Republic of the Congo Population: 4,492,689

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 History
Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003, but the calm is tenuous and refugees continue to present a humanitarian crisis. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.

 Geography
About 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
Location: Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Geographic coordinates: 1 00 S, 15 00 E
Area: total: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Montana
Land Boundaries: total: 5,504 km
border countries: Angola 201 km, Cameroon 523 km, Central African Republic 467 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Gabon 1,903 km
Coastline: 169 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Terrain: coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
Natural resources: petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 1.46%
permanent crops: 0.18%
other: 98.36% (2011)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: seasonal flooding
Current Environment Issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 People
Nationality: noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups: Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
Languages: French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
Religions: Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%
Population: 4,492,689 (July 2013 est.) note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure: 0-14 years: 45.1% (male 1,020,784/female 1,006,148)
15-24 years: 20.6% (male 464,410/female 460,955)
25-54 years: 28.2% (male 636,447/female 628,629)
55-64 years: 3.4% (male 67,117/female 84,919)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 50,358/female 72,922) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 84.9 %
youth dependency ratio: 78.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 6.3 %
potential support ratio: 15.9 (2013)
Median age: total: 17.1 years
male: 16.9 years
female: 17.3 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.86% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 39.63 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 11.03 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 63.7% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.84% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: BRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.611 million (2011)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.8 (2005 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 560 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 72.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 77.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 55.6 years
male: 54.27 years
female: 56.96 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.49 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 44.7% (2011/12)
Health expenditures: 2.5% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
Hospital bed density: 1.6 beds/1,000 population (2005)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 95% of population
rural: 32% of population
total: 71% of population

unimproved:
urban: 5% of population
rural: 68% of population
total: 29% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 20% of population
rural: 15% of population
total: 18% of population

unimproved:
urban: 80% of population
rural: 85% of population
total: 82% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 3.4% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 77,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 5,100 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 4.7% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 11.8% (2005)
Education expenditures: 6.2% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2003)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: none
former: Middle Congo, Congo/Brazzaville, Congo
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 10 regions (regions, singular - region) and 2 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire*, Pool, Sangha
Independence: 15 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
Constitution: approved by referendum 20 January 2002
Legal system: mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997, following the civil war in which he toppled elected president Pascal LISSOUBA); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997); note - the position of prime minister was abolished in September 2009

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 July 2009 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso 78.6%, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia MBOUNGOU 7.5%, Nicephore Fylla de SAINT-EUDES 7%, other 6.9%
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (72 seats; members elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms) and the National Assembly (139 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 5 August 2008 (next to be held in July 2014); National Assembly - last held on 15 July and 5 August 2012 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RMP 33, FDU 23, UPADS 2, independents 7, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT (and allies) 117, UPADS 7, independents 12, vacant 3
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges) note - the High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic judge selection and term of office: judges elected by parliament and serve until retirement age

subordinate courts: courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts
Political parties and leaders: Action Movement for Renewal or MAR Congolese Labour Party or PCT Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Michel MAMPOUYA] Movement for Solidarity and Development or MSD Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Martin MBERI] Rally for Democracy and the Republic or RDR [Raymond Damasge NGOLLO] Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Jean-Pierre Thystere TCHICAYA, president] Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR United Democratic Forces or FDU [Sebastian EBAO] many smaller parties
Political pressure groups and leaders: Congolese Trade Union Congress or CSC General Union of Congolese Pupils and Students or UGEEC Revolutionary Union of Congolese Women or URFC Union of Congolese Socialist Youth or UJSC
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): lion; elephant
National anthem: name: "La Congolaise" (The Congolese)
lyrics/music: Jacques TONDRA and Georges KIBANGHI/Jean ROYER and Joseph SPADILIERE

note: originally adopted 1959, restored 1991
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI
chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher W. MURRAY
embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville;
mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 06 612-200
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 Economy
The economy is a mixture of subsistence hunting and agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, that may enter production as early as late 2013 may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF, including recently concluded Article IV consultations. Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, who returned to power when the war ended in October 1997, publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. Economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened the republic's budget deficit. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices during the global crisis reduced oil revenue by about 30%, but the subsequent recovery of oil prices boosted the economy's GDP from 2009-12. In March 2006, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) treatment for Congo, which received $1.9 billion in debt relief under the program in 2010. Congo also restructured old defaulted London Club debt in 2007, which effectively cancelled 80% of its private debt. Contracts with China have increased Congo's publicly held debt. Officially the country became a net external creditor as of 2011, with external debt representing less than 22% of GDP and debt servicing less than 3% of government revenue.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $19.41 billion (2012 est.) $18.69 billion (2011 est.) $18.08 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $13.69 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.8% (2012 est.) 3.4% (2011 est.) 8.8% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,700 (2012 est.) $4,700 (2011 est.) $4,700 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 59.9% of GDP (2012 est.) 61.3% of GDP (2011 est.) 48.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 22%
government consumption: 15.6%
investment in fixed capital: 51.9%
investment in inventories: 1%
exports of goods and services: 105.6%
imports of goods and services: -96.1% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 22%
government consumption: 15.6%
investment in fixed capital: 51.9%
investment in inventories: 1%
exports of goods and services: 105.6%
imports of goods and services: -96.1% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Industries: petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate: 4% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 2.89 million (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate: 53% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line: 46.5% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
Budget: revenues: $6.382 billion
expenditures: $5.927 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 46.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 18.4% of GDP (2012 est.) 17% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (2012 est.) 1.3% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: $1.277 billion (2012 est.) $1.85 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $12.14 billion (2012 est.) $11.63 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners: China 38.9%, US 12.9%, France 9.5%, Australia 8.8%, Netherlands 6.8%, Spain 5.3%, India 5.3% (2012)
Imports: $5.835 billion (2012 est.) $5.023 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: France 19.2%, China 13.3%, Brazil 9%, US 6.1%, India 5.7%, Italy 4.8%, Belgium 4.3% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $6.091 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $5.658 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $2.958 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $2.523 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 510.53 (2012 est.) 471.87 (2011 est.) 495.28 (2010 est.) 472.19 (2009) 447.81 (2008)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 559 million kWh (2012 est.) country comparison to the world: 159
Electricity - consumption: 588 million kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 470 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 559,000 kW (2012 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 51.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 48.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 298,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 290,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 10,460 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 10,710 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 5,146 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 5,326 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 946 million cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 930 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 39 million cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 6.518 million Mt (2010 est.)
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 14,200 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 196
Cellular Phones in use: 3.885 million (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable with services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order

domestic: fixed-line infrastructure inadequate providing less than 1 connection per 100 persons; in the absence of an adequate fixed line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged to 90 per 100 persons

international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
Broadcast media: 1 state-owned TV and 3 state-owned radio stations; several privately owned TV and radio stations; satellite TV service is available; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code: .cg
Internet hosts: 45 (2012)
Internet users: 245,200 (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 27 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 125
Airports (paved runways): total 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 19

1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 232 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 982 km (2013)
Railways: total 886 km

narrow gauge: 886 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Roadways: total 17,289 km
paved: 864 km
unpaved: 16,425 km (2004)
Waterways: 1,120 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui rivers above Brazzaville; there are many ferries across the river to Kinshasa; the Congo south of Brazzaville-Kinshasa to the coast is not navigable because of rapids, thereby necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
Merchant marine:

registered in other countries: 1 (Democratic Republic of the Congo 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo); Impfondo (Oubangi); Ouesso (Sangha); Oyo (Alima)
oil/gas terminal(s): Djeno
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 Military
Military branches: Congolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise); Gendarmerie; Special Presidential Security Guard (GSSP) (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; women can serve in the Armed Forces; no conscription (2012)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 928,664
females age 16-49: 914,265 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 577,944
females age 16-49: 566,587 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 50,000
female: 49,641 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.7% of GDP (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is undefined except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 8,404 (Rwanda); 89,424 (Democratic Republic of Congo) (2012) IDPs: 7,800 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2009)
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