- Porto-Novo; 238,000
- 112,622 square kilometers (43,484 square miles)
- French, Fon, Yoruba, tribal langauges
- Indigenous beliefs, Christian, Muslim
- CFA franc
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $1,100
- Literacy Percent:
Benin Facts Flag
Countless slaves were shipped to the New World from this West African state during the 18th and 19th centuries. After independence from France in 1960, the country—then called Dahomey—was plagued by many coups; in 1975 a Marxist military government renamed the nation Benin. About 42 African ethnic groups live in Benin, with most people living in the south. In 1989 the government renounced Marxism—since then it has held numerous free elections. The agricultural economy is based largely on cotton.
- Industry: Textiles, food processing, chemical production, construction materials
- Agriculture: Cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams; livestock
- Exports: Cotton, crude oil, palm products, cacao
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
The Niger Delta holds some of the world's richest oil deposits, yet Nigerians living there are poorer than ever, and violence is rampant.
See the results of our latest geotourism survey featuring 99 new destinations.
Whether you trace it to New York's South Bronx or the villages of West Africa, hip-hop has become the voice of a generation.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Browse all the submissions and check back for the winning images.