Demography

Uganda's total population is currently estimated to be 30 million, clustered into approximately 5m households, of about 6 members per household on average, with an annual growth rate of 3.4 per cent. 51.4 per cent of the population is female while the males account for remaining 48.6 per cent. About 68 per cent are children below 18 years of age and over 6 per cent are above the age of 60, leaving a potentially working population of only about 26 per cent, with a dependence ratio of about 2.9:1. 88 per cent of Uganda's population is rural and over 92 per cent of the working population is employed in the informal sector. Population distribution is dependent on the settlement patterns, climatic conditions and nature of vegetation cover, soil fertility, social factors, and economic activity.

Ethnically Uganda has an inheritance of four major groups divided into many different tribes. Among these are the Bantu occupying the southern parts of the country, the Nilo-Hamites in the north western territories, the Nilotics in the central parts of the northern region, and the Hamites in the north eastern parts of the country. With inter-marriages and national interests coming into play, however, ethnicity is currently less pronounced than it was during the pre-independence period.

Over 85 per cent of the population are nominal Christians, although the percentage of practicing Christians is estimated to be much less but not officially established. The remaining 15 per cent of the population is claimed by other religious faiths, the most pronounced of which is Islam and traditional African faiths though believers in the later are usually found to subscribe to either Christianity or Islam, at least, nominally. This is largely due to the fact that the supreme law of the land gives the people complete freedom of faith as long as one does not interfere with the freedom of others to worship. However, the belief in human sacrifice practiced by some traditional religions has been reported to put the life of some people, especially children, as the media has reported many cases of human sacrifice in recent years which has prompted government to table a bill in parliament to outlaw such religious practices.

Family structures in Uganda have undergone several changes as a result of the turbulent periods and the outbreak of epidemics such as HIV/AIDS. There are more Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) in Uganda today than ever before. The 2006 UDHS defined an orphan as a child below age 18 or below age 15 with one or both parents deceased. A vulnerable child is defined as a child below age 18 or age 15 who has a chronically ill parent or who lives in a household where an adult has been chronically ill or has died in the last 12 twelve months. The 2006 UDHS survey indicated that 45 per of children below the age of 18 were either orphans, vulnerable, or both.