Skip to main content



Overall population can be deduced from area specific computations made of population distribution in the different regions of the Republic adding up to 5.7 million.11

Population Growth rate#

The latest UNFA / Somaliland Ministry of Health survey (MoHD/UNFPA 2020) 12 establishes that the population of Somaliland is growing by 2.93% Other sources quote different figures: Population Data (3.14%), ranking it as 126th in world populations.

A 2018 study conducted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), however, chooses to differ by stating that ‘Somaliland faces a high population growth estimated at 4.3% per annum’. This growth is much higher in urban areas, where it reaches approximately 20% per year in Hargeisa (MoNP&D 2011) 13

Population Density#

Population estimates survey ( PESS) of 2014 estimates 22 persons per /km². However, (March 2019) puts population density at 28.27 inhabitants / km².

Death rate#

A CIA Fact book (2017), which does not distinguish between Somaliland- and Somalia-specific demographics estimates that there are 13.1 deaths to 1,000 persons of the population.

Fertility Rate 14#

  • a) TFR in rural areas : 6.1 children per woman

  • b) TFR in urban areas: 5.0 children per woman

  • c) Average TFR in Somaliland : 5.5 children per woman

    The total fertility rate is highest among women from the poorest quintile, 6.7 children per woman. Women from the richest quintile have the lowest TFR, 4.3 children per women.

Life expectancy#

According to the Ministry of Health Development, life expectancy for males is 54 and 57 for females


- An international population estimates formula was used to arrive at this figure/ Present Population = Past Population
- (1+growth rate)n = 650,000 (1+0.032)69 = 5,712.319 or 5.7 million (650,000 being the Somaliland population as per the 1959 Census
- The Somaliland Health and Demographic Survey 2020
- The dynamics of natural resources in Somaliland—Implications for livestock production, Catherine Pfeifer, Todd A. Crane,
- Lawrence Mugunieri, et al, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), 2018
- Somaliland Gender Booklet, Central Statistics Department, Ministry of Planning and National Development

Literacy rate#

Average literacy rate for adults above 15 years of age is estimated at 48.0%.15 Literacy rates were highest for the youth aged 15-24 who had literacy rates of 74% for males and 55% for females. The literacy rate tends to decline as age increases beyond 24 years. On aggregate, about 37% of males and 35% of females have completed secondary education as their highest grade completed. Additionally, about 3 in 10 males and 2 in 10 females have a university education. The largest share of the remaining proportion of persons has an upper primary or lower primary education. 16


Article 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland defines the primary language of the country as ‘Somali’. Arabic is adopted as a second language, adding that ‘other languages shall be used, when necessary’


Islam is the official religion of the Somaliland Republic as Article 5 of the country’s constitution stipulates. Article 33 (1), however, grants both citizens and non-citizens the right to belief in the creed of their choice: ‘Every person shall have the right to freedom of belief, and shall not be compelled to adopt another belief. Islamic Sharia does not accept that a Muslim person can renounce his beliefs.’

Net migration rate#

These statistics were published by the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM). In line with the current UN policy towards Somaliland, the statistics cited here for Somalia are also true for Somaliland. Net Migration rate for 2015-2020: -3.4 migrants/1,000 population.

Urbanization rate#

Somaliland Ministry of Planning and Developments statistics department (CSD) puts urban and semi-urban, sedentary populations at 53% of the total.