Central African Republic Population: 5,507,257


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The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African Republic upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was established in 1993 but lasted only a decade. In March 2003, President Ange-Felix PATASSE was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Elections held in 2005 affirmed General BOZIZE as president; he was reelected in 2011 in voting widely viewed as flawed. The government still lacks full control of the countryside, where lawlessness persists. The militant group, Lord's Resistance Army, continues to destabilize southeastern Central African Republic, and several rebel groups joined together in early December 2012 to launch a series of attacks that left them in control of numerous towns in the northern and central parts of the country. The rebels - unhappy with BOZIZE's government - participated in peace talks in early January 2013 which resulted in a coalition government including the rebellion's leadership. In March 2013, the coalition government dissolved, rebels seized the capital, and President BOZIZE fled the country. Rebel leader Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency and the following month established a National Transitional Council (CNT). In January 2014, the CNT elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA as interim president. Elections completed in March 2016 installed independent candidate Faustin-Archange TOUADERA as president.

Landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa
Location: Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates: 7 00 N, 21 00 E
Area: total: 622,984 sq km
land: 622,984 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Texas
Land Boundaries: total: 5,920 km border countries (6): Cameroon 901 km, Chad 1,556 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 487 km, South Sudan 1,055 km, Sudan 174 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
Terrain: vast, flat to rolling plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 8.1% arable land 2.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 5.1% forest: 36.2%
other: 55.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 10 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
Current Environment Issues: tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
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Nationality: noun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African
Ethnic groups: Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
Languages: French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Religions: indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%

note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
Population: 5,507,257 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 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.27% (male 1,114,727/female 1,102,809)
15-24 years: 19.98% (male 553,264/female 547,308)
25-54 years: 32.24% (male 888,304/female 887,348)
55-64 years: 4.04% (male 101,306/female 120,964)
65 years and over: 3.47% (male 74,516/female 116,711) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 75.2%
youth dependency ratio: 68.4%
elderly dependency ratio: 6.8%
potential support ratio: 14.8% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 19.6 years
male: 19.3 years
female: 19.9 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.12% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 34.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 13.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 40% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: BANGUI (capital) 794,000 (2015)
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 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 882 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 88.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 95.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 80.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 52.3 years male: 51 years
female: 53.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.36 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 15.2% (2010/11)
Health expenditures: 4.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density: 1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 89.6% of population
rural: 54.4% of population
total: 68.5% of population

urban: 10.4% of population
rural: 45.6% of population
total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 43.6% of population
rural: 7.2% of population
total: 21.8% of population

urban: 56.4% of population
rural: 92.8% of population
total: 78.2% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 3.7% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 118,800 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 7,800 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 4.4% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 23.5% (2011)
Education expenditures: 1.2% of GDP (2011)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 36.8%
male: 50.7%
female: 24.4% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 7 years male: 8 years
female: 6 years (2012)
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Country name: conventional long form: Central African Republic
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republique Centrafricaine
local short form: none
former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire
abbreviation: CAR
etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the country's location on the continent; "Africa" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia "Africa terra," which meant "Land of the Afri" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Bangui
geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 14 prefectures (prefectures, singular - prefecture), 2 economic prefectures* (prefectures economiques, singular - prefecture economique), and 1 commune**; Bamingui-Bangoran, Bangui**, Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Kemo, Lobaye, Mambere-Kadei, Mbomou, Nana-Grebizi*, Nana-Mambere, Ombella-Mpoko, Ouaka, Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Sangha-Mbaere*, Vakaga
Independence: 13 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
Constitution: several previous; latest adopted by referendum in December 2015 (2016)
Legal system: civil law system based on the French model
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (since 30 March 2016)

head of government: Prime Minister Simplice SARANDJI (since 2 April 2016)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: under the new constitution, the president is elected by universal direct sufferage for a period of 5 years renewable for a second term; last election was held 20 February 2016 (next to be held April 2021)

election results: First round held on 30 December 2015, percent of vote - Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE (URCA) 23.7%, Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (independent) 19.1%, Desire KOLINGBA (RDC) 12.0%, Martin ZIGUELE (MLPC) 11.4%, other 33.8%; second round held on 20 February 2016, percent of vote - Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (independent) 62.7%, Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE (URCA) 37.3%

note: rebel forces seized the capital in March 2013, forcing former President BOZIZE to flee the country; Interim President Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency, reinstated the prime minister, and established a National Transitional Council (CNT) in April 2013; the NTC elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA interim president in January 2014 to serve until February 2015 when new elections were to be held; her term was extended because instability delayed new elections and the transition did not take place until the end of March 2016
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (131 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held February 2016 and 31 March 2016 (next election to be held in 2021)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UNDP 13, URCA 13, RDC 10, MLPC 9, KNK 7, independents 56, other 23
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, at least 3 of whom are women) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judge appointments - 2 by the president, 1 by the speaker of the National Assembly, 2 elected by their peers, 2 are advocates elected by their peers, and 2 are law professors elected by their peers; judges serve 7-year non-renewable terms

subordinate courts: high courts; magistrates' courts
Political parties and leaders: Action Party for Development or PAD Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Clement BELIBANGA] Central African Democratic Rally or RDC [Desire Nzanga KOLINGBA] Movement for Democracy and Development or MDD [Louis PAPENIAH] Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [Martin ZIGUELE] National Convergence (also known as Kwa Na Kwa) or KNK [Francois BOZIZE] National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Amine MICHEL] New Alliance for Progress or NAP [Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH] Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE] Union for Central African Renewal or URCA [Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country) (suspended), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): elephant; national colors: blue, white, green, yellow, red
National anthem: name: "Le Renaissance" (The Renaissance)
lyrics/music: Barthelemy BOGANDA/Herbert PEPPER

note: adopted 1960; Barthelemy BOGANDA wrote the anthem's lyrics and was the first prime minister of the autonomous French territory
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Stanislas MOUSSA-KEMBE (since 24 August 2009)
chancery: 2704 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey HAWKINS (30 October 2015)
embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
mailing address: P.O. Box 924, Bangui
telephone: [236] 21 61 0200
FAX: [236] 21 61 4494 note: embassy operations suspended in December 2012; resumed limited operations on 15 Septermber 2014
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Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry and mining, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with about 60% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates more than half of GDP. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked geography, poor transportation system, largely unskilled work force, and legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs. Since 2009, the IMF has worked closely with the government to institute reforms that have resulted in some improvement in budget transparency, but other problems remain. The government's additional spending in the run-up to the 2011 election worsened CAR's fiscal situation. In 2012, the World Bank approved $125 million in funding for transport infrastructure and regional trade, focused on the route between CAR's capital and the port of Douala in Cameroon. After a two-year lag in donor support, the IMF's first review of CAR's extended credit facility for 2012-15 praised improvements in revenue collection but warned of weak management of spending. Kimberley Process participants partially lifted the ban on diamond exports from the country in 2015, but persistent insecurity will prevent GDP from recovering to its pre-2013 level.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.206 billion (2016 est.) $3.048 billion (2015 est.) $2.908 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $1.782 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.2% (2016 est.) 4.8% (2015 est.) 1% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $700 (2016 est.) $600 (2015 est.) $600 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 6.8% of GDP (2016 est.) 4.9% of GDP (2015 est.) 4.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 108.3%
government consumption: 9.1%
investment in fixed capital: 10.4%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 12.7%
imports of goods and services: -40.5% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 108.3%
government consumption: 9.1%
investment in fixed capital: 10.4%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 12.7%
imports of goods and services: -40.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Industries: gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 2.421 million (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate: 8% (2001 est.) note: 23% unemployment in the capital, Bangui
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 33% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 61.3 (1993)
Budget: revenues: $207.1 million
expenditures: $284.7 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 11.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.3% (2016 est.) 4.5% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$178 million (2016 est.) -$144 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $77 million (2016 est.) $70.5 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
Exports - partners: Norway 52.2%, China 14.1%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.3% (2015)
Imports: $375.3 million (2016 est.) $360.4 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners: Norway 39.6%, France 6.8%, US 4.6% (2015)
Debt - external: $686.9 million (31 December 2016 est.) $661.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 605.7 (2016 est.) 591.45 (2015 est.) 591.45 (2014 est.) 494.42 (2013 est.) 510.53 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 200 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 200 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 44,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 43.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 56.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 3,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,828 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 400,000 Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 982,000 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication

domestic: very limited telephone service with less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular service providers, cellular usage is increasing from a low base; most fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone servi

international: country code - 236; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media: government-owned network, Radiodiffusion Television Centrafricaine, provides domestic TV broadcasting; licenses for 2 private TV stations are pending; state-owned radio network is supplemented by a small number of privately owned broadcast stations as wel (2007)
Internet country code: .cf
Internet users: total: 246,000 percent of population: 4.6% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 39 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 37

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 19
under 914 m: 6 (2013)
Roadways: total 20,278 km
paved: 1,385 km
unpaved: 18,893 km (2010)
Waterways: 2,800 km (the primary navigable river is the Ubangi, which joins the River Congo; it was the traditional route for the export of products because it connected with the Congo-Ocean railway at Brazzaville; because of the warfare on both sides of the River Congo from 1997, importers and exporters preferred routes through Cameroon) (2011)
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Bangui (Oubangui); Nola (Sangha)
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Military branches: Central African Armed Forces (Forces Armees Centrafricaines, FACA): Ground Forces (includes Military Air Service), General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG), National Police (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for selective military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: periodic skirmishes persist over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 5,183 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2016) IDPs: 462,476 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2016)
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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