- Possesses the 2nd highest fertility rate in the world after Niger with 6.53 children per woman.
- Holds the 9th highest growth rate in population for the world, growing 3.24% per year.
- Reached an all time high in population with 37.5 million in the 2013 census, up from 34.5 million in 2011 (Note: Uganda is the size of Oregon).
- Expects to increase fivefold, pushing Uganda to the top 10 most populated nations in the world by 2100.
- Experiences about 700,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.(1)
- Comprises the world’s second youngest population after Niger.(2)
- 79.9% of homes are child-headed households in rural areas.(3)
- 67% of Ugandans are living in poverty ($1.20-2.40 per day).
- 27% of adults are illiterate, most of whom are women.
- Has a primary school drop out rate of 68.2%.(4)
- 12% of marriages occur before the age 15, 46% of marriages occur before the age of 18.(5)
- Sustains a population that is reaching 700,000 – 80% live in rural areas.
- Comprises the highest percentage of Muslims in Uganda.(6)
- Remains a predominately polygamous region with a rampant birthrate (8 children per woman).(7)
- Exists on the main highway traveling from Kenya, making it a common stopping point for truck drivers, causing a high rate of prostitution and the vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
- Hosts an 8% higher HIV/AIDS prevalence than the national 6.7% prevalence.(8)
- Suffers from the major prevalent preventable diseases, including malaria, URTI internal worms, and HIV/AIDS material problems (These contribute to 60% of the ten killer diseases).
(1) The growth of population is not driven by the desire for more children (which has declined in the past 15 years), but by the lack of family planning and the high rate of unwanted births. Ministry of Health statistics show that three out of ten women in Uganda, who need to stop or space their next pregnancy, are not using any contraception. As a result, there are about 700,000 unplanned pregnancies in Uganda every year.
(2) 50% of the population of Uganda is under the age of 15, giving it the world’s second youngest population after Niger.
(3) In the rural areas of Uganda, 79.9 percent of homes are child-headed households. The rise in the proportion of child-headed households and child laborers means a rise in percentages of the illiterate, early pregnancies, and related consequences such as infant and maternal mortality rates, increased incidence of those who are infected by sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS, and drug abuse.
(4) In 1996, the government committed to paying for the school fees of up to four children per family. A study by Demographic and Health Survey Education Supplement found that the program caused a 58 percent increase in primary education in just the first year; however, there was a 10 percent drop in the probability that an educated child in a public primary school could pass a reading test. The drop out rate for primary school students is 68.2% in Uganda.
(5) 12% of marriages occur before the age of 15. 46% of marriages occur before the age of 18. These numbers mostly reflect girls forced into arranged marriages, increasing the rate of illiteracy, and school drop-out rate.
(6) Uganda, as a country, is predominantly Christian followed by Islam with 12%, Iganga has a high concentration of these Muslims.
(7) Iganga is a predominately polygamous region with a rampant birthrate (8 children for every woman). A link between large/polygamous families with poverty, and the high level of household population (six to eight members), increases the difficulty of providing adequate coverage and quality of public services such as education, health and housing for families, especially for children.
(8) Of the 2.5 million orphans in Uganda, 1.2 million are orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The national HIV/AIDS prevalence is 6.7 percent; however, the prevalence in Iganga is estimated to be 8 percent higher than the national average.