Comoros, known as the Comoro Islands, is the least populous country in the Arab region, with a population of 832,350 in 2018. Growing at an average annual rate of 2.3%[1], the Comorian population is mostly rural, with an urbanization rate of 28.8%. Alongside a high fertility rate of 4.6 births per woman, above the regional average of 3.3 births per woman[2], Comoros has a young population, with more than 50% of its population under 20 years of age.[3] Ranking among the low human development countries in 2018 (165 out of 188 countries), life expectancy at birth reached 63 years, far below the regional average of 72 years, and the average mean years of schooling leveled at 4.8 years, also far below the regional average of 7 years.[4] Comoros continues to have a high maternal mortality of 335 deaths per 1,000 live births and high adolescent birth rate at 65.4%.[2]


The economy has shown signs of recovery after years of political instability due to inter-island conflicts. Starting 2017, enhancements were witnessed in the electricity sector reinforced by the purchase of diesel electricity generators, accompanied by an increase in exports and stronger flow in remittances. After achieving a real GDP growth of 3.5% in 2013, real GDP declined to a low of 1% in 2015 and increased to 2.8% in 2018. The reasons vary, however mainly due to the deterioration in its business climate and financial sector. Inflation has remained moderate and relatively steady for three years, registering at 2.0% in 2018. Over the period of 2010-2018, the government gross debt continued to decrease from a high of 50.7% of GDP in 2010 to a 28.9% in 2018.[5]


Comoros is considered a low-income country with an estimated GDP (Purchasing Power Parity, constant 2011 prices) of Int$ 1.15 billion, the lowest among the Arab countries, and a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita at Int$ 1,570 in 2017.[6]


In 2018, the labor force participation rate reached 43.2%. This rate remained almost constant for men ranging between 52% and 50.3% over the 2000-2018 period, whereas for women it increased to 36.1% in 2018, up from 32.4% in 2000. The unemployment rate remained almost unchanged over the same period at 20.2%, registering 18.5% for men, compared to 23.9% for women. Youth unemployment was particularly high at 38.7% in 2018. The gender gap in youth unemployment was low, with 38.7% youth unemployment for men and 38.9% for women.[7]


Poverty remains widespread. In 2014, 42.4% of the population, or approximately 316,000 people were living below the national poverty line according to a World Bank assessment, and 23.5 percent lived in extreme poverty.[8][9]


The Comorian children still face several challenges in health and nutrition. Comoros faces development challenges, with nearly 30% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition according to the latest available data.[4] Comoros is the fourth highest under-five child mortality rate in the region of 78 per 1,000 births, but is projected to decrease to 70 per 1,000 births in 2020.[1]

This overview was last updated in February 2019. Priority is given to the latest available official data published by national statistical offices and/or public institutions. 


[1] Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. 2018. World Population Prospects. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 February 2019].
[2] The World Bank. 2019. World Development Indicators. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 February 2019].
[3] The World Bank. 2019. The World Bank in Comoros, Overview. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 February 2019].
[4] United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 2018. Human Development Indicators, Comoros. [ONLINE]. Available at: [Accessed 12 February 2019].
[5] International Monetary Fund (IMF). Union of the Comoros: 2018 article IV consultation-press release; staff report; and statement by the executive director for the Union of the Comoros. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 February 2019].
[6] International Monetary Fund (IMF). October 2018. World Economic Outlook. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 February 2019].
[7] International Labour Organization (ILO). 
2018. ILOSTAT. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 February 2019].
[8] The World Bank. 2018. Latest report on poverty in the Comoros. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 February 2019].
[9] The World Bank. 2016. Evaluation de la pauvrete dans l’union des comores. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2019].

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Data Highlights

  • 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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