Rwanda’s population was estimated at over 12,3 million, with over 42 percent under the age of 15. The infant mortality rate is 59.59 deaths for every 1,000 live births. Life expectancy is 59.26 years.
Rwanda has one of Africa’s highest population densities. Most of the population is rural. The savanna land in the east is the only area that is sparsely populated. Kigali’s population is approximately one million. An influx of people into Kigali is straining infrastructure.
Most of the people in Rwanda practice Christianity. Catholics were 56.5 percent of the population in 2006 and Protestants were 37.1 percent. Muslims were 4.6 percent of the people.
Kinyarwanda is the principal language spoken by most of the people. French was introduced during colonialism, but English has been introduced by refugees from Uganda and other nations. English, French, and Kinyarwanda are all official languages. Swahili is spoken by many in rural areas.
Rwanda has been a unified state since before colonialism with one main ethnic group, the Banyarwanda, and a shared language. There are eleven regular holidays including Genocide Memorial Day on April 7.
Music and dance are also important in ceremonies. The most well-known dance is Intore, which has three components, a ballet, a dance of heroes, and the drums. Drums are very important and royal drummers have always had high status.
Rwandan cuisine is based on staple foods like bananas, plantains, sweet potatoes, pulses, beans, and cassava. Any Rwandans only eat meat a few times per month.
The country also has a history of traditional arts and crafts, especially woven bowls and baskets. Cow dung art is noted in south east Rwanda.
There is not a long history of written literature, but a strong oral tradition exists. Many of the moral values and histories are passed down orally through the generations. Alexis Kagame is the most famous literary figure.