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Ivory Coast Table of Contents

Ivory Coast


Figure 5. Population by Age and Sex, 1988

Source: Based on information from World Bank, March 17, 1988.

Urbanization was rapid after 1950, as the urban population grew by an average of 11.5 percent per year until 1965 and about 8 percent per year from 1966 to 1988. As a result, Côte d'Ivoire had a high urban-rural population ratio compared with the rest of subSaharan Africa. Roughly one-half of the 1987 population lived in urban areas, defined as localities of more than 10,000 inhabitants and those of more than 4,000 inhabitants where more than half of all households depended on nonagricultural incomes. In 1988 about 20 percent of the total population lived in the capital city of Abidjan.

Foreigners--mostly West Africans--made up from 27 percent to 50 percent of the population and were more highly urbanized than indigenous groups. Foreign migrants have sought jobs in Ivoirian industry, commerce, and plantation agriculture since the beginning of the twentieth century, especially after World War II. Most have found work in urban areas, but in 1980 the number of Ivoirians who migrated from rural to urban areas was almost equaled by the 75,000 migrant farm workers from neighboring states.

Because of moderately high fertility, falling mortality rates, and labor immigration, the Ivoirian population was fairly young by world standards (see fig. 5). About 45 percent of the 1987 population was under the age of fifteen, and the dependency ratio--the number of elderly and young dependents in relation to 100 working-age adults--was 92 nationwide. There were 110 males per 100 females, reflecting the largely male immigrant work force.

Data as of November 1988