It could take 58 years for Botswana to double population, census results show | News24


  • The Botswana population grows by around 1.4 percent annually as preliminary results estimate it to be at 2 346 179.
  • It’s estimated that there are 8 279 Batswanas in the diaspora, down from 23 032 in 2011.
  • There’s an average of 3.3 persons per household, but figures also show households in rural areas are bigger than in cities.

It will likely take Botswana 58 years to double its population from the current 2 346 179 estimated from the recently held census, Statistics Botswana says.

Statistics Botswana conducted a census exercise in early April and the preliminary results released on Monday estimated a 1.4 percent annual growth.

“Botswana’s population continues to grow, albeit at a decreasing rate. The population increased from 2 024 904 in 2011 to 2 346 179 in 2022, constituting an increase of 15.9 percent over the period between the two censuses. 

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“The annual population growth rate between 2011 and 2022 is estimated at 1.4 percent, indicating a decline from the 1.9 percent estimated in 2011. The current growth rate follows the previous trend showing a decline starting from 4.6 percent in 1981, 3.5 percent in 1991, 2.4 percent in 2001 to 1.9 percent in 2011. At the current rate of growth, Botswana’s population will take approximately 58 years to reach double the current figure,” the organisation said in its provisional results.

The overall density of the country increased from 2.9 persons per square kilometre in 2001 to 3.6 in 2011 and 4.1 in 2022.

Compared to other countries in southern Africa, Botswana remains a sparsely populated country given its vast size and small population, only comparable to Namibia with a population density of three persons per square kilometre.

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The census also noted a reduction in household sizes from the previous census of 2011. The mean average was 3.3 persons per household compared to 3.7 in 2011.

The census also estimated that there were  8 279 citizens outside the country, a decline from 23 032 in 2011, “likely attributed to global Covid-19 related issues, as well as the declining numbers of government, sponsored students studying abroad”.

Burton Mguni, the Statistician-General, said it was the first time the country had used digital technology, from the cartographic fieldwork stage up to the enumeration stage.

As such, the preliminary results were not far off the mark.


The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.


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