Namibia is sparsely populated. The desert areas are almost uninhabited. The population can be divided into just over ten larger groups of people. The largest group is ovambo, which makes up about half the population. More than one in three Namibians are under the age of 15 and almost 60 percent are under the age of 30.
More than half of the residents live on the northern third of the high plateau in the central parts of the country. The largest population concentration is around the capital Windhoek in the middle of Namibia. Otherwise, the cities are small, but a rapid move is in progress.
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Namibia, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.
The clear categorization of ethnic groups made during the colonial period has contributed to the independence of Namibia in declining ethnicity and emphasizing nationality instead. Ethnic affiliation is not officially registered, but estimates are made based on the first languages people speak.
Ovambo, which is divided into several subgroups, is a bantu people who speak the bantu language oshivambo. Other Bantu speaking groups are kavango (language: rukavango), herero (otjiherero), lozi (silozi) and more.
Damara, nama (also called khoikhoi) and san (bushmen) are indigenous people who speak khoisans, known for their characteristic clicking sounds. Their ancestors are believed to have inhabited southern Africa for tens of thousands of years, but gradually displaced by first Bantu people and later Europeans.
Most white Namibians are descended from German colonists or Africans (Boers) who immigrated from South Africa. Rehoboth hybrids are a people group derived from Nama women and Africans. Others of mixed origin call themselves colored.
The Boers’ language afrikaans, with roots in the Dutch, is the most common language among whites and colored and also functions as a lingua franca, ie means of communication between different language groups. German and English are also available. Many Namibians are multilingual. Although English is the only official language, few Namibians have it as their mother tongue and only about 15 percent master it without difficulty.
FACTS – POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
ovambo make up about half the population; nama / damara comprises about 11 percent; Africans (the whites) make up around 10 percent, kavango about 9 percent and herero around 7 percent
Number of residents
2 533 794 (2017)
Number of residents per square kilometer
Percentage of residents in the cities
49.0 percent (2017)
Nativity / birth
29.2 per 1000 residents (2016)
Mortality / mortality
7.2 per 1000 residents (2016)
2.2 percent (2017)
3.4 number of births per woman (2016)
Percentage of women
51.4 percent (2017)
64 years (2016)
Life expectancy for women
67 years (2016)
Life expectancy for men
61 years (2016)
English, Afrikaans, Oshivambo, Khoikhoi (Nama), Rukavango, Otjiherero, Silozi
Premiere for electronic selection system
For the first time, an electronic voting system is applied. Inside the voting booth there are no ballots, but voters may press a button for the party you want to vote for. The intention is that this will make the procedure faster, but in many places the machines are complaining and thousands of voters never get the opportunity to cast their vote. The opposition claims that the election is a total joke because of the trouble with the machines. The African Union (AU) and the Southern African Cooperation Organization SADC, which oversees the elections, admit that some technical problems have existed but still consider them free and fair.
Strengthened position for Swapo
Swapo strengthens its position in the presidential and parliamentary elections held on November 28. Swapo’s presidential candidate Hage Geingob wins by almost 87 percent of the vote. In second place is McHenry Venaani from DTA who gets 5 percent. Hidipo Hamutenya, who stands for RDP, wins 3.4 percent. In the parliamentary elections, Swapo gets 80 percent of the vote. DTA and RDP win 4.8 and 3.5 percent respectively. In previous elections, Swapo has brought home around 75 percent of the vote.
Job Amapunda resigns
The leader of Swapo’s youth union, Job Amupanda, resigns under dramatic conditions. Behind the dropout is dissatisfaction with Swapo’s way of distributing land. The officials are accused of being corrupt and selling land cheaply to relatives and friends. Amupanda also leads a group of land rights activists who occupy undeveloped municipal land in a well-ordered area in the capital during November.
Increased power for the president
Parliament adopts a constitutional amendment that gives the president more power and increases the number of seats in the country’s parliament (see Political system). Since Swapo has a majority in Parliament, the constitutional amendments are approved without consulting other parties or other organizations, which raises criticism against the government.
A new party is formed
A new party, Namibia economic freedom fighters (Neff), is formed with the South African party Economic freedom fighters (Eff) as the role model. Eff is led by controversial politician Julius Malema and describes himself as anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist.
Great debate after shocking statement
A debate over women’s rights is stirring up after a Member of Parliament said he intends to propose that the practice that certain peoples of the country practice – to lend his wife for six to good friends – should become law (see also Social conditions).
Opening of a museum in Windhoek
The Great Independence Museum is inaugurated in Windhoek. It is the third building in the capital with its surroundings designed and executed by North Korea. A hero monument was erected in 2002 and the State House in 2008. The latter comprises the Government Office and the President’s residence and covers 25 hectares, and is surrounded by two kilometers of steel fences.