Countryaah data, Congo's average population density was estimated to be 15
residents per km 2 in 2019, but the population is
unevenly distributed; About 70 percent live in the southern
parts. Population growth in the urban areas is high; In
2017, the share of the urban population was estimated at 67
percent. The largest cities are the capital, Brazzaville
(1.6 million residents, 2012) and the port city of
Congo's population is distributed to some 60 ethnic
groups, all of whom are Bantu people, with the exception of
28,000 aka and 4,000 gundy pygmies in the country's
northernmost, at the border with Cameroon and the Central
In the relatively densely populated southern part of the
country, the Congo-speaking people (see Congo), which make
up 48% of the population, dominate. They traditionally feed
on chopping with root vegetables (cassava, jams and taro) as
a base crop. Society is organized into matrilinear clans.
The groups in the north include mboshi (146,000), kuyu
(1,000) and sanga (90,000), who likewise feed on agriculture
with root crops such as basic crops, but among which hunting
also plays a certain role, both for the livelihood and
symbolically. The social organization also differs in that
the clans are organized according to a patrilineal lineage
Between these two main groups there are teke, which make
up 17% of the population. Both geographically and
socio-culturally they form a transition between the
aforementioned groups; their social organization is based on
the combination of matrilinear and patrilineal principles,
and the more flexible clan organization provides room for a
more individualistic character of leadership.
The socio-cultural differences are also reflected at the
national political level. The traditional rivalry between
"Northerners" (who have a crocodile as a political symbol)
and "Southerners" (whose symbol is a rooster) has since
manifested its independence in the fight for the presidency.
However, this rivalry at the same time includes a
complementarity, which has been expressed by the fact that
the president often has a representative for the opposite
side as his "strong man". In this dualistic system, teke
falls side by side, and they are considered the "primitive"
elements of the country.
In Congo, some sixty Niger-Congo languages are spoken,
most of which belong to the Bantu languages zones A, B, C
and H. About half of the population speak Congo or some
closely related language. Some smaller groups speak the
adamawa – ubangi language. There are a number of
interpersonal languages. The official language is French.
The constitution also mentions lingala and kituba (a
creolized variant of Congo) as national languages. See also
Population and Ethnography above.
In 1482, Portuguese Diogo Cão came to the mouth of the
Congo River, which commenced Portuguese Catholic missionary
work in the Congo. The relations between the Portuguese and
the Congolese were good at first, but as early as the 1530s
the slave trade led to them being undermined. The Spiritans,
a French Catholic missionary organization, began their
mission in the 1880s. Protestant missionaries, including
from the Swedish Missions Association (from 2003 Mission
Church), came a little later.
Today, 90% of the population is Christian, of which 68%
are Catholics. The rest is made up of Protestant communities
(11%) and independent and independent religious communities
(26%). It is estimated that approximately 16% of Christians
are affiliated with two or more Christian churches.
In the country there are almost 2% Muslims. These mainly
consist of immigrants living in cities from North Africa and
Lebanon, from West African countries such as Mali, Benin and
Senegal and from Chad.
It is estimated that 5% of the population professes to
indigenous traditional religion. There are also small groups
of Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and
Kimbanguists, a syncretistic movement with roots in
neighboring Congo (Kinshasa).
The occasionally radical socialist politics that
characterized Congo's history after decolonization has
caused conflicts between state and religion. In 1978, a
large number of religious organizations were banned and only
seven received legal status. The Constitution of 2002
defines Congo as a secular republic and religious freedom is
enshrined in the Constitution. However, all organizations,
including religious ones, must be registered and approved by
There is no religious education in the public school, but
it occurs in private schools. Christian holidays are
national holidays. Both Christians and Muslims have the
right to leave during religious holidays. The tolerance
between different faith communities is high. In 2011, a law
came into force to provide legal protection for the
country's indigenous people. The law is the first of its
kind in Africa.