As nation reconciles with itself, a successful transition helps Rwanda recover from past wounds
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Population: 8 million. The most recent government estimates put the population of the tiny country at 8.2 million.Rwanda says it has began its first census since the genocide in 1994, which killed an estimated 800,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands more to flee.Government officials say the census is aimed at establishing an accurate figure for its rapidly-growing population to help efforts to fight poverty. The census will run from 16-30 August. Up to 2.5 million people are estimated to have returned to Rwanda since the genocide.

The last census was conducted in 1991 and showed the population had grown to 7.15 million, from 4.7 million when the first census was carried out in 1978. The urban concentrations are grouped around administrative centers. The indigenous population consists of three ethnic groups.
The Hutus, who comprise the majority of the population (85%), are farmers of Bantu origin. The Tutsis (14%) are a pastoral people who arrived in the area in the 15th century. Until 1959, they formed the dominant caste under a feudal system based on cattle holding. The Twa (1%) are thought to be the remnants of the earliest settlers of the region.

Annual growth rate: More than 3%.
Religions: Christian 93.5%, traditional African 0.1%, Muslim 4.6%, 1.7% claim no religious beliefs.
Languages: French, English, and Kinyarwanda.
Education: Years compulsory--6. Attendance--75% (pre-war). Literacy--64%.Over half of the adult population is literate, but not more than 5% have received secondary education. During 1994-95, most primary schools and more than half of pre-war secondary schools reopened. The national university in Butare reopened in April 1995; enrolment is over 7,000. Rebuilding the educational system continues to be a high priority of the Rwandan Government.
Health: Infant mortality rate--107/1,000. Life expectancy--40 yrs.
Work force: Agriculture--92%; industry and commerce, services, and government--8%.

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