The population of Benin in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 6,736,000, which placed it as number 96 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 46% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 97 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 2.65%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 9,093,000. The population density in 2002 was 59 per sq km (152 per sq mi). Almost three-fourths of the population are clustered in the southern half of the country, where the density reaches more than 120 per sq km (290 per sq mi).
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 42% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001, up from 27% in 1980. The capital city, Porto-Novo, had a population of 213,000 in that year. Cotonou, the administrative and economic center and port, had a population of about 400,000. Other important towns are Abomey, Ouidah, and Parakou. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000– 2005 was 4.4%.