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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Algeria, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Demographics of Algeria, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Ninety-one percent of the Algerian population lives along the Mediterranean coast on 12% of the country's total land mass. Forty-five percent of the population is urban, and urbanization continues, despite government efforts to discourage migration to the cities. Currently, 14,182,736 Algerians live in urban areas while 14,990,959 live in rural areas. About 1.5 million nomads and semi-settled Bedouin still live in the Saharan area. According to the CIA World Factbook, an estimated 29.9% of the population is under age 15.

97% of the population is classified ethnically as Berber/Arab and religiously as Sunni Muslim 96% , the few non-Sunni Muslims are mainly Ibadis 1.3% from the M'Zab valley. (See also Islam in Algeria.) A mostly foreign Roman Catholic community also about Christians especially Protestant evangelic and almost 500 Jewish, most of them live in Bejaia. The Jewish community of Algeria, which once constituted 2% of the total population, has substantially decreased due to emigration, mostly to France and Israel.

Algeria's educational system has grown rapidly since 1962; in the last 12 years, attendance has doubled to more than 5 million students. Education is free and compulsory to age 16. Despite government allocation of substantial educational resources, population pressures and a serious shortage of teachers have severely strained the system, as have terrorist attacks against the educational infrastructure during the 1990s. Modest numbers of Algerian students study abroad, primarily in Europe and Canada. In 2000, the government launched a major review of the country's educational system.

Housing and medicine continue to be pressing problems in Algeria. Failing infrastructure and the continued influx of people from rural to urban areas has overtaxed both systems. According to the UNDP, Algeria has one of the world's highest per housing unit occupancy rates for housing, and government officials have publicly stated that the country has an immediate shortfall of 1.5 million housing units.

Population pyramid for Algeria


CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.



34,178,188 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37

Age structure

0–14 years: 25.4% (male 4,436,591/female 4,259,729)
15–64 years: 69.5% (male 11,976,965/female 11,777,618)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 798,576/female 928,709) (2009 est.)

Median age

total: 26.6 years
male: 26.3 years
female: 26.8 years (2009 est.)

Population growth rate

2 mm (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 111

Birth rate

16.9 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Death rate

4.62 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198

Net migration rate

-0.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101


Urban population: 65% of total population (2008)
Rate of urbanization: 2.5 annual rate of change (2005-2010 est/)

Sex ratio

At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Infant mortality rate

Total: 27.73 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 80
Male: 30.86 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 24.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total population: 74.02 years
Male: 72.35 years
Female: 75.77 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.79 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157


Noun: Algerian(s)
Adjective: Algerian


Adult prevalence rate: 0.1% ; note - no country specific models provided (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
People living with HIV/AIDS: 21,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
Deaths: less than 1000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73

Major infectious diseases

Degree of risk: intermediate
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: cutaneous leishmaniasis is a high risk in some locations (2005)

Ethnic groups

Map of tribes of Algeria (source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (1971))
Berbers/Arabs 99%, European less than 1%


In a very recent study (2008) done in northwestern Algeria (Oran area),[1] the most common haplogroups observed in the Algerian population (n=102) were :

  • E1b1b (50.9 %)
    • E1b1b1b (M81) (45.1%) very common in northwest Africa and also found, with much lower frequencies compared to those observed in northwest Africa, in Turkey, the near East, the Balkans, southern Europe and in Iberia
    • E1b1b1a (M78) (5.8%).
  • J (27.4 %)
  • R1 (12.8 %)
  • E1b1a (M2) (7.8%) which is subsaharan African.

Y-Dna Haplogroup frequencies in coastal Algeria

Population Nb E1a E1b1a E1b1b1a E1b1b1b E1b1b1c F K J1 J2 R1a R1b Q Study
1 Oran 102 0 7.85% 5.90% 45.10% 0 0 0 22.50% 4.90% 1% 11.80% 1% Robino et al. (2008)[2]
2 Algiers 35 2.85% 0 11.40% 42.85% 0 11.80% 2.85% 22.85% 5.70% 0 0 0 Arredi et al. (2004)[3]
3 Tizi Ouzou 19 0 0 0 47.35% 10.50% 10.50% 0 15.80% 0 0 15.80% 0 Arredi et al. (2004)
Total 156 0.65% 5.10% 6.40% 44.90% 1.30% 3.85% 0.65% 21.80% 4.50% 0.65% 9.60% 0.65%

In a recent genetic study by Semino et al. (2004), Algerian Arabs and Berbers were found to have more genetic similarities than was once believed.[4] This led scientists to conclude that the North African population was mainly Berber in origin and that the population had been 'Arabised', by the migration of Near-Eastener people.

The Haplogroup J1 , marker of the Semitic population is found at 35% in Algeria , which is one of the most common haplogroup of the country along with E1b1b (Berber marker).

Recent studies on the common J1 Y chromosome suggest it arrived over ten thousand years ago in North Africa, and M81/E3b2 is a Y chromosome specific to North African ancestry, dating to the Neolithic. A thorough study by Arredi et al. (2004) which analyzed populations from Algeria concludes that the North African pattern of Y-chromosomal variation (including both E3b2 and J haplogroups is largely of Neolithic origin, which suggests that the Neolithic transition in this part of the world was accompanied by demic diffusion of Afro-Asiatic–speaking pastoralists from the Middle East. This Neolithic origin was later confirmed by Myles et al. (2005) which suggest that "contemporary Berber populations possess the genetic signature of a past migration of pastoralists from the Middle East", [5]



Arabic (official), French, Berber language (Kabyle, Chaouia, Tamahaq, Chenoua, Tumzabt..).


Definition: Age 15 and over can read and write

Total population: 69.9%
Male: 79.6%
Female: 60.1% (2002 est.)

Education expenditures

5.1% of GDP (1999)
country comparison to the world: 64


  1. ^ Analysis of Y-chromosomal SNP haplogroups and STR haplotypes in an Algerian population sample
  2. ^ Robino et al. (2008), Analysis of Y-chromosomal SNP haplogroups and STR haplotypes in an Algerian population sample
  3. ^ Arredi et al. (2004),A Predominantly Neolithic Origin for Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in North Africa
  4. ^ Semino et al. (2004), Origin, Diffusion, and Differentiation of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups E and J
  5. ^ although later papers have suggested that this date could have been as longas ten thousand years ago, with the transition from the Oranian to the Capsian culture in North Africa. SpringerLink - Journal Article
  6. ^ CIA - The World Factbook -- Algeria

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2009 edition".

and the As of 2003 U.S. Department of State website.


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