Libya include population density, ethnicity, education
level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations
and other aspects of the Libyan population. No complete population or
vital statistics registration exists in Libya. Of the
over 6,000,000 Libyans that lived in
Libya prior to the Libyan Crisis,
more than a million were immigrants. The estimates in
this article are from the 2017 revision of the World Population
Prospects which was prepared by the Population Division of the
Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations
Secretariat, unless otherwise indicated.
Demographics of Libya, Data of FAO, year 2006; Number of inhabitants
in thousands. to see the latest information, please visit this
official site: http://www.gait.gov.ly/info/info2.htm
The Libyan population resides in the country of Libya, a territory
located on the
Mediterranean coast of North Africa, to the west of and
adjacent to Egypt. Most Libyans live in Tripoli. It is the capital of
the country and first in terms of urban population, as well as
Benghazi, Libya's second largest city.
2.1 Population census
3 Vital statistics
3.1 Births and deaths
3.2 Life expectancy at birth
CIA World Factbook
CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
4.1 Vital statistics
5 Ethnic and tribal groups
5.1 Ethnic groups
5.2 Tribal groups
5.3 Foreign population
9 See also
Main article: History of Libya
Cave art at the Germa Museum
Over the centuries,
Libya has been occupied by the Phoenicians,
Arabs and Egyptians. The
Phoenicians had a big
impact on Libya. Many of the coastal towns and cities of
founded by the
Phoenicians as trade outposts within the southern
Mediterranean coast in order to facilitate the Phoenician business
activities in the area. Starting in the 8th century BCE,
under the rule of the Phoenician Carthage.[clarification needed] After
the Romans defeated
Carthage in the Third Punic War,
Libya became a
Roman province under the name of
Tripolitania until the 7th century CE
Libya was conquered by the
Muslims as part of the Arab
conquest of North Africa. Centuries after that, the Ottoman Empire
Libya in 1551. It remained in control of its territory until
1911 when the country was conquered by Italy. In the 18th century
Libya was used as the base for various pirates.
Second World War
Second World War
Libya was one of the main battlegrounds of
North Africa. During the war, the territory was under an Anglo-French
military government until it was overrun by the Axis Powers, who, in
turn, were defeated by the Allies in 1943.
In 1951, the country was granted independence by the United Nations,
being governed by King Idris. In 1969, a military coup led by Muammar
Gaddafi resulted in the overthrow of
King Idris I. Gaddafi then
established an anti-Western dictatorship. In 1970, Gaddafi ordered all
British and American military bases closed.
The Libyan population has increased rapidly after 1969. They were only
523,176 humans in 1911, 2 million in 1968, and 5 million in
1969. That population growth was due in large part to
King Idris and Gaddafi granting citizenship to many Tunisians,
Egyptians and other immigrants. Many migrant workers
Libya since 1969. Among the workers were construction workers
and laborers from Tunisia, teachers and laborers from Egypt, teachers
from Palestine, and doctors and nurses from
Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.
1,000,000 workers, mainly from other neighboring African countries
like Sudan, Niger,
Chad and Mali, migrated to
Libya in the 1990s,
after changes were made to Libya's Pan-African policies.
Gaddafi used money from the sale of oil to improve the living
conditions of the population and to assist Palestinian guerrillas in
their fight against the Israelis. In 1979,
Libya fought in
assist the government of
Idi Amin in the Ugandan Civil War, and in
1981, fought in the Libyan-Chadian War.
Libya had occupied the Aozou
Strip; however, in 1990 the
International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice submitted
the case and allowed the full recuperation of territory to Chad.
In September 2008,
Libya signed a memorandum by which Italy
would pay $5 billion over the next 20 years to compensate
its dominion over
Libya for its reign of 30 years.
Since 2011, the country is swept by Libyan Civil War, which broke out
between the Anti-Gaddafi rebels and the Pro-Gaddafi government in
2011, culminating in the death and overthrow of Gaddafi. Nevertheless,
Libya still continues to generate problems within the area
and beyond, greatly affecting its population and the migrant route to
Population pyramid for
Libya in 2011
Libyan young men in Bayda. In 2010, about 30 % of the population
was under the age of 15.1.
Libya has a small population residing in a large land area. Population
density is about 50 persons per km² (130/sq. mi.) in the two northern
Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to less than one
person per km² (2.7/sq. mi.) elsewhere. Ninety percent of the people
live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. About
90% of the population is urban, mostly concentrated in the four
largest cities, Tripoli, Benghazi,
Misrata and Bayda. Thirty percent
of the population is estimated to be under the age of 15[citation
needed], but this proportion has decreased considerably during the
Total population (x 1000)
Population aged 0–14 (%)
Population aged 15–64 (%)
Population aged 65+ (%)
~ 3 000
~ 3 059
~ 2 700
~ 2 400
~ 1 600
Eight population censuses have been carried out in Libya, the first in
1931 and the most recent one in 2006. The population sixfolded
between 1931 and 2006.
Total population (thousands)
Average annual growth rate (%)
1964 (July 31)
1973 (July 31)
1984 (July 31)
1995 (August 11)
2006 (April 15)
During the past 60 years the demographic situation of
considerably. Since the 1950s, life expectancy increased steadily and
the infant mortality rates decreased. As the fertility rates remained
high until the 1980s (the number of births tripled between 1950–55
and 1980–85), population growth was very high for three decades.
However, after 1985 a fast decrease in fertility was observed from
over 7 children per woman in the beginning of the 1980s to less than 3
in 2005-2010. Because of this decrease in fertility
the population growth slowed down and also the proportion of Libyans
under the age of 15 decreased from 47% in 1985 to 30% in
Births and deaths
Births and deaths
Crude birth rate
Crude death rate
Rate of natural increase
Life expectancy at birth
1950-1955: 42.85 years
1955-1960: 45.4 years
1960-1965: 48.1 years
1965-1970: 50.5 years
1970-1975: 52.8 years
1975-1980: 56.45 years
1980-1985: 60.2 years
1985-1990: 63.5 years
1990-1995: 65.85 years
1995-2000: 67.2 years
2000-2005: 68.8 years
2005-2010: 69.9 years
CIA World Factbook
CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook,
unless otherwise indicated.
5,613,380 (July 2012 est.)
0-14 years: 27.7% (male 795,748/ female 759,806)
15-64 years: 68.4% (male 2,006,059/ female 1,834,119)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 111,144/ female 106,504) (2012 est.)
total: 24.8 years
male: 24.8 years
female: 24.7 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate
1.26% (2012 est.)
17.5 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
4.9 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate
3.71 children born/woman (2000 est.)
3.01 children born/woman (2010 est.)
2.12 children born/woman (2012 est.)
urban population: 78% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2012 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 77.83 years
male: 75.5 years
female: 80.27 years (2012 data)
Ethnic and tribal groups
Ethnic composition of the Libyan population in 1974 (CIA map)
Ethnic groups of
The population of
Libya is primarily of Berber ancestral origin
(>60%). Among the non-Arabized Berber groups are the nomadic
Tuareg, who inhabit the southern areas as well as parts of Algeria,
Niger and Burkina Faso. A few other tribal groups that still
speak the native
Berber languages are concentrated in the northwestern
portion of Tripolitania. In the southeast, there are small populations
of Toubou (Tibbu). They occupy between a quarter and a third of the
country and also inhabit
Niger and Chad. Among foreign residents, the
largest groups are from other African nations, including citizens of
other North African nations (primarily Egyptians) and West Africans.
Libyan society is to a large extent structured along tribal lines,
with more than 20 major tribal groups.
The major tribal groups of
Libya in 2011 were listed:
Tripolitania: Warfalla, Tarhona, Al-Zintan, Al-Rijban
Cyrenaica: Al-Awagir, Al-Abaydat, Drasa, Al-Barasa, Al-Fawakhir,
Sirte: Qadhadhfa, Al-Magarha, Al-Magharba, Al-Riyyah, Al-Haraba,
Fezzan: Al-Hutman, Al-Hassawna; Toubou, Tuareg
Kufra: Al-Zuwayya; Toubou
Some of the ancient Berber tribes include: Adyrmachidae, Auschisae,
Es'bet, Temeh’u, Teh’nu, Rebu, Kehek, KeyKesh, Imukehek, Meshwesh,
Macetae, Macatutae, Nasamones, Nitriotae, and Tautamaei.
As of 2012[update] the major tribal groups of Libya, by region, were
Tripolitania: alawana-Souk El Joma'a, AL-Mahameed, Warfalla, Tarhona,
Misurata tribes, Al-Jawary, Siyan Tribe, The Warshfana tribes, Zawia
Groups, Ghryan Tribes, AL-Asabea, Al-Fwatir, Awlad Busayf, Zintan,
Al-jbalya, Zwara, Alajelat, Al-Nawael tribe, Alalqa tribe, Al-Rijban,
al Mashashi, Amaym.
Cyrenaica: AJ-JWAZY, Al-Awagir, Magharba, Al-Abaydat, Drasa,
Al-Barasa, Al-Fawakhir, Zuwayya, Majabra, Awama, Minfa, Taraki,
alawana, Shwa'ir and in Kufra Zuwayya; Toubou.
Sirte: Awlad-Suleiman, Qadhadhfa, Magharba, Al-Hosoon, Ferrjan
Fezzan: Awlad Suleiman, Al-Riyyah, Magarha, Al-Zuwaid, Al-Hutman,
Al-Hassawna; Toubou, Tuareg.
Kufra: Zuwayya; Toubou.
Migrant workers from Subsaharan Africa.
Foreign population is estimated at 3%, mostly migrant workers in the
oil industry from
Tunisia and Egypt, but also including small numbers
of Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Turks, Indians
and people from former Yugoslavia. Due to the Libyan Civil War, most
of these migrant workers have returned to their homelands or simply
left the country for a different one.
However, according to news accounts in Allafrica.com, and the Libya
Herald, between 1 million and 2 million
Egyptians are resident in
Libya and Sudanese number in the hundreds of thousands. If this is
correct, the foreign population could be as high as 30% of the
country, as simultaneously at least two million Libyans have fled
since the NATO intervention of 2011, toppling the previous Libyan
Analysis of Y-chromosome have found three Y-chromosome lineages
(E1b1b-M81, J-M267 and E1b1b-M78) at high frequency in
Libya like in
other North African populations. Some studies suggest a Paleolithic
component for E-M81 and E-M78, while other studies point to a
Neolithic origin. E1b1b-M78 has probably emerged in the Egypt/Libya
area and is today widely distributed in North Africa, East Africa, and
West Asia. E1b1b-M81 show high frequencies in Northwestern
a high prevalence among
Berbers (it is sometimes referred to as a
genetic "Berber marker"). Its frequency declines towards
Egypt and the
Levant. On the other hand, E-M78 and E-M123 are frequent in the Levant
Egypt and decline towards Northwest Africa. Another common
paternal lineage in
North Africa is haplogroup J through its
subtypes J1 (M267) and J2 (M172). J1 is prevalent in all North African
and Levantine groups and found at high frequencies in the Arabian
Peninsula. It has been previously associated with the Islamic
expansion. J2 is sporadically detected in
North Africa and Iberia and
is very frequent in the Levant/Anatolia/
Iran region. Its spread in the
Mediterranean is believed to have been facilitated by the maritime
trading culture of the
Phoenicians (1550 BC- 300 BC). E-M2 is the
predominant lineage in Western Africa.
Listed here are the human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups in Libya.
Islam (Sunni; Official)
Almost all Libyans are
Sunni Muslim. Foreigners contribute very little
Christian presence, but there are some local
adherents in Eastern
Libya - the Copts. A small Jewish community
historically lived in
Libya since antiquity (see History of the Jews
in Libya), but the entire Jewish community in
Libya eventually fled
the country for Italy, Israel, or the United States, particularly
after anti-Jewish riots in the wake of the 1967
Six-Day War between
Arab countries and Israel.
Main article: Culture of Libya
Libyan cuisine is heavily influenced by Mediterranean, North African
(Berber cuisine) and the Middle Eastern (Egyptian cuisine) traditions.
Notable dishes include Shorba Arabiya, or Arabian soup, which is a
thick, highly spiced soup.
Bazeen is a traditional Libyan food,
made from a mix of barley flour and a small amount of plain flour.
Libyan origin instruments are the zokra (a bagpipe), a flute (made of
bamboo), the tambourine, the oud (a fretless lute) and the darbuka (a
goblet drum held sideways and played with the fingers). Bedouin
poet-singers had a great influence on the musical folklore of Libya,
particularly the style of huda, the camel driver's song.
Main article: Languages of Libya
The official language of
Libya is Standard Arabic, while the prevalent
spoken language is Libyan Arabic, Berber, is spoken by about 300,000
Libyans. The Arabic dialects are partly spoken by immigrant workers
and partly by local Libyan populations. These dialects include
Egyptian Arabic, Tunisian Arabic, Sudanese Arabic, Moroccan Arabic,
South Levantine Arabic
South Levantine Arabic and Hassaniyya Arabic.
Berber languages are primarily still spoken by the Tuareg, a rural
Berber population inhabiting Libya's south.
Indigenous minority languages in Libya:
Berber languages In Libya: ~300.000 speakers
Nafusi: 100.000 speakers
Tamahaq: 200.000 speakers
Ghadamès: 10.000 speakers
Sawknah: 20.000 speakers
Awjilah: ~100.000 speakers
Domari: ~20.000 speakers
Tripoli: ~50.000 speakers
Non-Arabic languages had largely been spoken by foreign workers (who
had been massively employed in
Libya in various infrastructure
projects prior to the 2011 civil war), and those languages with more
than 10,000 speakers included Punjabi, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese,
Korean, Sinhala, Bengal, Tamil, Tagalog, French, Italian, Ukrainian,
Serbian, and English.
Health in Libya
List of Ashraf tribes in Libya
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Demographics of Libya.
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CIA World Factbook
CIA World Factbook 2008
Demographics of Libya
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Order of Saint John
Libya under Gaddafi
State of Libya
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