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Burundi country facts

Republic of Burundi Africa Bujumbura 10,395,931 inhabitants 27,830 sq km 373.55 inhabitants/sq km Burundi francs (BIF) population evolution



Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. More than 200,000 Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen years. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced or became refugees in neighboring countries. An internationally brokered power-sharing agreement between the Tutsi-dominated government and the Hutu rebels in 2003 paved the way for a transition process that led to an integrated defense force, established a new constitution in 2005, and elected a majority Hutu government in 2005. The government of President Pierre NKURUNZIZA, who was reelected in 2010, continues to face many political and economic challenges.



Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates

3 30 S, 30 00 E

Area (sq km)

total: 27,830 sq km
land: 25,680 sq km
water: 2,150 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries (km)

total: 1,140 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 236 km, Rwanda 315 km, Tanzania 589 km

Coastline (km)

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; two wet seasons (February to May and September to November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to January)


hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m
highest point: Heha 2,670 m

Natural resources

nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone

Land use (%)

arable land: 33.06%
permanent crops: 14.37%
other: 52.57% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

214.3 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

12.54 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 0.29 cu km/yr (15%/5%/79%)
per capita: 43.27 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

flooding; landslides; drought

Environment - current issues

soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat loss threatens wildlife populations

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note

landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile

People and Society


noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundian

Ethnic groups (%)

Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000

Languages (%)

Kirundi 29.7% (official), Kirundi and other language 9.1%, French (official) and French and other language 0.3%, Swahili and Swahili and other language 0.2% (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area), English and English and other language 0.06%, more than 2 languages 3.7%, unspecified 56.9% (2008 est.)

Religions (%)

Catholic 62.1%, Protestant 23.9% (includes Adventist 2.3% and other Protestant 21.6%), Muslim 2.5%, other 3.6%, unspecified 7.9% (2008 est.)


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 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 45.7% (male 2,385,571/female 2,361,367)
15-24 years: 19.3% (male 1,001,486/female 1,005,617)
25-54 years: 28.6% (male 1,483,936/female 1,491,401)
55-64 years: 3.9% (male 190,707/female 216,983)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 109,434/female 149,429) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Burundi

Median age (years)

total: 17 years
male: 16.7 years
female: 17.2 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

3.28% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

42.33 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

9.54 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 10.9% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 4.12% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BUJUMBURA (capital) 605,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

800 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 63.44 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 70.22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 56.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 59.55 years
male: 57.94 years
female: 61.22 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

6.14 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

8.7% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

0.03 physicians/1,000 population (2004)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

1.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 91.5% of population
rural: 73.2% of population
total: 75.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 8.5% of population
rural: 26.8% of population
total: 24.7% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 42.7% of population
rural: 48.1% of population
total: 47.5% of population
unimproved: urban: 57.3% of population
rural: 51.9% of population
total: 52.5% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

1.3% (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

89,500 (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

4,800 (2012 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

2.9% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

29.1% (2011)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

5.8% of GDP (2012)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.2%
male: 72.9%
female: 61.8% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2010)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Burundi
conventional short form: Burundi
local long form: Republique du Burundi/Republika y'u Burundi
local short form: Burundi
former: Urundi

Government type



name: Bujumbura
geographic coordinates: 3 22 S, 29 21 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

17 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi


1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 July (1962)


several previous; latest ratified by popular referendum 28 February 2005 (2012)

Legal system

mixed legal system of Belgian civil law and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA - Hutu (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Prosper BAZOMBAZA (since 13 February 2014); Second Vice President Gervais RUFYIKIRI - Hutu (since 29 August 2010); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA - Hutu (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Prosper BAZOMBAZA (since 13 February 2014); Second Vice President Gervais RUFYIKIRI - Hutu (since 29 August 2010)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president
elections: the president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 28 June 2010 (next to be held in 2015); vice presidents nominated by the president, endorsed by parliament
election results: Pierre NKURUNZIZA elected president by popular vote; Pierre NKURUNZIZA 91.6%, other 8.4%; note - opposition parties withdrew from the election due to alleged government interference in the electoral process

Legislative branch

bicameral Parliament or Parlement, consists of a Senate (54 seats; 34 members elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms, with remaining seats assigned to ethnic groups and former chiefs of state) and a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (minimum 100 seats, 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi with at least 30% being women; additional seats appointed by a National Independent Electoral Commission to ensure ethnic representation; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 23 July 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - TBD; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CNDD-FDD 81.2%, UPRONA 11.6%, FRODEBU 5.9%, others 1.3%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 81, UPRONA 17, FRODEBU 5, other 3

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 9 judges and organized into Judicial, administrative, and cassation chambers)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission, a 15-member independent body of judicial and legal profession officials); judges appointed by the president with the approval of the Senate; judge tenure NA
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; County Courts; Courts of Residence

Political parties and leaders

governing parties: Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Leonce NGENDAKUMANA]
National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Front for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD-FDD [Jeremie NGENDAKUMANA]
Union for National Progress (Union pour le Progress Nationale) or UPRONA [Bonaventure NIYOYANKANA]
note: a multiparty system introduced in 1998 includes:
National Council for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD [Leonard NYANGOMA]
National Resistance Movement for the Rehabilitation of the Citizen or MRC-Rurenzangemero [Epitace BANYAGANAKANDI]
Party for National Redress or PARENA [Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Forum for the Strengthening of Civil Society or FORSC [Pacifique NININAHAZWE] (civil society umbrella organization)
Observatoire de lutte contre la corruption et les malversations economiques or OLUCOME [Gabriel RUFYIRI] (anti-corruption pressure group)
other: Hutu and Tutsi militias (loosely organized)

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ernest NDABASHINZE (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: Suite 408, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574
FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Dawn M. LIBERI (since 10 July 2012)
embassy: Avenue des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura
mailing address: B. P. 1720, Bujumbura
telephone: [257] 22-207-000
FAX: [257] 22-222-926

Flag description

divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and fly side) with a white disk superimposed at the center bearing three red six-pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below); green symbolizes hope and optimism, white purity and peace, and red the blood shed in the struggle for independence; the three stars in the disk represent the three major ethnic groups: Hutu, Twa, Tutsi, as well as the three elements in the national motto: unity, work, progress

National symbol(s)


National anthem

name: "Burundi Bwacu" (Our Beloved Burundi)
lyrics/music: Jean-Baptiste NTAHOKAJA/Marc BARENGAYABO
note: adopted 1962


Economy - overview

Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly agricultural; agriculture accounts for just over 30% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings, though exports are a relatively small share of GDP. Burundi's export earnings - and its ability to pay for imports - rests primarily on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices. An ethnic-based war that lasted for over a decade resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000 refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally. Only one in two children go to school, and approximately one in 15 adults has HIV/AIDS. Food, medicine, and electricity remain in short supply. Less than 2% of the population has electricity in its homes. Burundi's GDP grew around 4% annually in 2006-13. Political stability and the end of the civil war have improved aid flows and economic activity has increased, but underlying weaknesses - a high poverty rate, poor education rates, a weak legal system, a poor transportation network, overburdened utilities, and low administrative capacity - risk undermining planned economic reforms. The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept up with inflation. Burundi will remain heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors - foreign aid represents 42% of Burundi's national income, the second highest rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Burundi joined the East African Community in 2009. Government corruption is hindering the development of a healthy private sector as companies seek to navigate an environment with ever changing rules.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$5.75 billion (2013 est.)
$5.504 billion (2012 est.)
$5.291 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2.676 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

4.5% (2013 est.)
4% (2012 est.)
4.2% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$600 (2013 est.)
$600 (2012 est.)
$600 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 34.4%
industry: 18.4%
services: 47.2% (2013 est.)

Labor force

4.245 million (2007)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 93.6%
industry: 2.3%
services: 4.1% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)


Population below poverty line (%)

68% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 28% (2006)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

42.4 (1998)


revenues: $766.9 million
expenditures: $855.8 million (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

28.7% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

-3.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

47.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
50.3% of GDP (2012 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

9.3% (2013 est.)
18% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

11.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
10% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

13.7% (31 December 2013 est.)
14.32% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$339.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$332.5 million (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$471.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$458.3 million (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$597.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$572.2 million (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares


Agriculture - products

coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, cassava (manioc, tapioca); beef, milk, hides


light consumer goods (blankets, shoes, soap, beer); assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing

Industrial production growth rate (%)

4.5% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$492.5 million (2013 est.)
-$432.1 million (2012 est.)


$122.8 million (2013 est.)
$134.7 million (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides

Exports - partners (%)

Switzerland 23.9%, UK 12.9%, Belgium 7.4%, Pakistan 7.4%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 7.4%, Uganda 5.6%, Germany 5.2%, China 4.9%, Egypt 4.7% (2012)


$867.2 million (2013 est.)
$886.2 million (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs

Imports - partners (%)

Saudi Arabia 11.3%, Belgium 10.1%, China 9.1%, India 7.9%, Tanzania 6.5%, Kenya 6%, Uganda 5.7%, Zambia 4.6%, US 4.1% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$314.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$308.8 million (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$677.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$641.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Burundi francs (BIF) per US dollar -
1,556.5 (2013 est.)
1,442.51 (2012 est.)
1,230.8 (2010 est.)
1,230.18 (2009)
1,198 (2008)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

152 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

221.4 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

80 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

52,000 kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

1.9% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

98.1% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

2,290 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

1,429 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

204,700 Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

17,400 (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

2.247 million (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: sparse system of open-wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relays
domestic: telephone density one of the lowest in the world; fixed-line connections stand at well less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage is increasing but remains at roughly 20 per 100 persons
international: country code - 257; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

state-controlled La Radiodiffusion et Television Nationale de Burundi (RTNB) operates the lone TV station and the only national radio network; about 10 privately owned radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available in Bujumbura (2007)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

229 (2012)

Internet users

157,800 (2009)



7 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2013)


1 (2012)

Roadways (km)

total: 12,322 km
paved: 1,286 km
unpaved: 11,036 km (2004)

Waterways (km)

(mainly on Lake Tanganyika between Bujumbura, Burundi's principal port, and lake ports in Tanzania, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) (2011)

Ports and terminals

lake port(s): Bujumbura (Lake Tanganyika)


Military branches

National Defense Forces (Forces de Defense Nationale, FDN): Army (includes maritime wing, Air Wing), National Gendarmerie (2013)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

18 years of age for voluntary military service; the armed forces law of 31 December 2004 did not specify a minimum age for enlistment, but the government claimed that no one younger than 18 was being recruited; mandatory retirement age 45 (enlisted), 50 (NCOs), and 55 (officers) (2012)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 2,182,327
females age 16-49: 2,202,125 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 1,398,769
females age 16-49: 1,481,417 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 117,956
female: 116,956 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

2.39% of GDP (2012)
NA% (2011)
2.39% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Burundi and Rwanda dispute two sq km (0.8 sq mi) of Sabanerwa, a farmed area in the Rukurazi Valley where the Akanyaru/Kanyaru River shifted its course southward after heavy rains in 1965; cross-border conflicts persist among Tutsi, Hutu, other ethnic groups, associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces in the Great Lakes region

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 45,124 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2013)
IDPs: up to 78,900 (the majority are ethnic Tutsi displaced by inter-communal violence that broke out after the 1993 coup and fighting between government forces and rebel groups; no new displacements since 2008 when the last rebel group laid down its arms) (2013)
stateless persons: 1,302 (2012)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Burundi is a source country for children and possibly women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; business people recruit Burundian girls for prostitution domestically, as well as in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and the Middle East, and recruit boys and girls for forced labor in Burundi and Tanzania; children and young adults are coerced into forced labor in farming, mining, construction, or informal commerce; some family members, friends, and neighbors are complicit in exploiting children, luring them in with offers of educational or job opportunities
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Burundi does not comply fully with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government fails to prosecute trafficking offenses vigorously or increase its capacity to protect victims; most victim assistance continues to be provided by NGOs without government support; the government also fails to complete its draft anti-trafficking legislation, which is intended to rectify gaps in existing laws; a nationwide awareness-raising campaign continues (2013)

Largest cities of Burundi

These are the 50 largest cities of Burundi ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Bujumbura 330,539
2 Muyinga 71,095
3 Ruyigi 38,459
4 Gitega 23,168
5 Ngozi 21,506
6 Rutana 20,894
7 Bururi 19,740
8 Makamba 19,642
9 Kayanza 19,443
10 Muramvya 18,039
11 Cibitoke 14,220
12 Bubanza 12,728
13 Karuzi 10,705
14 Cankuzo 6,585
15 Kirundo 6,084
16 Rumonge 6,074