Comoros is one of the least populous countries in the Arab world with a population of 832,350 in 2018, growing at an average annual rate of 2.3% since 2000. However, it is densely populated, with more than 70% of its population living in rural areas and only 28% of which live in urban areas.[1]


Comoros has a young population with nearly 60% of the population under the age of 24, and a high fertility rate of 4.4 births per woman in 2015.[1] The life expectancy in the country is currently 63.7 years, compared to a higher regional average of 71.1 years in 2016. The maternal mortality of 335 per 100,000 live births in 2015 is worse than the regional average of 156 per 100,000 live births.[2]


According to the most recent survey data on the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in 2018, 16.2% of the population lived in severe multidimensional poverty, and an additional 22.2% were vulnerable to multidimensional poverty.[3]


Adult literacy rate leveled at 77.8% in 2015, compared to a regional average of 80.5% in 2015.[4] Some gains were achieved in terms of gross enrollment rates. At the primary level, the gross enrollment rate reached 99.4% in 2017 and the Gender Parity Index (GPI) was maintained at 0.93. Tertiary enrollment also rose from 1.4% in 2000 to 8.9% in 2014.[2]


Comoros is a low-income country [5] with an estimated GDP (Purchasing Power Parity, constant 2011 prices) of Int$ 1.15 billion, the lowest GDP among the Arab countries, and a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita at Int$ 1,570 in 2017[2] While the economy had shown signs of recovery after years of political instability, achieving a real GDP growth at 3.5% in 2013, conditions since then have deteriorated with growth slowing to 3% in 2018.[6][7] Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is the leading sector of the economy at 35.9% of GDP in 2013.[8] Inflation has been relatively steady for three years, registering at 2.0% in 2018. In 2018, Comoros registered a fiscal deficit of negative 1.8% of GDP and a gross public debt of 25.8%.[7]


International trade to GDP ratio in Comoros amounted to 61.9 in 2017, with exports amounting to 17.7% of GDP and imports 44.2% of GDP in 2017. Consequently, the external balance in Comoros scored a deficit of 171 million US dollar in 2017. The main exports in Comoros consist of food products, while top imports include food, fuels, and manufactured goods.[2]


The labor force participation rate in Comoros is at 43.2% in 2018. This rate remained almost constant for men ranging between 52% and 50.3% over the 2000-2018 period, whereas for women it increased from 32.4% in 2000 to 36.1% in 2018.[9] The unemployment rate also remained almost unchanged over the same period at 20.2%. In 2018, the unemployment rate registered 18.5% for men and 23.9% for women. The youth unemployment rate was lower than the adult unemployment rate recording 38.7% in 2018, where the gender gap between men and women in youth unemployment was low. Young men aged between 15 and 24 had an unemployment rate of 38.7% compared to 38.9% for women in 2018.[9]


This overview has been drafted by the ADP team based on most available data as of 27 December 2018.



[1] World Population Prospects, Population Division, United Nations

[2] World Development Indicators, The World Bank

[3] UNDP Human Development Report 2018

[4]  UNESCO Institute for Statistics

[5] The World Bank

[6] Central Bank of Comoros

[7] International Monetary Fund

[8] ADP team computations based on figures extracted from the Central Bank of Comoros. 

[9]​ KILM – International Labour Organization (ILO)

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  • Comoros is one of the least populous countries in the world with a population of 788,000 in 2015, growing at an average annual rate of 2.4% since 2000. However, it is densely populated, its density increased from 284 inhabitants per square kilometer in 2000 to 404 inhabitant per square kilometer in 2014.

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