The population of Botswana in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 1,785,000, which placed it as number 144 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 4% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 41% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 96 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 0.85%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 1,712,000. The population density in 2002 was 3 per sq km (7 per sq mi). Nearly 80% of the population lives on the better soils of the eastern strip of the country.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 50% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Gaborone, had a population of 254,000 in that year. Other cities and their populations are Mahalapye, 104,450; Serowe, 95,041; Tutume, 86,405; Bobonong, 55,060; Francistown, 52,725; Selebi-Phikwe, 49,542; Boteti, 32,711; and Lobatse, 26,841. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 2.2%.
The prevalence of AIDS/HIV has had a significant impact on the population of Botswana. The United Nations estimated that 38.5% of adults between the ages of 15–49 were living with HIV/AIDS in 2001. The AIDS epidemic causes higher death and infant mortality rates, and lowers life expectancy.