The population of Cameroon in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 16,018,000, which placed it as number 59 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 43% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 99 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 1.83%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 18,860,000. The population density in 2002 was 34 per sq km (88 per sq mi).
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 49% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Yaounde, had a population of 1,378,000 in that year. Douala had a metropolitan population of 1,672,000. Other cities include Garoua (142,000), Maroua (123,000), and Bafoussam (113,000). According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 4.0%.
The prevalence of AIDS/HIV has had a significant impact on the population of Cameroon. The United Nations estimated that 11.8% 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.