Fast Facts

Population:
3,999,000
Capital:
Brazzaville; 1,080,000
Area:
342,000 square kilometers (132,047 square miles)
Language:
French, Lingala, Monokutuba
Religion:
Christian, animist, Muslim
Currency:
CFA franc
Life Expectancy:
50
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $900
Literacy Percent:
84
Flag: Congo
Map: Congo

Astride the Equator in west central Africa, Congo has a small population that is concentrated in the country's southwest, with a virtually uninhabited jungle in the north. Most people live between Brazzaville, the capital, and Pointe-Noire, Congo's port city and focus for the oil industry. Since it achieved independence in 1960, political turmoil has hampered the country. After almost three decades of Marxist rule, Congo adopted a multiparty, democratic system in 1992. Conflict in the late 1990s derailed democracy, but a new constitution in 2002 brings the promise of stability.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap
  • Agriculture: Cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn; forest products
  • Exports: Petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cacao

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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