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  • Total population: 23,985,712 (Ranked 42nd in the world by the US Census Bureau).
  • National GDP: US $22.7 billion (1998).
  • GDP per capita: US $1,020.
  • Median Age: 37.6.
  • Infant Mortality: 88.5 per 1,000 live births.


  • Location: East Central Africa.
  • Borders: Sudan, Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya.
  • Capital: Kampala.
  • Major cities and population: Kampala, 1,212,000.
  • Area: 91,100 square miles.
  • 39 Districts: Apac, Arua, Bundibugyo, Bushenyi, Gulu, Hoima, Iganga, Jinja, Kabale, Kabarole, Kalangala, Kampala, Kamuli, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Kibale, Kiboga, Kisoro, Kitgum, Kotido, Kumi, Lira, Luwero, Masaka, Masindi, Mbale, Mbarara, Moroto, Moyo, Mpigi, Mubende, Mukono, Nebbi, Ntungamo, Pallisa, Rakai, Rukungiri, Soroti, Tororo.


  • Population: 23,985,712 (Ranked 42nd in the world by the US Census Bureau).
  • Population density: 256 people per square mile.
  • Children 0-14: 17.3%—8,437,835.
  • Teenage 10-19: 15%—7,308,682.
  • Youth between 15-24: 15%—7,310,386.
  • Seniors Over 70: 9.9%—4,804,098.
  • Male to female ratio: 100.2 males per 100 females.
  • Birth rate: 48.04 per 1,000 people.
  • Life expectancy at birth: 42.59 for males and 44.49 for females.
  • Infant mortality rate: 88.5 per 1,000 live births.
  • Official Language: English.
  • Principle Languages: Luganda and Swahili.
  • Ethnic Groups: 17% Baganda, 12% Karamojong, 8% Basogo, 8% Iteso, 6% Langi, 6% Rwanda, 5% Bagisu, 4% Acholi, 4% Lugbara, 3% Bunyoro, 3% Batobo, 1% non-African (European, Asian, Arab), 23% other.
  • Religious affiliations: 88.7% Christian (19,321,133), 5.2% Muslim (1,137,405), 4.4%Ethno-religionist (953,557). Each of the following comprises less than one percent (listed in descending order of prevalence) Hindu, Nonreligious, Baha’i, Atheist, Jew, Jain, Sikh, Zoroastrian.
  • Christian Denominations: 41% Roman Catholic, 39.4% Anglican, 3.7% Independent, 2.7% Protestant, .2% Orthodox.
  • Literacy rate: 62%.


  • Currency: Shilling.
  • GDP per capita: US $1,020.
  • National GDP: US $22.7 billion.
  • Major Industries: Brewing, textiles, cement.
  • Chief crops: Coffee, cotton, tea, corn, tobacco.
  • Electricity production: 792 mil kWh (1998).
  • TV Sets: 27 per 1,000 people.
  • Radios: 485 per 1,000 people.
  • Telephones: 57,100 main lines.


  • Government type: Republic.
  • Head of state: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
  • Head of government: Prime Minister Apollo Nsibambi.
  • International organization memberships: United Nations (UN), the Commonwealth, and Organization of African Unity (OAU).
  • Historical Background: Archeological evidence found near Mweya and Kagera suggest that the area now known as Uganda was inhabited thousands of years ago. Approximately 2,500-3,000 years ago, Bantu-speaking people migrated to the area, forcing the earlier people to the highlands. The Chwezi, a subgroup of the Bantus, settled in western Uganda between 600-700 years ago, until the Nilotic-speaking migrated from Sudan between the 14th and 16th centuries forcing the Chwezi retreat. The Nilotic speakers established several kingdoms including Bunyoro, Ankole, and Buganda. In 1844, Arab traders from Zanzibar reached the royal court of Buganda and began to trade guns, cloth, ivory, and Islam. In search of the source of the Nile, European explorers entered the region in 1862, and by 1894, Britain declared itself protectorate of Uganda. On October 9, 1962, Uganda gained its independence. Since that time, Uganda has experienced political unrest, which led to an economic down turn in the second half of the twentieth century. During the 1970s, dictator Idi Amin instituted aggressive totalitarian policies, which were responsible for over 300,000 deaths and the deportation of over 45,000 Asians. After Amin’s ousting in 1979, former Prime Minister Milton Obote took power, until his administration was overthrown in 1985. After a period of instability, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni came to power in 1986, and since Uganda’s economy has been improving. Currently, Uganda is also linked with the civil war in neighboring Congo.


Understanding the trends and social issues of a particular country should always take into consideration the opinions of persons within the country. The Center for Youth Studies is looking for contributors from each country to add to our appreciation and understanding of its culture, potential, trends, and critical issues.

We look forward to hearing the insights of native Ugandans on what they consider the most important issues facing them. From an outsider’s perspective, current issues would include the economic recovery and growth of the nation, national leadership, the war on poverty, and the AIDS crisis. What are the most important issues for Ugandans today? This will be added as we receive this information.




Barrett, D., Kurian, G., & Johnson, T. (2001). World Christian Encyclopedia 2nd Edition: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World. Oxford: University Press.

Turner, B. (2000). The World Today: Essential Facts in an Ever Changing World 2000. New York, NY: St. Marten’s Press.

McGeveran, Jr., W. (Ed.). (2001). The World Almanac and Book of Facts. Mahwah, NJ: World Almanac Books.


"Uganda," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001  © 1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

US Census Bureau, International Database.

United Nation Statistics Division.

US Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook.



    • How important do you see Uganda’s role in Africa and in the world?
    • What most impresses you about the above information?
    • Do you take issue with any of the above? If so, how would you express it differently?
    • What strikes you most about the population of Uganda and the infant mortality? Why?
    • What do you see as the historical and cultural contributions of Uganda to the world?
    • How has Uganda handled its part in the AIDS crisis?
    • W



      U.S. Central Intelligence Agency - The World Fact Book

      African Studies Center - University of Pennsylvania  
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      The New Vision 
      Uganda's leading newspaper     

      an we learn from Uganda and the Ugandan people?

Tammy Smith cCYS