The population of Tuvalu in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 11,000, which placed it as number 192 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 34% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 95 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is1.23%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 12,000. The population density is high, with 386 residents per sq km (1,000 per sq mi) in 2002.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 52% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The most populated island is Funafuti, the capital, with a 2002 population of 6,000. Only about 15% of the population lives on Vaitupu, followed by Niutao (11%), Nanumea (11%), Nukufetau, Nanumanga, Nui, Nukulaelae, and Niulakita (formerly uninhabited). According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 1.7%.