Rwandans living nine years longer than other East Africans

Monday February 27 2023

Delegates gather at the Kigali Convention Centre for the 18th National Dialogue, Umushyikirano, presided by President Paul Kagame on February 27, 2023. PHOTO | RWANDA PRESIDENCY


Rwandans are living at least nine years longer than the majority of East Africans, according to the latest figures released by the National Institute of Statistics on Monday.

Rwanda’s life expectancy is now 69.6 years, up from 51.2 years in 2002, data from the fifth Population and Housing Census 2022 indicates.

This puts Rwanda ahead of its peers in East Africa and sub-Saharan Africa (excluding high-income), according to 2020 World Bank figures.

East Africans have a lifespan of slightly above 60 years, with Tanzanians coming second after Rwanda at 66 years, Kenya and Uganda at 63 years, Burundi at 61 years, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at 60 years.

South Sudan has the lowest life expectancy at 55 years. World Bank in 2020 put Rwanda’s life expectancy at 67.

Population growth


Rwanda’s population is now 13.2 million, up from 10.5 million in 2012, with an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent.

There are more females than males at 51.5 percent and 48.5 percent, respectively.

The data was released during Rwanda’s 18th National Dialogue, Umushyikirano, which kicked off Monday. The two-day forum is being held in person this year after suspension due to the Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings.

The event chaired by President Paul Kagame brings together citizens, local government officials, Cabinet and parliament representatives, private sector leaders, and members of the religious and diplomatic communities.

The annual dialogue, held since 2003, provides a platform for stakeholders to discuss the most pressing issues facing the country.