Republic of the Congo Population: 4,852,412


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Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.

About 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
Location: Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Geographic coordinates: 1 00 S, 15 00 E
Area: total: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Montana
Land Boundaries: total: 5,008 km border countries (5): Angola 231 km, Cameroon 494 km, Central African Republic 487 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Gabon 2,567 km
Coastline: 169 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Terrain: coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 31.1% arable land 1.6%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 29.3% forest: 65.6%
other: 3.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: seasonal flooding
Current Environment Issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups: Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
Languages: French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
Religions: Roman Catholic 33.1%, Awakening Churches/Christian Revival 22.3%, Protestant 19.9%, Salutiste 2.2%, Muslim 1.6%, Kimbanguiste 1.5%, other 8.1%, none 11.3% (2010 est.)
Population: 4,852,412 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: 41.53% (male 1,016,677/female 998,331)
15-24 years: 17.26% (male 419,248/female 418,397)
25-54 years: 34% (male 831,091/female 818,853)
55-64 years: 4.18% (male 101,118/female 101,879)
65 years and over: 3.03% (male 64,519/female 82,299) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 86.2%
youth dependency ratio: 79.4%
elderly dependency ratio: 6.8%
potential support ratio: 14.7% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 19.7 years
male: 19.6 years
female: 19.9 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.06% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 35.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 9.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -4.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 65.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.22% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: BRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.888 million; Pointe-Noire 969,000 (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.8 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011/12 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 442 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 56.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 61.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 59.3 years male: 58.1 years
female: 60.6 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.63 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 44.7% (2011/12)
Health expenditures: 5.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 95.8% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 76.5% of population

urban: 4.2% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 20% of population
rural: 5.6% of population
total: 15% of population

urban: 80% of population
rural: 94.4% of population
total: 85% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.75% (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 80,700 (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 4,400 (2014 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 9.7% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 12.3% (2015)
Education expenditures: 6.2% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.3%
male: 86.4%
female: 72.9% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2012)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: Congo
former: French Congo, Middle Congo, People's Republic of the Congo, Congo/Brazzaville
etymology: named for the Congo River, which makes up much of the country's eastern border; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning "hunters"
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 12 departments (departments, singular - department); Bouenza, Brazzaville, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire, Pool, Sangha
Independence: 15 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
Constitution: previous 1992; latest approved by referendum 20 January 2002; amended 2015; note - the constitutional referendum approved in October 2015 changed the head of government from the president to the prime minister, eliminated the presidential age maximum, reduced the presidential term from 7 to 5 years and limited total presidential terms to 3 (2017)
Legal system: mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997)

head of government: Prime Minister Clement MOUAMBA (since 23 April 2016); note - a constitutional referendum held in 2015 approved the change of the head of government from the president to the prime minister

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 additional terms); election last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)

election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (PCT) 60.4%, Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS (MCDDI) 15.1%, Jean-Marie MOKOKO (independent) 13.9%, Pascal Tsaty MABIALA (UPADS) 4.4%, other 6.2%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate (72 seats; members indirectly elected by regional councils by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-half of membership renewed every three years) and the National Assembly (139 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 12 October 2014 for 36 of the expiry seats (next to be held in 2020); National Assembly - last held on 15 July and 5 August 2012 (next to be held in July 2017)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RMP 33, FDU 23, UPADS 2, other 7, independent 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 89, MCDDI 7, UPADS 7, RDPS 5, MAR 4, RC 3, MUST 2, UPDP 2, CPR 1, PRL 1, PUR 1, UFD 1, UR 1, independent 12, vacant 3
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); note - a High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by Parliament and serve until age 65; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president of the republic - 3 directly by the president and 6 nominated by Parliament; members appointed for renewable 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: Court of Audit and Budgetary Discipline; courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts;
Political parties and leaders: Action Movement for Renewal or MAR [Roland BOUITI-VIAUDO] Citizen's Rally or RC Congolese Labour Party or PCT [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO] Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS] Movement for Unity, Solidarity, and Work or MUST [Claudine MUNARI] Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Pascal Tsaty MABIALA] Party for the Unity of the Republic or PUR Patriotic Union for Democracy and Progress or UPDP [Auguste-Celestin GONGARD NKOUA Prospects and Realities Club or CPR Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Bernard BATCHI] Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP Republican and Liberal Party or PRL Union for the Republic or UR Union of Democratic Forces Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR United Democratic Forces or FDU [Sebastian EBAO]; many smaller parties
Political pressure groups and leaders: Congolese Trade Union Congress or CSC General Union of Congolese Pupils and Students or UGEEC Revolutionary Union of Congolese Women or URFC Union of Congolese Socialist Youth or UJSC
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): lion, elephant; national colors: green, yellow, red
National anthem: name: "La Congolaise" (The Congolese)
lyrics/music: Jacques TONDRA and Georges KIBANGHI/Jean ROYER and Joseph SPADILIERE

note: originally adopted 1959, restored 1991
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI (since 31 July 2001)
chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Stephanie S. SULLIVAN (since 12 August 2013)
embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville
mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 06 612-2000
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The economy is a mixture of subsistence farming and hunting, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF, including the recently concluded Article IV consultations. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The recent drop in oil prices has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending. However, the government increased infrastructure spending for the September 2015 All-Africa Games and also ahead of the March 2016 presidential election, putting further pressure on the budget. Officially the country became a net external creditor as of 2011, with external debt representing only about 16% of GDP and debt servicing less than 3% of government revenue.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $30.27 billion (2016 est.) $29.75 billion (2015 est.) $29.08 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $8.834 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.7% (2016 est.) 2.3% (2015 est.) 6.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,800 (2016 est.) $6,800 (2015 est.) $6,800 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 22.1% of GDP (2016 est.) 12.4% of GDP (2015 est.) 38.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 50%
government consumption: 10.5%
investment in fixed capital: 48.7%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 44.5%
imports of goods and services: -53.9% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 50%
government consumption: 10.5%
investment in fixed capital: 48.7%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 44.5%
imports of goods and services: -53.9% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: cassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Industries: petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 1.807 million (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate: 53% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line: 46.5% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
Budget: revenues: $3.562 billion
expenditures: $4.233 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 40.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 49.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 48% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2016 est.) 2.6% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$728 million (2016 est.) -$1.861 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $4.777 billion (2016 est.) $5.231 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners: China 42.1%, Italy 16.9%, US 4.9%, India 4.7%, Portugal 4.2% (2015)
Imports: $3.447 billion (2016 est.) $3.934 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: China 20.3%, France 14.2%, South Korea 9.8%, US 4.9%, UK 4.4%, Italy 4.1%, India 4.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.989 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $2.244 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $4.817 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $4.324 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 589.4 (2016 est.) 591.45 (2015 est.) 591.45 (2014 est.) 494.42 (2013 est.) 510.53 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 1.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 900 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 22 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 18 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 500,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 12.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 87.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 269,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 252,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 18,550 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 16,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 5,426 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,615 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 1.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 1.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 39 million cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 6.5 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 5.216 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable with services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order

domestic: fixed-line infrastructure inadequate, providing less than 1 connection per 100 persons; in the absence of an adequate fixed-line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged to 110 per 100 persons

international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media: 1 state-owned TV and 3 state-owned radio stations; several privately owned TV and radio stations; satellite TV service is available; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code: .cg
Internet users: total: 362,000 percent of population: 7.6% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 27 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 19

1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 232 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 982 km (2013)
Railways: total 510 km

narrow gauge: 510 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 17,000 km
paved: 1,212 km
unpaved: 15,788 km (2006)
Waterways: 1,120 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui Rivers above Brazzaville; there are many ferries across the river to Kinshasa; the Congo south of Brazzaville-Kinshasa to the coast is not navigable because of rapids, necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
Merchant marine:

registered in other countries: 1 (Democratic Republic of the Congo 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo); Impfondo (Oubangi); Ouesso (Sangha); Oyo (Alima) oil terminal(s): Djeno
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Military branches: Congolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise); Gendarmerie; Special Presidential Security Guard (GSSP) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in the Armed Forces (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is undefined except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 8,549 (Rwanda) (2015); 29,304 (Central African Republic); 12,223 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2016) IDPs: 7,800 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2015)
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