Madagascar Population

By | May 23, 2021

Proportion of literate adults: 74.8% (2018)

Major religions: Indigenous Faith (52%), Christianity (41%)

Urban population: 36.4% (2017)

Life expectancy (female / male): 64.4 (m), 67.4 (w) years (2016), total 65.9 (2016)

Gender Inequality Index (GII): not specified (2018)

Number of births: 4.13 per woman (2017)

Infant mortality: 53.6 per thousand live births (2018)


According to militarynous, the population of Madagascar has more than doubled in the last 30 years and is now over 27 million. Today there are around 2000 births every day, compared to around 500 deaths. The growth rate is 2.7%, a value that has remained almost the same since the 1970’s with upward fluctuations in the meantime (1990’s: almost always over 3%). A Malagasy woman has an average of four births today; this means that the population has doubled at around 20 years. The fertility rate has decreased slightly. Madagascar shows a shape of the population pyramid that is typical for many developing countries with a broad base, ie that children and young people represent up to 50% of the total population and only approx. 4% of the residents of Madagascar are over 60 years old. Young people pose great challenges in terms of education and employment, which makes many of the country’s problems obvious. Measured against the area of Madagascar, there is a statistical population density of approx. 45 residents per kmĀ², with more people living in the central highlands than in the dry south or on the damp forest coast due to agricultural use. As the capital, Antananarivo is an important agglomeration point. The proportion of all residents in urban areasfor Madagascar is 37.9 (2019) and has been rising steadily since 1960. At that time only about 10% of the island’s residents lived in or around urban areas. The rural exodus is driving more and more people into urban areas, not least because agriculture only offers limited jobs and earning opportunities. Therefore, the urbanization rate (2010-2015) is relatively high at 3.9% and usually has negative consequences. It is a challenge for today’s politicians and future generations to deal with this development in a positive way. The life expectancy in Madagascar is 66.3 years (2017)to be classified as quite high (comparison Mozambique: 56.1 years), which can apparently be explained with the low death rate from HIV / AIDS.

The capital Antananarivo (also known as Tananarive or Tana for short), as the geographical and political center of Madagascar, is also an important transport hub on the island. Located in the central highlands on one level, the city with 1,600,000 residents (2015) is also the largest on the island and in itself relatively spacious. Residential areas alternate with rice fields, industrial areas with administrative districts. The city was founded in 1625, in 1797 it became the center of the Merina kings. Another 3-4 million people live in the greater Antananarivos area, but the city is suffering from a rapid increase in population. Due to the missing or inoperable water and waste management as well as the poor air quality- which is reinforced by the location of Antananarivo in a valley basin and by car exhaust fumes and the burning of charcoal – Tana ranks as the third healthiest city in the world behind Baku (Azerbaijan) and Dhaka (Bangladesh).

More significant larger cities in Madagascar Toamasina, Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toliara, Antsiranana, Moramanga or Manakara.

Madagascar Population

Age structure

Over 60% of the population Madagascars are under 24 years old, over 65 years only just under 3% of the Malagasy people. Madagascar thus shows the typical age structure of many African countries with little development. Reasons for the high number of children are, in addition to ignorance of family planning and hardly any access to health centers, as is well known, inadequate social systems that the residents are unable to secure financially in old age. The structure of the age structure has far-reaching consequences for the socio-economic sector, mainly in the education and health sector, but also for the Madagascans active in the employment sector: while the school sector with a large number of pupils, insufficiently qualified teaching staff and ailing or non-existent school buildings has to fight In the main employment sector – agriculture – only just under a third of the population (the Malagasy people between the ages of 24 and 65) are officially available. This explains the downside of the large number of children: child labor is still a major problem in Madagascar. Around one fifth of children between the ages of 5 and 14 (approx. 2 million children) have a more or less physically demanding job. The areas of application range from domestic help to the often necessary help in family agriculture to hard work on plantations or in the quarries, gold, sapphire or salt mines in industrial mining. It is a moral imperative that this state of affairs has to be ended, but against the background of the extreme poverty of many Madagascans, this is not a foreseeable future reality.

Seniors are always treated politely and with great respect in Madagascar. But it does happen that in urban areas, where stable family relationships are sometimes missing, older people are increasingly marginalized. The older Madagascans, known as “zokiolona”, are among the weakest in society along with children and are dependent on family support.