National Statistics







2006 Census


The Bureau of Statistics (BOS) conducted the population and housing census in April/May 2006. The census Preliminary results have already been released in August 2007. The purpose of this report is to provide the public with some tables on the final population size by:

  • District, age group, and sex
  • Constituency, age group and sex
  • Urban and rural residence, age group and sex

The distribution of the national, district and urban and rural populations are also provided by single years of age.

Population size, age and sex structure

The final 2006 census results show that Lesotho’s de jure population is 1,876,633. This is marginally lower than the preliminary figure by 0.2 percent. Males constitute 912,798 which is 48.6 percent of the total population, while females represent 963,835 or 51.4 percent. This is consistent with the overall sex composition of the population in the past censuses.

The age and sex distribution is graphically presented in the pyramid in Figure 1.1. It shows that in 2006, the age group 15-19 has the highest percentage share (12.4) of the total population. In 1996, it was age group 10-14 that had the highest percentage share (13) of the total population.

Intercensal Growth rate and Urbanization

The implied annual growth rate of the population during the intercensal period 1996-2006 is barely 0.08 percent. This represents a sharp decline in the intercensal annual growth of 1.5 percent recorded for the period 1986-1996. Detailed analysis of the dynamics of population change would unravel the drivers of the observed rapid decline in the population growth rate. The urban population in the 2006 census represents 22.8 percent of the total, compared with 16.9 percent in 1996. This translates to about 36 percent increase in the urban population during the intercensal period.

The percent distribution of the total population by district is reasonably consistent with the trend over time. About one in every five of the total population lives in Maseru while one in every twenty-seven lives in Qacha’s Nek. The four largest Districts of Maseru, Leribe, Berea and Mafeteng together hold about 62.2 percent of the total population, a slight increase from 61.8 percent in 1996.

The analytical report and the Statistical tables that will follow will provide more details on the census results.


Office of the Director
Bureau of Statistics
P.O. Box 445
Maseru 100, LESOTHO
Tel. (+266) 22 325349-Direct,  Tel. (+266) 22 323852-Ext. 210
Fax (+266) 22 310177