Countryaah, Botswana is a sparsely populated country; In 2019, the
population density was 4 residents per km2.
However, due to the large climatic and ecological
variations, about 80 percent of the population is
concentrated in a belt in the eastern parts.
The proximity to South Africa has led to a strong labor
migration. Most of the immigrants are looking for work in
the South African mining industry. About 57 percent of the
population lives in cities (2015). The larger cities are
located in the eastern part of Botswana. In 2019, the
capital Gaborone had 274,400 residents and Francistown
For information on life expectancy and other demographic
statistics, see Country facts.
Botswana's savannah is populated by eight resident
groups: tswana (batswana), bamangwato, bakwena,
bakngwaketsi, bakgatla, barolong, bamalete and batlkokwa.
They speak Bantu languages belonging to the Nguni
languages and are culturally related to Sotho in South
Africa. The people groups belong to the Southeast Bantu
group and conduct large-scale livestock management alongside
arable farming (millet, sorghum, maize, beans, vegetables).
Together, they make up 79 percent of the country's
In addition, they also include Bantu-speaking farming
kalanga (60,000), closely related to the Shona in Zimbabwe.
In the country's southwestern parts, 40,000 kgalagadi live,
which they also speak a bantu language. Furthermore, once
there is a residual group of indigenous people san(former
Bushmen), who are nomadic hunters and collectors. There are
close to 55,000 san in the country. Nowadays San lives in
the capital Gaborone. The San population disintegrates into
a number of distinct groups with their own languages and
traditions. In addition to traditional industries such as
hunting and gathering, some are devoted to agriculture and
crafts. In the southern part of the country there are also a
small number, at most 2,000, of Khois-numbering nama who
provide livestock. The white population accounts for 3
percent of the population. There are also 9,000 South Asians
(Indians) in the country, and in recent years a rapidly
growing number of Zimbabweans have moved in.
The largest bantu group is tswana, which carries a sacred
kingdom and has incorporated other bantu groups.
Relationship is counted on the patriarch (patrilineal) and
is associated with clan systems and ancestral cult. The
sacred king is believed to be in contact with the ancestors
responsible for the fertility of the earth and man. He is
also the highest judge and is at the top of a hierarchical
ranking system, where clans and chieftains have their given,
inherited positions. The settlement is designed as large
family villages (kraals), where a fence for the animals
forms the center of a circle of round huts for the members
of the patrilineal large family. Often several such large
family villages are built close together, so that large
villages are formed, sometimes with up to 5,000 residents.
The main food is agricultural products, milk and the meat
you get from livestock, chickens and game. Cattle are
slaughtered only for important rituals, such as at weddings,
births, deaths, circumcisions and rain ceremonies. The
ritual life and the ancestral cult are of great
significance, even for the nominally Christian.
In Botswana, about 25 native languages are spoken, most
of which belong to the Khoisans, who, however, have a total
of only ten thousand speakers. Other languages, including
the majority language tswana (spoken by 70% of the
population), are bantu languages (zones K, S, M and R).
Official languages are tswana and english. Compare
In 1816, the first Christian missionaries, sent by the
London Missionary Society, came to Bechuanaland,
ie. today's Botswana. In 1966, Botswana became an
independent republic from the United Kingdom. The same year,
the Botswana Christian Council began its business and in
1977 an all-African Lutheran meeting was held in the
The Christian presence is thus evident and according to
current data (2010) 65% of the population is Christian,
while 33% are stated to confess to traditional indigenous
religion. The country has guaranteed religious freedom with
a low degree of state control over the religious
communities. However, all religious organizations must be
state-registered and today (2012) there are more than 1,000
church groups in Botswana.