Angola has a population of 19 625 353, although preliminary results from the country’s 2014 national census indicates that the country’s population is closer to 24.3 million.
42.95% of the population is under 15 years old, while 53.08% of the population is between 15 and 64, and 2.96% is over the age of 65. Its large youth population broadens the country’s potential labour pool. Statistics indicate that 71.7% of the total population is literate.
When it comes to the country’s ethnic diversity, its people are categorised as follows: Ovimbundu (37%), Kimbundu (25%), Bakongo (13%), Mestizo (2%), European (1%), other (22%).
Portuguese remains Angola’s official language, while Bantu and other African languages are also spoken, depending on the region. 44% of the population is urbanised and the annual rate of urbanisation is estimated at 4.97%.
Major urban areas include the capital, Luanda, with a population of 5.506 million, and Huambo, with a population of 1.269 million.
The country is beset by high levels of poverty, with a large proportion of the population living below the poverty line. According to World Bank estimates, 54.5% of the population live on less than USD3.1 a day.
Education in Angola entails four years of compulsory, free, primary education from age 7 until 11, while secondary education begins at age 11, lasting 8 years, and is not free.
There are two schooling programmes to choose from: One that lasts 3 years (vocational secondary) and another that lasts 4 years (pre-university). Both programmes award students a Secondary School Certificate (a diploma of Habilitaçoes Literarias). However, many children, especially girls, do not continue with secondary education or higher studies as they stay home to help their families.
Despite primary education being free, many schools were destroyed and looted during the country’s long civil war, with the result that those that are left are now overpopulated. As a result of schooling occurring in the open air, classes are cancelled when the weather is bad. In addition, there is a lack of qualified and trained teachers.