Demographics of Algeria

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Algeria, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Ninety-one percent of the Algerian population lives along the Mediterranean coast on 12% of the country's total land mass. Forty-five percent of the population is urban, and urbanization continues, despite government efforts to discourage migration to the cities. Currently, 24,182,736 Algerians live in urban area, about 1.5 million nomads live in the Saharan area.

99% of the population is classified ethnically as Berber/Arab[1] and religiously as Sunni Muslim 96% , the few non-Sunni Muslims are mainly Ibadis 1.3% from the M'Zab valley. (See also Islam in Algeria.) A mostly foreign Roman Catholic community also about Christians especially Protestant evangelic and almost 500 Jewish, most of them live in Bejaia. The Jewish community of Algeria, which once constituted 2% of the total population, has substantially decreased due to emigration, mostly to France and Israel.

Algeria's educational system has grown rapidly since 1962; in the last 12 years, attendance has doubled to more than 5 million students. Education is free and compulsory to age 16. Despite government allocation of substantial educational resources, population pressures and a serious shortage of teachers have severely strained the system, as have terrorist attacks against the educational infrastructure during the 1990s. Modest numbers of Algerian students study abroad, primarily in Europe and Canada. In 2000, the government launched a major review of the country's educational system.

Housing and medicine continue to be pressing problems in Algeria. Failing infrastructure and the continued influx of people from rural to urban areas has overtaxed both systems. According to the UNDP, Algeria has one of the world's highest per housing unit occupancy rates for housing, and government officials have publicly stated that the country has an immediate shortfall of 1.5 million housing units.


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