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Congo, Republic of the country facts

Republic of the Congo Africa Brazzaville 4,662,446 inhabitants 342,000 sq km 13.63 inhabitants/sq km Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) population evolution



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, but the calm is tenuous and refugees continue to present a humanitarian crisis. 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.



Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon

Geographic coordinates

1 00 S, 15 00 E

Area (sq km)

total: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly smaller than Montana

Land boundaries (km)

total: 5,008 km
border countries: Angola 231 km, Cameroon 494 km, Central African Republic 487 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Gabon 2,567 km

Coastline (km)

169 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 200 nm


tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator


coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m

Natural resources

petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower

Land use (%)

arable land: 1.46%
permanent crops: 0.18%
other: 98.36% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

20 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

832 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 0.05 cu km/yr (69%/26%/4%)
per capita: 13.99 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

seasonal flooding

Environment - current issues

air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation

Environment - international 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

Geography - note

about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them

People and Society


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.)


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: 41.1% (male 966,852/female 950,411)
15-24 years: 17.7% (male 411,263/female 413,594)
25-54 years: 34.2% (male 808,181/female 787,554)
55-64 years: 4% (male 90,795/female 94,837)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 60,400/female 78,559) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Congo, Republic of the

Median age (years)

total: 19.8 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

1.94% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

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

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

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

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

-7.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 63.7% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.84% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.611 million; Pointe-Noire 834,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

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

560 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

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

total: 59.34 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 64.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 54.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 58.52 years
male: 57.38 years
female: 59.7 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

4.73 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

2.5% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

1.6 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 95.7% of population
rural: 38.8% of population
total: 75.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 4.3% of population
rural: 61.2% of population
total: 24.7% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 19.6% of population
rural: 5.6% of population
total: 14.6% of population
unimproved: urban: 80.4% of population
rural: 94.4% of population
total: 85.4% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

2.8% (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

74,500 (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

5,200 (2012 est.)

Major infectious diseases

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

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

4.7% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

11.8% (2005)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

6.2% of GDP (2010)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)

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

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2012)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: none
former: Middle Congo, Congo/Brazzaville, Congo

Government type



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


15 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 15 August (1960)


previous 1992; latest approved by referendum 20 January 2002 (2002)

Legal system

mixed legal system of French 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 Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997, following the civil war in which he toppled elected president Pascal LISSOUBA); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997); note - the position of prime minister was abolished in September 2009
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 July 2009 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso 78.6%, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia MBOUNGOU 7.5%, Nicephore Fylla de SAINT-EUDES 7%, other 6.9%

Legislative branch

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (72 seats; members elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms) and the National Assembly (139 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 5 August 2008 (next to be held in July 2014); National Assembly - last held on 15 July and 5 August 2012 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RMP 33, FDU 23, UPADS 2, independents 7, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT (and allies) 117, UPADS 7, independents 12, vacant 3

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges)
note - the High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic
judge selection and term of office: judges elected by parliament and serve until retirement age
subordinate courts: courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts

Political parties and leaders

Action Movement for Renewal or MAR
Congolese Labour Party or PCT
Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Michel MAMPOUYA]
Movement for Solidarity and Development or MSD
Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Martin MBERI]
Rally for Democracy and the Republic or RDR [Raymond Damasge NGOLLO]
Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Jean-Pierre Thystere TCHICAYA, president]
Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP
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


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] 06 612-200

Flag description

divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is red; green symbolizes agriculture and forests, yellow the friendship and nobility of the people, red is unexplained but has been associated with the struggle for independence
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

National symbol(s)

lion; elephant

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


Economy - overview

The economy is a mixture of subsistence hunting and agriculture, 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, that 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 recently concluded Article IV consultations. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices during the global crisis reduced oil revenue by about 30%, but the subsequent recovery of oil prices boosted the economy's GDP from 2009-13. 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)

$20.26 billion (2013 est.)
$19.15 billion (2012 est.)
$18.44 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$14.25 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

5.8% (2013 est.)
3.8% (2012 est.)
3.4% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$4,800 (2013 est.)
$4,700 (2012 est.)
$4,600 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 73.9%
services: 22.9% (2013 est.)

Labor force

2.89 million (2011 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)


revenues: $6.608 billion
expenditures: $4.618 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

46.4% of GDP (2013 est.)

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

14% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

32.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
31.8% of GDP (2012 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

1.7% (2013 est.)
3.9% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

14.8% (31 December 2013 est.)
14.8% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$4.678 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.403 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$5.119 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.795 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$-1.053 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$-1.448 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares


Agriculture - products

cassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products


petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes

Industrial production growth rate (%)

2% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

$638.2 million (2013 est.)
$187.9 million (2012 est.)


$9.912 billion (2013 est.)
$10.53 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds

Exports - partners (%)

China 39%, US 13%, France 9.5%, Australia 8.8%, Netherlands 6.8%, Spain 5.3%, India 5.2% (2012)


$4.297 billion (2013 est.)
$4.45 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs

Imports - partners (%)

France 19.5%, China 13.5%, Brazil 9.1%, US 6.1%, India 5.8%, Italy 4.8%, Belgium 4.4% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$5.239 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.568 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$3.274 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.999 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
500.7 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
495.28 (2010 est.)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

559 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

588 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

495 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

559,000 kW (2012 est.)

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

51.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

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

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

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

48.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

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

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

291,900 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

290,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

13,820 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

10,710 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

4,288 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

4,156 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

946 million cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

930 million cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

39 million cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

6.858 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

14,900 (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

4.283 million (2012)

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 90 per 100 persons
international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

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


Internet hosts

45 (2012)

Internet users

245,200 (2009)



27 (2013)

Airports - with 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 - with unpaved runways

total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

gas 232 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 982 km (2013)

Railways (km)

total: 886 km
narrow gauge: 886 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)

Roadways (km)

total: 17,289 km
paved: 864 km
unpaved: 16,425 km (2004)

Waterways (km)

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, thereby 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/gas terminal(s): Djeno


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 (years of age)

18 years of age for voluntary military service; women can serve in the Armed Forces (2012)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 928,664
females age 16-49: 914,265 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 577,944
females age 16-49: 566,587 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 50,000
female: 49,641 (2010 est.)

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): 31,936 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 8,496 (Rwanda) (2013); 16,750 (Central African Republic) (2014)
IDPs: 7,800 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2009)

Largest cities of Congo, Republic of the

These are the 50 largest cities of Congo, Republic of the ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Brazzaville 1,115,773
2 Nkayi 70,945
3 Loubomo 70,734
4 Loandjili 26,387
5 Madingou 22,760
6 Mossendjo 21,555
7 Gamboma 20,877
8 Impfondo 20,859
9 Sibiti 19,089
10 Ou├ęsso 16,691
11 Owando 16,590
12 Kinkala 13,882
13 Djambala 9,650