Angola's census shows population rises to 26 million

LUANDA (Reuters) - Angola's population has risen to nearly 26 million from earlier estimates of around 21 million, according to the results of a 2014 census released on Thursday. The capital Luanda has the highest number of residents at over 6.9 million, while the average age of the population is 20.6 years, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said in a report. The government says accurate population statistics will help it allocate funding for key sectors of the economy such as health, education, housing, social security and infrastructure. Angola is Africa's second biggest oil exporter and crude sales account for around 95 percent of its foreign exchange earnings. Its economy has been hit by a sharp decline in oil prices since mid-2014, forcing deep cuts in public spending. The census shows the literacy rate remains low, with only 13 percent of young people aged 18-24 years completing secondary education. The labor market accounted for 40 percent of Angola's people, the INE said. (Writing by Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing by Joe Brock)