Burundi Social Condition Facts

Social conditions

Since a political crisis broke out in Burundi in 2015, community service has almost collapsed. In 2018, the government ordered the foreign aid organizations to leave the country. The following year, the World Bank stated that Burundi was one of the world’s three poorest countries, with three out of four residents living in poverty. The UN estimates that 15 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

The vast majority of Burundians depend on the family and the village for their security and livelihood. The social welfare system that still exists is only for the small part of the population who have a formal employment. Many children have to work to contribute to the family’s livelihood, usually in agriculture or informal jobs such as urban sales.

The civil war in the 1990s (see Modern history) led to drastically deteriorating living conditions for many Burundians. A rapid population increase, combined with the relocation of refugees after the war, has led to a severe shortage of arable land and as a result many land conflicts.

Burundi Social Condition Facts

The war went hard for health care. Often, the care facilities were deliberately shot by the Huturebel. There are still too few doctors, and those who work mainly work in Bujumbura. A number of serious illnesses are common, such as malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis. Malnutrition, lack of clean water and poor hygiene conditions are some of the causes of the spread of disease.

Maternal and child mortality is high. Six out of 100 children die before they reach the age of five. Half of all children are born in the home without access to midwives. Since 2006, children under five years and new mothers are entitled to free medical care, financed with foreign aid.

The situation is difficult for LGBTQ people. A law from 2009 makes sexual intercourse between people of the same sex criminal and punishable by imprisonment for up to two years.


Infant Mortality: 41 per 1000 births (2018)

Percentage of HIV infected: 1.0 percent (2018)

Proportion of HIV infected among young women

0.6 percent (2018)

Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.5 percent (2018)

Proportion of population with access to clean water: 55.9 percent (2015)

Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 45.8 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 8.2 percent (2015)

Public expenditure on health care per person: $ 18 (2016)

Proportion of women in parliament: 36 percent (2018)



Lifetime convictions for attack on city

Fourteen people are sentenced to life imprisonment for participating in an armed attack on a city in eastern Burundi in 2011.

Journalist is convicted of terrorist offenses

A radio journalist is convicted of terrorist crimes for visiting Tanzania to review information that a new rebel group was formed there. According to the opposition, the verdict against the journalist is another sign that the government wants to strangle the free media.


HRW: “Political violence escalates rapidly”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) raises alarm that political violence is escalating rapidly. According to the human rights organization, a political assassination was committed almost every week in 2011. Above all, the violence seems to affect members of the opposition party FNL. The government usually blames the murder of criminal leagues. HRW may not hold a press conference on the report in Burundi.