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People and Society






South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory. In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that became Namibia, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Namibia has been governed by SWAPO since the country won independence in 1990. Hifikepunye POHAMBA was elected president in November 2004 in a landslide victory replacing Sam NUJOMA who led the country during its first 14 years of self rule. POHAMBA was reelected in November 2009.


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People And Society

Noun Namibian(s)
Adjective Namibian

Ethnic groups
Black 87.5%, white 6%, mixed 6.5%
About 50% of the population belong to the Ovambo tribe and 9% to the Kavangos tribe; other ethnic groups include Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%

English (official) 7%, Afrikaans (common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population), German 32%, indigenous languages (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama) 1%

Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%

Population World Ranking: 143
2,165,828 (July 2012 est.)
Estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure
0-14 years
34.2% (male 371,078/female 364,232)
15-64 years
61.7% (male 671,853/female 652,414)
65 years and over
4.1% (male 38,851/female 49,157) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 22.1 years
Male 22.1 years
Female 22.1 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 133
0.817% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 80
21.11 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 19
13.09 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 70
0.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 38% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
3.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
WINDHOEK (capital) 342,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.78 male(s)/female
Total population
1.02 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 55
200 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 51
Total 45.61 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 48.76 deaths/1,000 live births
42.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 210
Total population 52.17 years
Male 52.47 years
Female 51.86 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 88
2.41 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 109
5.9% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.374 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density
2.67 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 7
13.1% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 28
180,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 32
6,700 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk High
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease Malaria
Water contact disease Schistosomiasis (2009)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 43
17.5% (2007)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 23
6.4% of GDP (2008)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 88.8%
Male 89%
Female 88.5% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 12 years
Male 12 years
Female 12 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 7
Total 41.7%
Male 36.7%
Female 47.1% (2004)


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Manyondo Okavango

Wolfsgrund Khomas

Wegkruip Karas

Beestputz Karas

South Reef Karas

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