Cameroon is one of the moderately populated countries of the African continent and one among the first 60 countries of the world. As per 2006 reports, the population of Cameroon stands at 17,340,702 with a density of 96 per sq. m . Although urban centers show a graphical lead, the population is almost evenly distributed between the urban and the rural areas.
The population of Cameroon is almost evenly distributed between urban and rural areas. Large urban centers, the western highlands and the northeastern plain have the highest density of population in comparison to the Adamawa plateau, southern Bénoué depression and most of the south Cameroon plateau. The details of population in Cameroon are:
- Total population: 17,340,702
- Growth rate: 2%
- Birth rate: 33.9/1000 and a
- Death rate: 13.5/1000, the
- Life expectancy rate: 51.2. The
- Infant mortality rate: 63.5/1000
- Population under 15 years: 43%
- Population above 65 years: 3%
- Male: Feale ratio: 100:99
Cameroon has been the home to about 280 ethnic and linguistic groups since the Neolithic age. Bisected by the Adamawa Plateau, the northern people are largely Sudanese ethnic groups and Islamic Fulani groups. The other smaller tribes include Kapsiki and Tupuri known as the Kirdis. A small number of Shuwa Arabs also reside near Lake Chad. Apart from Christianity and Islam, the prevalent religions in the country, about 40% of Cameroonians still practice indigenous beliefs and religions.
The total distribution of population in Cameroon looks like:
Equatorial Bantus: 19%
Northwestern Bantu: 8%
Eastern Nigritic: 7%.
Other African groups: 13%
The Cameroonian population thrives on agriculture which contributes to almost 70% of the country's economy. The industries like petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair have developed in the Southern parts and along the coasts. Water born diseases and the increasing number of HIV Aids cases have started raising an alarm among the Cameroonians. Healthcare is particularly of low quality and a large section still takes recourse to native treatment techniques.
With the growth of more and more urban centres and industrial zones, the population seems to be shifting towards the southern and eastern parts of the country. People from the once overpopulated and underdeveloped Northern and Western highlands are now steadily migrating towards the coastal plantation zones and urban centres to seek employment. Since the people joining the lumber mills and plantations here are largely men, the sex ratio in these regions is found to have disturbed considerably. The approximate population figures of major cities are:
- Yaoundé: 1,395,200
- Douala: 1,670,500
- Garoua: 145,000
- Maroua: 125,000
- Bafoussam: 114,000