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Cape Verde, Population

Crioulo, Sao Tiago, Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Creoles

More than two-thirds of the people of Cape Verde are of mixed African and European ancestry and are known as Creoles, or mesticos. Nearly all of the remainder are of African ancestry. The official language is Portuguese; the national language, however, is Crioulo, a Creole dialect of archaic Portuguese incorporating many African elements. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion. Some 90 percent of the population is literate.

The census of 1990 counted a population of 341,491; the estimated population in 2002 was 408,760, giving the country an overall density of 101 persons per sq km (263 per sq mi). Because Cape Verde is poor in natural resources and suffers from frequent droughts, it has experienced large emigration for many years. More people with a Cape Verde ancestry live outside the country than inside. The population growth rate in 2002 was 0.9 percent annually. Life expectancy at birth was 73 years for women and 66 years for men. The principal urban centers are Praia (population, 1998 estimate, 95,000), on Sao Tiago, and Mindelo (1990; 47,109) on Sao Vicente.

Article key phrases:

Crioulo, Sao Tiago, Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Creoles, African ancestry, dominant religion, national language, Roman Catholicism, European ancestry, estimated population, Praia, official language, population growth rate, census, Life expectancy, thirds, natural resources, birth, percent, population, country, women, persons, people, years, remainder


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