Lesotho Population

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Lesotho is 1,969,334, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 1,969,334
Population growth rate 0.16%
Birth rate 24.60 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 52.30 years
Men 52.20 years
Women 52.39 years
Age structure
0-14 years 31.84%
15-64 years 62.63%
65 years and above 5.53%
Median age 23.80 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.97
Population density 64.88 residents per km²
Urbanization 17.90%
99.7% Sotho (Basotho)
Christians 80%, indigenous religions 20%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.518
HDI ranking 164th out of 194

People in Lesotho

Almost two million people live in Lesotho. The Basotho make up almost the entire population of Lesotho. Most of the country, namely three quarters, cannot be inhabited at all due to the altitude.

Most people live in the capital, Maseru, although there aren’t many cities in Lesotho. Other larger cities are Teyateyaneng and Mafeteng. Around 50,000 or 20,000 people live here.

A low life expectancy

25 out of 100 people in Lesotho have contracted the HI virus, so the population growth is very low. Many people die even though they have not yet reached the age of 35. Children in particular suffer from this (see also children). Average life expectancy is only 53 years.

Languages in Lesotho

The Basotho language is called Sesotho. Sesotho belongs to the Bantu languages. Bantu peoples moved south from East Africa in the 16th century, bringing their language with them. They adopted the click sounds from the San who lived here, which are now also typical of Sesotho.

English is also spoken a lot. Both languages ​​are used in administration. Incidentally, “Lesotho” means “land of the Sotho-speaking people”.

Religions in Lesotho

The people in Lesotho still live very traditionally. At the top is a king, followed by the chiefs and chieftains. Although there are democratic elections in Lesotho, these people still have great power and influence over the people of the country. Most people, namely 90 out of 100, are Christians, but there are also residents who feel committed to their old beliefs or to the natural religions. They worship their ancestors and make offerings to keep them healthy and happy in life.

Lesotho Overview

Lesotho, a landlocked country located within the rugged terrain of southern Africa, is renowned for its stunning mountainous landscapes and traditional Basotho culture. Its rugged terrain makes it the only country in the world entirely above 1,000 meters in elevation, earning it the title of “Kingdom in the Sky.” The iconic Sani Pass, winding through the Drakensberg Mountains, offers breathtaking views and thrilling adventures for visitors. Lesotho’s traditional rondavel huts, colorful blankets, and vibrant festivals showcase its rich cultural heritage, while its friendly people welcome visitors with warmth and hospitality.

  • Capital City: Maseru
  • Population: Approximately 2.2 million
  • Area: 30,355 square kilometers
  • Full Country Name: Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Currency: Lesotho Loti (LSL) and South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Language: Sesotho, English
  • ISO Country Codes: LS, LSO

Bordering Countries of Lesotho

Lesotho is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered by South Africa to the west, east, and south. The shared border between Lesotho and South Africa is 1,126 miles long. Lesotho and South Africa have a long history of cooperation, with both countries being members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This has helped to foster economic ties between the two nations, with South Africa providing much needed infrastructure and investment into Lesotho.

Lesotho is surrounded by the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) to the northwest. This small nation shares a border of approximately 65 miles with Lesotho. Although there have been some tensions over water rights due to Eswatini’s dependence on Lesotho’s rivers for its own water supply, relations between the two countries are generally good. The two nations have signed several agreements in recent years aimed at increasing cooperation between them in areas such as trade and security.

To the northeast lies Mozambique which has a shared border of approximately 230 miles with Lesotho. While there has been some tension between the two countries due to their different political systems and ideologies, relations are generally good and Mozambique provides an important trading partner for Lesotho’s exports such as agricultural products. There have also been attempts at closer cooperation between them in areas such as health care and infrastructure development in recent years.


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