Poverty reduction efforts depend on data. To improve lives in Uganda, it is important to know the facts and figures in Uganda that affect the population every day.

Commonly referred to as “the Pearl of Africa,” Uganda has a population of approximately 39 million people and borders Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. The following are important facts and figures in Uganda:

  1. The average fertility rate is 5.8 children per woman and results from a lack of sex education, family planning services and contraception use as well as the cultural support for large families.
  2. There is a high maternal mortality rate of 343 deaths per 1,000 live births due to a high number of births per woman, short birth intervals and early pregnancy Uganda’s infant mortality rate ranks twenty-first in the world at 57.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  3. Uganda has a high population of children. Newborns to those aged 14 make up almost half of the country. About 14.1% of children under five years old are underweight.
  4. The primary education gross enrollment rate is 101.1% but, during secondary school, significantly drops to 26%.
  5. About 7.1% of the adult population (ages 15 to 49) have HIV. Uganda ranks tenth in the world for the highest prevalence rate, seventh for most people living with HIV/AIDS, and tenth for most HIV/AIDS-related deaths.
  6. About 52% of Ugandans have mobile phone subscriptions, and 19.2% have internet access.
  7. In the labor force, 71.9% participate in agriculture, 4.4% in industry and 23.7% in services. However, agriculture accounts for 24.5% of the GDP, industry accounts for 21%, and services account for 54.4%.
  8. The Lord’s Resistance Army, active since 1987, continues to terrorize the country and hold children captive as child soldiers.
  9. About 19.1% of the population lives with improved sanitation facilities, and 79% has access to improved water sources. The rates are typically better in urban settings as oppose to rural areas.
  10. The life expectancy at birth is 59 years of age.

Many of these facts and figures in Uganda have improved over the years as Uganda has worked to meet Millennium Development Goals. For example, the United Nations reported that the percent of the rural population with access to improved drinking water increased from 52 percent in 2001/02 to 72 percent in 2012/13 and most recently to 79 percent. In addition, the country has reduced income poverty by two-thirds, an accomplishment that was five years ahead of schedule. But, Uganda is not stopping there; the country still has the opportunity and plans to make many more strides to aid poverty-reduction efforts.

Francesca Montalto

Photo: Flickr