Fast Facts

Windhoek; 237,000
824,292 square kilometers (318,261 square miles)
English, Afrikaans, German, indigenous languages
Christian, indigenous beliefs
Namibian dollar, South African rand
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $6,900
Literacy Percent:
Flag: Namibia
Map: Namibia

Namibia is a large and sparsely populated country on Africa's southwest coast. The low population can be attributed to the country's harsh geography—the coastal Namib Desert, central semiarid mountains, and Kalahari Desert east of the mountains. About 87 percent of the residents are black, and 6 percent are white. During World War I, South Africa captured the area from Germany—ethnic Germans are still a sizable minority. Independence from South Africa was achieved in 1990. The multiparty, multiracial democracy inherits an economy based on mining (mostly diamonds), sheep and cattle ranching, and fishing.


  • Industry: Meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, mining (diamonds, lead, zinc)
  • Agriculture: Millet, sorghum, peanuts; livestock; fish
  • Exports: Diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead

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

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