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Demographics of Cape Verde

The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the Portuguese discovered it in 1456. African slaves were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations. As a result, Cape Verdeans have mixed African and European origins. Vestiges of African culture are most pronounced on the island of Santiago, where 50% of the people live. Survival in a country with few natural resources historically has induced Cape Verdeans to emigrate. In fact, of the more than 1 million people of Cape Verdean ancestry in the world, only a little more than one-third actually live on the islands. Some 500,000 people of Cape Verdean ancestry live in the United States, mainly in New England. Portugal, The Netherlands, Italy, France, and Senegal also have large communities.

Although the official language is Portuguese, most Cape Verdeans speak a Creole dialect--Crioulo[?]--which consists of archaic Portuguese modified through contact with African and other European languages. Cape Verde has a rich tradition of Crioulo literature and music.

Population: 401,343 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (male 88,202; female 86,630)
15-64 years: 50% (male 95,079; female 105,928)
65 years and over: 6% (male 10,043; female 15,461) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.98% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 29.67 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 7.38 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -12.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 54.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.91 years
male: 65.63 years
female: 72.29 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.19 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Cape Verdean(s)
adjective: Cape Verdean

Ethnic groups: Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs); Protestant (mostly Church of the Nazarene)

Languages: Portuguese, Crioulo[?] (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 71.6%
male: 81.4%
female: 63.8% (1995 est.)

See also : Cape Verde



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