Population in the Sudan: Demographic Characteristics and Indicators

Tue, 17 Oct 2017



Dr.  Ibrahim Mustafa Mohamed Ali

Abstract:

This paper has analyzed population in the Republic of Sudan during 1955/1956 to 2008. As the year 1955/1956 experienced the first inclusive population census in the country and the year 2008 experienced the last population census in the Sudan. However, this paper aims at analyzing the demographic characteristics of the population of the Republic of Sudan concerning values, population growth, sex, age and geographical distribution of population. Furthermore, it aims at studying and analyzing the population pyramid, birth, mortality rates, migration, labour, manpowerand poverty rate, along with family, religious, lingual and ethnical structure within the state. 

The paper utilizes historical, statistical, analytical and inductive approaches and depended on the following: Secondary sources of different data like population censuses which were carried out during the period 1955/1956 to 2008. Mainly built on data of the fifth population and housing census for the year 2008. Some surveys carried out by Sudan Ministry of Labour and Human Resources Development in 2001 such as labour force survey, with their basic outcomes, and a 2009 survey implemented by Central Bureau of Statistics on poverty in the Khartoum state. Sources and references on population and demographic characteristics.

After all, the study has come out with many results which can be summed up in the following:   Increasing Sudanese population that stood at 30,894,000 in the 2008 census while it was estimated to reach 38,400,000 in 2015 and is expected to get to 39,600,000 by 2016. Annual population rate reached 2.4% and about 17% of Sudan population is accounted for in the Khartoum state. Percentage of urbanism increased to 33% and average population density arrived at 16.4 individuals per square kilometer. Sex ratio stood at 105 males against 100 females. Dependency rate is 84%. Average family size is 6.1 individuals. Crude births and mortality rates are still high. Average age of the individual on birth is about 59.8 years old. High rates of internal migration towards Khartoum and central states. External migration is mostly to the Arab Gulf states, particularly KSA. Percentage of educated people reached 51.1%. Unemployment rate stands at 18.8% while the poverty rate has reached 46.5%. There is lingual, ethnical and religious diversity.  On conclusion, the paper presented some suggestions and recommendations.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Geographically, Sudan occupies the north eastern part of the African continent where it is located between latitudes (80:45' – 230:8' N) and longitudes (210:49' – 380:34' E) in an area of 1882000 square kilometers. Sudan is bordered on the north by the Arab Republic of Egypt, on the north east by the Red Sea, on the east by both Eritrea and Ethiopia, on the south by the State of Southern Sudan, on the south west by Central Republic of Africa, on the west by the State of Chad and on the North West by the Arab Libyan Jamahiriya as shown in Map 1.

 

 

Map 1: geographical location of the Sudan

  Source: Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (n.d.)

Like other developing countries, Sudan is faced by challenges of population growth. This is a problem that nearly all academicians, scientists, governments, regional and international organizations, are concerned with population issues. The increasing and accelerating of a state’s population create several hurdles on efforts of development in these developing countries. In this regard, the more important salient features in the global demographic scene, during the last century and particularly during the last few decades, represent the increase of birth rates and proportion of natural growth of population. Most recently, within the last few decades, total population increased from around 5.3 billion in 1991 to 5.7 billion in 1994 and has reached 7.3 billion as of 2015 (UNDP, 2015). Relatively, scientists (demographers) expect that the total population of the world will reach 8 billion by 2025. 

The Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, 1994, reached an essential conclusion that the total challenges facing developing communities are numerous. Also, the Conference found that poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and lower status of woman contribute in: the increase of fertility rate, mortals’ rate, population growth and decrease of economic productivity (Al Shami, 2004). Consequently, academicians and politicians saw it necessary for population dimension to be integrated and linked with sustainable development and for developmental plans to be promoted in the light of the general characteristics of population condition in a specific community.

In the Sudan, national policy for population was endorsed in 2002 and implemented in 2004. This policy involved numerous dimensions such as: population growth, demographic and social and economic characteristics, migration, reproductive health, food security, good governance, labour, urban development, peace and information. In fact, Sudan’s population policy came by analyzing the current demographic indicators for setting future plans that may be achieved at the end of the quarter-century strategy by 2031 (National Council for Population, 2012). Moreover, the law of the national council for population was passed in 2008 under immediate supervision of the President of the republic. The council aims at a secured national policy along with ends and purposes related with it. The policy, itself, is meant to be accomplished through policies, programs and action plans with quantitative and qualitative purposes. Other terms of reference of the national council for population are:

  • To update and promote national policy for population according to population strategy.
  • To encourage, support and publish scientific research of population issues.
  • To periodically review publications related to population issues.

 

By large, challenges which are imposed by population growth entail harmonization and coordination with economic and social policies. This is because development, urbanization, migration, population growth, poverty, age and sex structure of people are an organic whole and, therefore, they should be comprehensively addressed and periodically checked up in terms of statistics. However, population censuses are of the more important sources of data concerning population in the Sudan in regard of number and characteristics.

Actually, the history of Sudan had experienced five processes of population censuses. According to recommendations of the United Nations Population Fund, those census processes could have been conducted every 10 years for presenting updated population data. The following are population censuses in the post-independence Sudan:

  • The first population census was conducted in the year of 1955/1956 when the population reached around 10,262,536.
  • The second population census was in 1973 with the number of inhabitants increasing to 14,113,590.
  • The third population census was in 1983 with the number of inhabitants increasing to 20,594,197.
  • The fourth population census was conducted in 1993 with the number of inhabitants increasing to 25,940,683.
  • The fifth population census should have been carried out in 2002, had it not been for political circumstances. Sudan had been undergoing a population census, but it was postponed so that the Peace Comprehensive Agreement (PCA) could be signed. When that agreement was signed in 2005, the PCA made the decision a comprehensive population census all over the Sudan was necessary.
  • Due to the above article concerning the PCA, the fifth population census was conducted in April, 2008, when Sudan’s population showed 39,154,490 (see table 1), Central Bureau of Statistics (1.2009), and Central Bureau of Statistics (2.2009).

 

In relation to the northern states of the Sudan, which later became the Republic of Sudan post-separation of Southern Sudan on 9, July, 2011, their population census was chronologically as follows:

  • In 1955/1956, they were numbered (7,479,400).
  • In 1973, they reached (10,904,389).
  • In 1983, they were (15,321,474 individuals).
  • In 1993, the population was (19,467,110).
  • In 2008, the number of northern inhabitants reached about (30,894,000), see table

 

Totally, Sudan’s population reached approximately 38,435,252 according to population projections by the Central Bureau of Statistics in the 2008 census. Additionally, it is supposed that Sudan’s sixth population census will be conducted by 2018. On another hand, the annual growth rate of Sudan population, i.e. post-separation Sudan, reached 1.9% between 1955/1956 – 1973 censuses. The percentage increased to reach 3.4% between 1973 and 1983 censuses but between the years 1983 and 1993, it reached 2.6% (Department of Statistics, 1995). According to population census data from 2008, the percentage reduced to 2.4% in 2008 census, see table no.

 

Table 1: population size and annual growth rate in the Sudan from 1955 to 2008

Census year

Sudan population

Growth rate

Population of Northern Sudan states (current Sudan)

Growth rate

1955/56

10,262,536

-

8,382,903

-

1973

14,113,590

2.13

10,904,389

1.9

1983

20,594,197

2.57

15,321,474

3.4

1993

25,940,683

2.88

19,467,110

2.6

2008

39,154,490

2.83

30,894,000

2.4

 

           Source: Central Bureau of Statistics 1.2009, and 2008, Department of Statistics, 1995

 

1. Population characteristics and composition in Sudan:

Population characteristics and compositionmean the study of quantitative attributes of a population which can be identified out of census data. These characteristics are reflected in size and growth of population, population distribution, age and sex structure, population pyramid, biostatistics, educational structure, labour force, human forces, poverty rate, lingual and ethnic and religious structure.

Population size and growth:

The population of the Republic of Sudan was around 30,894,000 in the 2008 census, 38,435,252 in 2015 and is predicted to reach 39,598,700 by 2016 according to population projections created by the Central Bureau of Statistics (table no. 2). According to the 2008 population census data, the annual growth rate for population of the Republic of Sudan reached 2.4% between the 1993/2008 censuses. However, the current annual growth rate of the population of the state is considered one of the highest in the world, given the average global growth rate is estimated to be 1.4% (UN, 2013).

 Population distribution:

The Khartoum State is ahead in comparison to other states of the Sudan, in regard to geographical distribution of population that stands at around 30,894,000. In relation to this value, inhabitants of the Khartoum State have reached 5,274,321, which equal 17.1% of the total population of the Sudan. Serially, the following states have respectively followed the Khartoum State in population:

  • South Darfur state has a population equaling 4,039,594 which is 13.3% of the total population of the Sudan.
  • Gezira state has a population equaling 3,280,321 which is 11.6% of the total population of the Sudan.
  • North Kordofan has a population equaling 2,920,992 which is 9.5% of the total population of the Sudan (as shown in table 2 and graph 1).

 

 

Table 2: Sex ratio and proportional distribution for population of the states of Sudan, 2008 census

State

Male

Female

Total

Percent

Northern State

353,745

345,320

699,065

2.3

River Nile

571,802

548,639

1,120,441

3.6

Red Sea

800,688

595,422

1,396,110

4.5

Kassala

990,814

798,992

1,789,806

5.8

Gedaref

669,817

678,561

1,348,378

4.4

Khartoum

2,800,024

2,474,297

5,274,321

17.1

Jazeera

1,724,330

1,850,950

3,575,280

11.6

White Nile

849,143

881,445

1,730,588

5.6

Sennar

625,733

659,325

1,285,058

4.2

Blue Nile

421,758

410,354

832,112

2.7

North Kordofan

1,406,562

1,514,430

2,920,992

9.5

South Kordofan

694,883

711,521

1,406,404

4.6

North Darfur

1,033,690

1,033,690

1,033,690

3.3

West Darfur

639,907

668,318

1,308,225

4.2

South Darfur

2,157,535

1,936,059

4,093,594

13.3

Sudan

15,786,677

15,107,323

30,894,000

100

 

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2008 census, Central Bureau of Statistics, 2009, Central Bureau of Statistics, 2013

 

 

Graph 1: Distribution of Sudan population among states, 2008 census

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, from 2008 census data, Population Census Council (2009)

 

Distribution of Sudan population according to living type:

According to the 2008 population census, the percentage of urban inhabitants reached (33.2%) out of the total population, while percentage of rural inhabitants was (57.9%) and that of nomads was (8.9%) as shown in table 3 and graph 2.

Table 3: proportional distribution of population in the Sudan according to living pattern in 2008 census

Living type

Number of population

percent

Urban inhabitants

10,259,625

33.2%

Rural inhabitants

17,875,787

57.9%

Nomads

2,758,588

8.9%

Total population

30,894,000

100%

 

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2008 population census data

 

 

Graph 2: Proportional distribution of population in the Sudan according to living pattern in 2008

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2008 population census data

 

Population projections and future assessments:                                                        

Calculation of the population growth rate for a certain area is indispensable in demography, because accuracy of calculation of population growth rate directly contributes in meticulousness of the population assessment. Likewise, the study of population growth rate contributes in defining the number of years spent by a certain area to attain a definite size of population if these rates continue to be as they are. The growth rate for the population of Sudan, according to the fifth population census, reached (2.4%). It is expected that the population of the Sudan will double every 29 years according to that rate. Therefore, according to population projections, it is expected that Sudan’s population will grow by 2018 to reach about 41,984,512 (graph 3). Expectedly, Sudan’s population will be about 60.8 million in 2037 if the current annual growth rate continues to be invariable. 

 

Graph 3: population projections in Sudan till 2018

 Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2008 census projection data

Average population density:

Population density is a standard used to measure population rate in a certain area. In another sense, population density means the number of persons who live in every square kilometer of land. According to the 2008 population census in the Sudan, the general population density is estimated to be about 16.4 persons for every square kilometer. However, population density varies among the different states of the Sudan (table 4). In this regard, both the Khartoum and Gezira states are more overpopulated than other states with the average population density amounting to 238 and 153 persons for every square kilometer respectively. This overpopulation is attributed to more availability of basic services like education, health, security, better infrastructure and career opportunities in these two states in comparison to others. Also, their overpopulation is due to natural disasters and armed conflicts that made millions displaced leave areas of war and conflicts and desert areas in north and east (repellent areas) to the capital and central states of the Sudan (attracting areas). Contrarily, both the Northern state and the Red Sea state proved to have a lower average population density equaling 2 and 6.4 persons in the square kilometer respectively, because of vast desert areas in both states (table 4).

 

Table 4: population density of the states according to the fifth population census, 2008

 

Population density/km2

State

2.0

Northern State

9.2

River Nile

6.4

Red Sea

48.8

Kassala

18.0

Al Gadarif

238.2

Khartoum

153.0

Al Jazeera

34.0

White Nile

18.2

Sennar

57.0

Blue Nile

13.2

North Kordofan

8.9

South Kordofan

7.1

North Darfur

16.5

West Darfur

32.2

South Darfur

16.4

Sudan

 

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, population census data, 2008, national council for population, 2012

 

Sex composition of population:

Sex structure means distribution of population according to gender i.e. males and females, or what is known as percentage of gender. However, age composition defines the productive communal category which shoulders dependency of the rest of other individuals of the community. Scientifically, both sex and age compositions are of the more important demographic characteristics and indicators concerning population studies. 

 

According to the fifth population census of 2008, the population of Sudan reached 30,894,000, out of whom 15,786,677 individuals are males (51.1%) while 15,107,323 are females (49.9%). This means the sex composition of population in the Sudan are comparatively balanced as percentage of males exceeds the females by just (1%), as shown in graph 4.

 

 

Graph 4: percentage of sex composition for population in the Sudan according to 2008 census

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, population census data, 2008

Sex ratio:

Sex ratio means number of males against every 100 females of a population. This process is arithmetically calculated by dividing the number of males on the number of females and multiplied by 100. According to the population census for 2008, sex ratio of men reached 104.5 against every 100 females.

 

Age composition for population: 

Age composition means division of a population according to different age categories. In this context, the fifth population census data for 2008 in the Sudan noted that age categories for juveniles, namely kids who are less than 15 years old, represent 42.1% of the total population. As to the percentage of age categories for the young whose ages range between 15 – 64 years, which  represents 54.3% of the total population. The percentage of age categories for elderly, who are 65 years old and above, equals 3.6% of the total population in the Sudan (table 5).  high percentage of youth category out of the Sudan total population, the state is categorized as one of the nations of youthful population as the situation is in a number of developing nations.

 

 

Table 5: Composition of age categories for Sudan population in 2008 census

percent

Population number

Age category

42.1%

13,015,911

(0-14 years)Kids

54.3%

16,771,462

 Adults (15-64 years)

3.6%

1,106,627

Elderly (65+)

100%

30,894,000

Total population

 

     Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, of 2008 population census data

 

According the fifth population census data of 2008, the percentage of population whose ages are under 5 years represent 14.7% of the total population, while the percentage of population whose ages range between 5 - 9 years reached 14.6% and the percentage of population whose ages range between 10 - 14 years reached 12.9%. Relatively, these ratios lessen in older age categories. For instance, the percentage of the population whose ages range between 65 – 69 years represented only 1% of the total population of the Sudan as shown in table 6.

Table 6: population according to age categories and gender in 2008 census

 

Age categories

Total population

Percent

males

females

Sudan

30,894,000

100

15,786,677

15,107,323

04 – 00

4,537,300

14.7

2,317,800

2,219,500

09 – 05

4,501,631

14.6

2,335,983

2,165,648

14 – 10

3,976,980

12.9

2,120,159

1,856,821

19 - 15

3,302,244

10.7

1,692,821

1,609,423

24 - 20

2,813,826

9.1

1,380,438

1,433,388

29 - 25

2,426,741

7.9

1,131,888

1,294,853

34 - 30

1,961,862

6.3

948,074

1,013,788

39 - 35

1,838,952

6.0

896,574

942,378

44 - 40

1,425,715

4.6

729,696

696,019

49 - 45

1,024,836

3.3

538,886

485,950

54 - 50

892,843

2.9

474,885

417,958

59 - 55

512,007

1.7

281,625

230,382

64 - 60

572,436

1.9

315,482

256,954

69 - 65

321,937

1.0

185,758

136,179

44 - 70

354,202

1.1

194,094

160,108

75+

430,488

1.4

242,514

187,974

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, of 2008 population census data

 

Population pyramid:

A population pyramid is defined as a relative distribution for the population according to age and gender. It is such designated because it takes a pyramid like shape in its classical image. Here, age categories of the young, i.e. population who are dependents, represent the pyramid’s base. However, the more the pyramid base widens, the greater the dependency rate. This is naturally linked with birth and mortality rates because the greater these two rates are, the more the pyramid takes its classical shape.

According to 2008 population census data, age categories of the young represent the pyramid base while age categories of the elderly of 65 years old and above represent the pyramid top. Therefore, the Sudanese community is a youthful society (as shown in graph 5).

Graph 5: population pyramid for the Sudan according to age categories and gender in 2008 census

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, of 2008 population census data

 

 Dependency ratio:

The percentage of age dependency is the percentage of dependent persons whose ages are either under 15 or above 64 years, in contrast to individuals in the population who are in the working age and among the age category between 15 – 64 years. According to population census data for 2008, the rate of the dependent population in Sudan is 84% which means that in every 100 persons of the age span 15 – 64 years, there are 84% of kids or elderly who need care. As to the survey of labour force in the Ministry of Human Resources and Labour, they noted that  the dependency rate in the Sudan is 80.3%. As the rate of kids and elderly are non-productive ones, they have made the dependency rate one of highest percentages and this makes it necessary for the state to deliver education, food and health care.

 

Family compositions:

 

The population data census of 2008 noted that number of families in the Sudan is 5.4 million families. In this regard, the rate of male householders of families is 71.4% and the rate of female householders of families is 28.6%. Similarly, the rate of small families (which consists of 1 – 4 persons) reached 39% of the total number of families, while the rate of medium families (which consists of 5 – 8 persons) reached 50% of the total number of families. As to large families (which include more than 9 persons) reached 11% of the total number of families.

Average family size:

Family size in the Sudan is higher in comparison to several other nations, particularly western and industrial states. The 2008 population census data showed that the average number of family members is 5.6 persons. Additionally, assessment outcomes of the national survey for families’ basic data in 2009 noted that average family size in Sudan is 6.1 persons (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2.2009).

 

 Average age of early marriage:

According to the 2008 census, the average age of an individual at early marriage in the Sudan is 25.7 years, The male average being 28.4 years of age, in comparison to female’s 23.2 years of age. However, age averages at early marriage vary according to the life styles of those in a community. Averages rise among nomadic communities and decrease among urban communities (as shown in table 7).

Table (7) average age of early marriage in Sudan in 2008 census

Females

Males

Both sexes

Communities

23.2

28.4

25.7

Sudan

24.7

31.1

28

Urban community

22.4

27.6

24.7

Rural community

19.8

24.7

22.4

Nomadic community

   Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, of 2008 population census data

 

 

 

Vital statistics for population:

Crude birth rate:

The fifth population census data for 2008 noted that the crude births rate in the Sudan is 29.6 birth cases for every 1000 persons of population. However, these rates have varied among the different states of the Sudan where Blue Nile state recorded a highest rate equaling 40 birth cases for every 1000 persons of population while Red Sea state recorded the lowest rate equaling 17.7 birth cases for every 1000 persons (as shown in table 8).

 

Crude mortality rate:

In the 2008 census, the average of crude mortality in the Sudan reached 16.7 mortalities for every 1000 persons. This mortality rate slightly varies among the states of Sudan. The Blue Nile state recorded the highest crude mortality rate, standing at 20, while the lowest mortality was recorded in both Northern state and North Darfur state with an average equaling 15.7 mortality rate in every state (as shown in table 8). 

Rate of mothers’ mortality:

According to the 2008 census data, the rate of mothers’ mortality reached about 417 cases for every 100,000 women in the Sudan. However, this rate is relatively higher than European states. For instance, the rate of mothers’ mortality in Ireland equals only one case in every 100,000 cases. In Sweden, there are three mortality cases in every 100,000 mothers (WHO, 2009). On another hand, this same rate is relatively lower than rates of some African states. For instance, Niger recorded 1,800 for every 100,000 women, while Chad had 1,500 cases for every 100,000 women. Lastly, in Sierra Leon the rate of mothers’ mortality reached 2,110 cases for every 100,000 women (WHO, 2009).

In the Sudan, according to the 2008 population census, rates of mothers’ mortality varied among the different states. North Darfur state recorded the highest rate of mothers’ mortality with 618 for every 100,000 women whereas Khartoum state recorded the lowest rate of 389 for every 100,000 women (as shown in table 8).

 

Rate of mortality for infants below five years of age:

In the 2008 census, the rate of mortality for kids below five years of age reached 122 children. However, this rate varies among the different states of the Sudan. Sennar state recorded the highest rate of mortality for kids below five years of age with an average of 205 kids while North Darfur state recorded the lowest rate equaling 80 kids (as shown in table 8).

Table 8 rates of mortality of mothers, babies, kids under five years of age, besides crude births and mortalities

State

Mothers’ mortality for every 100000

Infants' mortality for every 1000

Mortality of kids below 5 years of age for every 1000

Crude births for every 1000

Crude mortalities for every 1000

Northern

437

65

89

23.7

15.7

River Nile

442

69

96

31.1

16.2

Red Sea

565

66

91

17.7

16.2

Kassala

467

76

106

21.8

17.2

Gedarif

564

102

147

34.5

17.9

Khartoum

389

75

97

24.4

16.3

Gezira

422

70

111

30.9

16.3

White Nile

503

79

128

31.0

16.6

Sennar

509

90

205

32.0

17.2

Blue Nile

577

137

128

40.0

20.0

North Kordofan

532

81

114

37.0

16.7

South Kordofan

591

100

143

38.1

17.6

North Darfur

618

59

80

32.0

15.7

West Darfur

615

88

125

36.0

17.2

South Darfur

581

70

96

26.5

16.3

ٍٍSudan

417

79

122

29.6

16.7

 

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, of 2008 population census data

 

From the 2008 census data, the rate of infants’ mortality reached 79 for every 1000 cases according to sex. Meaning, mortality stood at 86 for males to 72 for females. In urban areas, the rate of male and female births reached 92 and 74 respectively for every 1000 births. Meanwhile in rural areas, the rate of male and female births reached 96 and 75 respectively for every 1000 births (as shown in tables 8 and 9). Out of the tables, it is noted that the rate of infants’ mortality in rural areas is higher than that of urban areas due to the delivery of health care for both the mother and infant, as well as health education in urban areas.

 

Table 9: Rate of infants’ mortality for every 1000 living births according to sex, 2008 census

females

males

Both sexes

category

72

86

79

Sudan

74

92

83

Population of towns

75

96

82

Population of countryside

 

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, of 2008 population census data

Total fertility rate: 

The total fertility rate is the average of children whom a woman begets in her life. This rate is calculated by dividing the number of births during a certain year on the number of women in the ages between 15 – 44 years. In this regard, the population census data from 2008 noted that the average fertility rate is 5.5 infants, out of which Blue Nile state recorded the highest rate of 5.6 infants. Meanwhile, the Red Sea recorded the lowest average of fertility at 2.4 kids for every woman. Notably, fertility has remained diminishing during the later decades in the Sudan. Interpretably, this decrease of fertility maybe attributed to  the education of woman and their involvement in work besides the increase of urbanism rates.

 

Average life expectancy at birth:

Population census data for 2008 noted that the average life expectancy from birth to death is 59.8 years. So, in relation to males and females, the average life expectancy is 58.1 and 61.4 years. Also, there is a difference in the average life expectancy among the population according to living pattern as shown in table 10. Obviously, out of the table, that average life expectancy of an individual in rural communities is two years longer than life expectancy of an individual in urban communities.

Table 10: average life expectancy of an individual according to living pattern of population in 2008 census

females

males

Both sexes

category

61.4

58.1

59.8

Sudan

59

55.3

57.1

Population of towns

60.9

57.6

59.2

Population of countryside

 

 Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2008 population census data

 

Furthermore, the data of Central Bureau of Statistics, 2015, showed a variance in average life of an individual at his birth among the states of Sudan (as shown in map 2). 

Map 2: Average life span at birth in the states of Sudan according to 2008 census

 

Source Central Bureau of Statistics 2015

 

The above map represents the average life expectancy for an individual in the states of Sudan according to the 2008 census. The map showed that Blue Nile state recorded the lowest average life expectancy for an individual in the Sudan with 48.8 and 51.3 years for males and females respectively. As to some other states, average life expectancy for an individual was recorded as follows: 

  • South Kordofan state recorded average life expectancy reaching 54.6 and 58.7 years for males and females respectively.
  • Northern State recoded average life expectancy at birth reaching 60.6 and 65.4 years for males and females respectively.
  • North Darfur State recoded average life expectancy at birth reaching 61.2 and 64.8 years for males and females respectively.
  • Khartoum State recoded average life expectancy at birth reaching 58.8 and 62.9 years for males and females respectively.

Migration trends:

Migration represents one of the three elements influencing population characteristics, besides average of births and mortality rates, though it may take place once or more in an individual’s life. Moreover, migration is affected by rapidity of economic alterations; it plays an important part in international relationships and contributes in payments balance through expatriates’ remittances of hard currencies. However, there are two kinds of migration in the Sudan, internal and external.

Internal migration:  

 

Internal migration is the movement of population from a district to another or from a state to another one inside of the Sudan. Most of this migration is inter-countryside and inter-town. According to the 2008 census,  the number of internal migrants reached 3,665,007 persons, i.e. 9.12% of the total population of the Sudan. Notably, internal numbers of migration in Sudan maintained an increasing growth during the years 1973 to 2008 as the number raised from 700,000 migrants in 1973 to 1.3 million in 1983, then to 3.4 million in 1993 and later it reached 3.7 million migrants (UNFPA—Sudan, 2011). However, Khartoum has become the go-to destination for internal migrants as the capital received 1,952,600 persons, most of whom migrated from North Kordofan State around 310,980 migrants. There were 290,881 migrants from the Gezira State. South Kordofan State had 219,488 migrants and Northern State had 211,848 migrants (Ibid). In the latest decades, internal migration has taken an urban-to-urban tendency instead of the traditional way of rural to-urban tendency. Consequently, migration to urban areas have increased pressure on service utilities like education, health, transport, communication, security and the growth of squatter housing on peripheries of urban areas such as the case around towns of Khartoum State, besides increase of trivial works and marginal markets.

 

Foreign newcomers and refugees:

 

Sudan is a large country with long boundaries (6751 kilometers) bordering on seven states. These long borders are very difficult to control. Therefore, a big number of newcomers from neighboring countries stealthily find their way into the Sudan because of political instability, wars in their countries, harsh natural conditions of drought, and desertification. This phenomenon of refugees and newcomers places pressure on services, security, health and labour (National Council for Population, 2002). Normally, most of foreign newcomers streams in from neighboring states like Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Southern Sudan and the Republic of Central Africa (CAR). The majority of these newcomers are categorized as refugees while their numbers are estimated to be approximately 685,000 (UNFPA –Sudan, 2011). On another hand, there are other newcomers who come to Sudan from Turkey, China and India for trading ends.

External migration:

 

This kind of migration takes place abroad where emigrants are either seeking a better life or escaping a bad situation. In the past, Sudanese expatriates began emigrating and working abroad since the seventies when during the discovery of oil, they travelled to Gulf States. Of late, new tendencies of emigration appeared as immigrants have kept traveling to Australia, Canada, the US and Europe. Statistically speaking, the number of Sudanese emigrants was estimated to be 880,000 to 1,388,000, half of whom are staying in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the other half is scattering over the rest of Arab and Western states (UNFPA –Sudan, 2011). 

 

Educational structure:

 

According to the population census data of 2008, the rate of those who read and write out of Sudan’s population is 51.6%, i.e. of 6 years and above for both sexes. In this rate, percentages for males and females who read and write are 57.7% and 45.4%. As to percentage of those who read and write in 15 years of age and above is 50.2%. Also,  the percentage of those who read and write of both sexes in 15 to 24 years of age is 67%, out of which is 63% and 4% for males and females. However, the percentage of those who read and write vary among the different states of Sudan where both Khartoum and Northern states recorded a higher rate equaling 89% while West Darfur state recorded 44% which is a lower percentage (as shown in table 11).

 

Table 11:  Average learning of reading and writing in 15 to 24 years of age according to 2008 census in the Sudan

Females

Males

Both sexes

State

89

88

89

Northern State

82

85

83

River Nile

50

51

51

Red Sea

48

55

52

Kassala

61

77

68

Gedarif

87

91

89

Khartoum

79

88

83

Gezira

67

78

72

White Nile

65

78

71

Sennar

41

67

56

Blue Nile

52

61

56

North Kordofan

47

62

54

South Kordofan

57

64

60

North Darfur

35

56

44

West Darfur

46

51

46

South Darfur

71

63

67

Sudan

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2008 population census data

 

 Human forces and manpower:

According to the survey conducted by the workforce of the Ministry of Human Resources Development and Labour in 2011, the magnitude of Sudan’s labour was estimated to be about 9.3 million laborers. Similarly, other forces were estimated to be as follows:

  • Total employed manpower is about 7.5 million laborers.
  • Total unemployed manpower is 1.8 million laborers.
  • Total unemployed who have not been employed is 1.1 million.
  • Rates of employment and unemployment are 81.2% and 18.8% (as shown in table 12).

 

   Table 12: manpower, rates of employment and unemployment in the Sudan

                According to the survey of workforce, 2011

 

Total manpower

9300000

Total employed manpower     

7500000

Total unemployed manpower

1800000

  Employment rate

81.2%

Unemployment rate

18.8%

              Source: Ministry of Human Resources Development, 2011

 

 Poverty rate:

Sudan is mostly poverty-stricken. However, poverty is concentrated in rural areas. In those poor districts, most of the people are unflaggingly struggling to gain a livelihood for themselves and their families. According to Human Development Index of UNDP, Sudan ranks as 61 out of the 77 least developed states in the world (IFAD, 2007).

Official statistics of the Sudan estimate that the poverty rate, according to living pattern, is about 46.5% overall, while in rural and urban areas the rates reached 57.6% and 26.6%. However,  the poverty gap reached about 16.2% while poverty severity reached 7.8% (as shown in table 13). According to Central Bureau for Statistics (2.2009), poverty rates vary among the different regions of the Sudan. The rates are the highest in the Darfur region standing at 62.7% and  theKordofan region which is 58.7%. The poverty rate is the lowest in Khartoum (26%). On another hand, Hamza’s study (2014) noted that percentage of poverty in the Sudan reached 43.5% while the same study noted that the number of poor families in the Sudan is about 2.3 million families.

Table 13: Poverty rate according to living type

Poverty rate%

Poverty gap%

Destitution %

Area

46.5%

16.2%

7,8%

Sudan

26.5%

7.1%

2.7%

Urban areas

57.6%

21.3%

10.6%

Rural area

 

                   Central Bureau for Statistics, 2.2009

 Language structure:

The Arabic language is the official language of Sudan’s population, viz. a lingua franca that helps the different tribes communicate with and understand each other. Alternatively, yet not exclusively, English language is widely used among universities and scientific research centers. Additionally, there are several local dialects in the Sudan which are upwards of 115 tongues, out of which are the following:

  • Beja dialects in Eastern Sudan including Bani ‘Amir, Hadandawa, Halanqa, Bisharyin and Amar’ar.
  • Nubian dialects in Northern Sudan including Dongolawi, Halfawai and Mahasi tongues.
  • Dialects of Western Sudan like those of Fur, Masalit, Zaghawa, Dagu, Fallata and Housa.
  • Dialects of Angasana and Funj of the South Blue Nile, the Nuba dialect in South Kordofan and dialect of Denka Ngouk in Abyei district.

 

 

 Ethnic structure:

Sudan is marked with ethnic diversity and diversification of ethnicities and tribes to the extent that it is known as Small Africa due to the ethnic, lingual and religious diversity it contains. Arab tribes disperse in most of parts of Sudan like tribes of Rashaida and Zubeidia in Eastern Sudan, Ja’alien and Shaigia in Northern Sudan, Gammoia, Kawahla and Batahin in Central Sudan,  Miseiria, Rizeigat, Habbania, Ma’alia, Kababish, Hamaar tribes and other Arab tribes in Western Sudan, Kenana and Rufa’a al-Hoi at the Blue Nile while tribes of Hassania, Suleim, Ahamda, Shanabla and Sabaha at the White Nile (Ali, 2002).

As above mentioned, the major tribes consist of yet minor ones as follows:

  • Beja tribes consisting of Hadandawa, Bisharyien, Amar’ar, Bani ‘Amir and Halanqa are all found in Eastern Sudan.
  • Nubian tribes consisting of Mahas, Sakkot, Halfawis and Danagla.
  • Tribes of Denka Ngouk in Abyei district.
  • Tribes of Angasana, Funj, Wataweet and Kadalu in the district of South Blue Nile (Ali, 2010).
  • Nuba tribes with their different branches like Kawaleeb, Kija, Jimang, Haiban and Delleng in district of Nuba Mountains.
  • Tribes of Fur, Masalit, Zaghawa, Fallata, Housa and Dagu disperse in Darfur.
  • There are small groups and communities which have made home of Sudan like Syrians, Egyptian Coptics, Greeks, Chadians, some tribes of West African states, Abyssinians, Eritreans and some tribes of Southern Sudan.

 Religious structure:

Islam is the faith of the majority of population in the Sudan around 96.7% of populations of Sudan has adopted it. The majority of Muslims here are Sunni Muslims of Maliki juristic doctrine. Also, Sudan is known for a number of Sufi tariqas dispersing all over the country such as Gadiriyya, Sammaniyya, Burhaniyya, Tiganiyya, Khatmiyya and the MahadistAnsar. As to Christianity, there is 3% of the populations that has adopted this faith where they are represented by small minorities of the followers of Orthodox, Coptic, Ethiopian, Armenian churches, besides some Catholics, Protestants and supporters of Evangelical church. However, Christians are established in towns like Khartoum, Gedarif, Atbara, Kosti and Obeid. Additionally, there are traditional faiths adopted by a meager percentage of population, about 0.3%, concentrated in districts of the South Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

 

 

 Conclusions and recommendations:

Population studies, particularly a study on population indexes and demographic features, are wide and have several indicators and features. For this reason, this paper has confined to this minimal amount of demographic characteristics of population of the Sudan.

 

In the light of the looming challenges concerning population issues in the Sudan such as accelerated growth of population, increase of rates of mortality, unemployment, poverty, wars and conflicts, it is important to make the following suggestions as strategies through which to realize the wanted and interesting outcomes for resolving population problems with a scientific approach. The said suggestions are as follows:

 

  1. Seek to carry out a sixth population census in 2018 in order to provide some up to date population data to help with planning and sustainable development.
  2. Introducing and adopting population policies that link issues of population and development to integrate population characteristics with plans of socio-economic development.
  3. Establishing an accurate, precise, and sophisticated demographic information network. This network based on the past and future studies, will help draw up population policies, promote quality development for higher education policies and scientific research which will help university graduates gain greater opportunities for employment. 
  4. Make a partnership between the state and civil society in all establishing phases of population policies for securing sustainability and success of programs, besides setting future perceptions, through media freedom, in addressing population issues and integration of human rights issues with all population policies.
  5. Empower woman and employ their capacity and her participation in public life, so that she can become an effective member of society as she is designated as “half society”.
  6. Establish value of religious, lingual and ethnic coexistence among population groups and hammer out challenging policies against waves of accelerated internal and external migration.
  7. Adapt with contemporary global changes in fields of economy, technology, human rights and set population policies that make use of available opportunities of these changes with reducing their potential hazards.

 

References:

1. UN (2013);Periodical Reports, from the twelfth to sixteen, due to be submitted by party states in 2008. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, review on reports submitted by party states under article 9 of the agreement. Sudan, 18, March, 2013.

2. Central Bureau for Statistics (   );Population Censuses 1955, 1973, 1983, 1993, 2008. Khartoum, Sudan.

3. Central Bureau for Statistics (2009);Annual Statistic Book for 2009. Khartoum, Sudan.

4. Central Bureau for Statistics (1.2009); Fifth Population andHousingCensus. 2008, Census Basic Results, Khartoum State, December, 2009. Khartoum, Sudan

5. Central Bureau for Statistics (2.2009);“Poverty in Khartoum State: Assessments of National Survey for Family Basic Data”(2009). Ministry of Finance and National Economy, African Development Bank, FAO, Norwegian Statistics. Khartoum, Sudan

 

6. Central Bureau for Statistics (2013);Sudan in figures, 2008 – 2012. December 2013, Khartoum, Sudan.

7. Shami, MaisaSalim (2004);“Population Policies and Demographic Transform in Arab Homeland with a Special Reference to Gulf Cooperation Council States”.  Paper Presented at Arab Forum for Population Under the Aegis of The UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), he UN Fund for Housing and Arab League. October, 2004.

8. National Council for Population (2002);“National Policy for Population”. Ministry of Social Care and Development, Khartoum, Sudan.

9. IFAD (2007);“Empowerment of Rural Poor to Overcome Poverty in Sudan”. Rome, Italy, February, 2007.

10. UNDP (2015);Report on Human Development for the Year 2015.

11. Hamza, Mohammed Suleiman (2014);Role of Social Responsibility in Social Policy. Zakat Sciences Institute, Khartoum, Sudan.

12. Ali, Ibrahim Mustafa Mohammed (2002);Problem of Environmental Deterioration and Its Socio-economic Impacts in Kosti Province, White Nile State. Unpublished Master Thesis, Faculty of Arts, Geography Department,University of Khartoum, Sudan.

13. Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (n.d.);www.mofa.gov.sd

14. Ministry of Human Resources Development (2011);Methodology of Survey of Workforce and Basic Outcomes. Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, Khartoum, Sudan, 2011.

15. WHO(2009); Global Health Statistic. www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2009/ar

 

Foreign sources and references:

1. Ali, Ibrahim Mustafa Mohammed (2010);“Changes and Their Consequences in Pastoral Nomadic System: The Rufaa al Hoi and Fulani Tribes, Blue Nile State, Sudan (1968 – 2008)”. Unpublished Thesis,Faculty of Arts, Geography Department,University of Khartoum, Sudan.

2. Central Bureau of Statistics (2015);SudanInfo1.0. Sudan Socioeconomic Database Ver. #1. http://www.devinfo.info/sudaninfo

3. Department of Statistics (1995);“Fourth Population Census of Sudan”. Report of the Seminar on Advance Census Results; 29 and 30 January 1995. Department of Statistics, Census Office; Khartoum, Sudan.

4. PopulationCensusCouncil (2009);Fifth Sudan Population and Housing Census. Priority Results. 26 April 2009. Khartoum, Sudan

5. Sudan Central Bureau of Statistics (2015);www.cbs.gov.sd/en/files

6. SamiaElnagar, Hassan Abdel Ati, Lamia Eltigani and Huda Mukhtar (2011); Update of Reproductive Health, Gender, Population and Development Situation in Sudan, 2011. UNFPA- Sudan, December 2011.

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