Countryaah data, Djibouti's average population density is 42 residents per
km2, but with a strong concentration of cities.
About 78 percent of the population lives in one of the
country's cities, of which the capital Djibouti (623,900
residents, 2013) is clearly dominant.
In 2019, the birth and death rates were estimated at 22
and 7 per thousand, respectively, which gives a natural
population increase of 1.5 percent.
Djibouti is dominated by two ethnic groups, Issa
(341,000) and Afar (394,000). In addition, there are Yemeni
and Indian merchants (5,000 and 1,800, respectively) as well
as naturalized Europeans. French and Greeks.
For information on life expectancy and other demographic
statistics, see Country facts.
Issa is a Somali clan who professes to Islam and speaks
Somali; they inhabit the southern half of Djibouti and are
also found in northwestern Somalia as well as in Ethiopia.
Those living in the countryside are supported by nomadic
livestock management (camels, sheep and goats), those living
in the cities are engaged in trade. Issa is internally
grouped into three patrilineal lineages. Issa has a board
condition with weak central power and does not really have a
Most of the Kushite-speaking Afas reside in Ethiopia and
a minor part in Eritrea and Somalia. They are Muslims, and
even among them livestock management dominates as a source
of supply. Afar's lineages are divided into two state-like
factions, adoimara ("the white") and asaimara ("the red"),
where the latter traditionally constituted a land-owning
Native languages are Somali (spoken by 47% of the
population), Afar (37%) and Arabic (12%). Official languages
are Arabic and French. Compare Population above.
Islam is a state religion in Djibouti, which entails a
certain degree of state regulation and involvement in mainly
the non-Islamic religious communities, but at the same time
the citizens' freedom to practice their religion is
respected. Sunni Islam is comprised of 97% of the
population. In addition to a small proportion of agnostics,
there are a small number of Catholics, Protestants, Copts,
Ethiopian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Jehovah's Witnesses and
a few Baha'is. The first Christians who came to Djibouti in
1862 were French colonizers. In 1977, the country became an
independent republic from colonial power France.