percent or more.

Health: Large number of infectious diseases, including measles, pertussis, respiratory tract infections, anemia, tetanus, malaria, and tuberculosis. Incidence of AIDS quite high, reaching epidemic proportions in southern areas. Uganda had 20,000 hospital beds, more than 600 health centers, and about 700 doctors in late 1980s. Low expenditures on health care and facilities. Life expectancy in 1989 about fifty-three years.

Data as of December 1990