Fast Facts

Population:
504,000
Capital:
Malabo; 95,000
Area:
28,051 square kilometers (10,831 square miles)
Language:
Spanish, French, pidgin English
Religion:
Roman Catholic, pagan practices
Currency:
CFA franc
Life Expectancy:
54
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $2,700
Literacy Percent:
86
Flag: Equatorial Guinea
Map: Equatorial Guinea

A small country on the west coast of central Africa, Equatorial Guinea comprises the mainland territory of Río Muni (where most people live) and five volcanic islands. The largest island is Bioko on which the country's capital, Malabo, is located. After independence from Spain in 1968, Equatorial Guinea fell under the rule of Francisco Macías Nguema, who plunged the nation into ruin. He was overthrown and executed in 1979. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo continues the dictatorship, and there is widespread civil unrest over flawed elections. New oil wealth masks stagnation in the rest of the economy and widespread poverty.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Petroleum, fishing, sawmilling, natural gas
  • Agriculture: Coffee, cocoa, rice, yams; livestock; timber
  • Exports: Petroleum, methanol, timber, cacao

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

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