Cameroon Population: 24,360,803


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French Cameroon became independent in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon. The following year the southern portion of neighboring British Cameroon voted to merge with the new country to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, a new constitution replaced the federation with a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon. The country has generally enjoyed stability, which has enabled the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of President Paul BIYA.

Sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa; throughout the country there are areas of thermal springs and indications of current or prior volcanic activity; Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in Sub-Saharan west Africa, is an active volcano
Location: Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates: 6 00 N, 12 00 E
Area: total: 475,440 sq km
land: 472,710 sq km
water: 2,730 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than California
Land Boundaries: total: 5,018 km border countries (6): Central African Republic 901 km, Chad 1,116 km, Republic of the Congo 494 km, Equatorial Guinea 183 km, Gabon 349 km, Nigeria 1,975 km
Coastline: 402 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate: varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
Terrain: diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 20.6% arable land 13.1%; permanent crops 3.3%; permanent pasture 4.2% forest: 41.7%
other: 37.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 290 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes volcanism: Mt. Cameroon (elev. 4,095 m), which last erupted in 2000, is the most frequently active volcano in West Africa; lakes in Oku volcanic field have released fatal levels of gas on occasion, killing some 1,700 people in 1986
Current Environment Issues: waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian
Ethnic groups: Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%
Languages: 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Religions: Catholic 38.4%, Protestant 26.3%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 20.9%, animist 5.6%, other 1%, non-believer 3.2% (2005 est.)
Population: 24,360,803 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: 42.6% (male 5,228,047/female 5,149,228)
15-24 years: 19.55% (male 2,393,598/female 2,368,557)
25-54 years: 30.71% (male 3,762,054/female 3,718,266)
55-64 years: 3.97% (male 471,306/female 495,462)
65 years and over: 3.18% (male 360,386/female 413,899) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 84.3%
youth dependency ratio: 78.4%
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9%
potential support ratio: 16.9% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 18.5 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.58% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 35.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 9.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 54.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: YAOUNDE (capital) 3.066 million; Douala 2.943 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.7 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 596 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 52.2 deaths/1,000 live births male: 55.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 58.5 years male: 57.1 years
female: 59.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.7 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 23.4% (2011)
Health expenditures: 4.1% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density: 1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 94.8% of population
rural: 52.7% of population
total: 75.6% of population

urban: 5.2% of population
rural: 47.3% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 61.8% of population
rural: 26.8% of population
total: 45.8% of population

urban: 38.2% of population
rural: 73.2% of population
total: 54.2% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 4.46% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 619,200 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 33,100 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 9.6% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 14.8% (2014)
Education expenditures: 3% of GDP (2013)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 75%
male: 81.2%
female: 68.9% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 10 years male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2011)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 6.4% male: 5.3%
female: 7.5% (2010 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon
conventional short form: Cameroon
local long form: Republique du Cameroun/Republic of Cameroon
local short form: Cameroun/Cameroon
former: French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon
etymology: in the 15th century, Portuguese explorers named the area near the mouth of the Wouri River the Rio dos Camaroes (River of Prawns) after the abundant shrimp in the water; over time the designation became Cameroon in English; this is the only instance where a country is named afer a crustacean
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Yaounde
geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 10 regions (regions, singular - region); Adamaoua, Centre, East (Est), Far North (Extreme-Nord), Littoral, North (Nord), North-West (Nord-Ouest), West (Ouest), South (Sud), South-West (Sud-Ouest)
Independence: 1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: State Unification Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
Constitution: several previous; latest effective 18 January 1996; amended 2008 (2016)
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)

head of government: Prime Minister Philemon YANG (since 30 June 2009)

cabinet: Cabinet proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 9 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Paul BIYA reelected president; percent of vote - Paul BIYA (CPDM) 78.0%, John FRU NDI (SDF) 10.7%, Garga Haman ADJI 3.2%, other 8.1%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (100 seats; 70 members indirectly elected by regional councils and 30 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the 100-member Senate was formed at the time of the April 2013 election

elections: Senate last held on 14 April 2013 (next to be held in 2018); National Assembly last held on 30 September 2013 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 56, SDF 14; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CPDM 73.1%, SDF 17.6%, UNDP 6.1%, UDC 2.5%, other 0.7%; seats by party - CPDM 148, SDF 18, UNDP 5, UDC 4, UPC 3, other 2
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cameroon (consists of 9 titular and 6 surrogate judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and audit chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 11 members) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the advice of the Higher Judicial Council of Cameroon, a body chaired by the president and includes the minister of justice, selected magistrates, and representatives of the National Assembly; judge term NA; Constitutional Council members appointed by the president for single 9-year terms

subordinate courts: Parliamentary Court of Justice (jurisdiction limited to cases involving the president and prime minister); appellate and first instance courts; circuit and magistrate's courts
Political parties and leaders: Cameroon People's Democratic Movement or CPDM [Paul BIYA] Cameroon People's Party or CPP [Edith Kah WALLA] Cameroon Renaissance Movement or MRC [Maurice KAMTO] Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA] Movement for the Defense of the Republic or MDR [Dakole DAISSALA] Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO] National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA] Progressive Movement or MP [Jean-Jacques EKINDI] Social Democratic Front or SDF [John FRU NDI] Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Provisionary Management Bureau]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa or REDHAC [Maximilliene Ngo MBE] Tribunal 53 [Patrice NGANANG]
National symbol(s): lion; national colors: green, red, yellow
National anthem: name: "O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancetres" (O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers)
lyrics/music: Rene Djam AFAME, Samuel Minkio BAMBA, Moise Nyatte NKO'O [French], Benard Nsokika FONLON [English]/Rene Djam AFAME

note: adopted 1957; Cameroon's anthem, also known as "Chant de Ralliement" (The Rallying Song), has been used unofficially since 1948 and officially adopted in 1957; the anthem has French and English versions whose lyrics differ
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Essomba ETOUNDI (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; current temporary address - 3400 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael Stephen HOZA (since 19 September 2014)
embassy: Avenue Rosa Parks, Yaounde
mailing address: P.O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 22220 1500; Consular: [237] 22220 1603
FAX: [237] 22220 1500 Ext. 4531; Consular FAX: [237] 22220 1752 branch office(s): Douala
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Modest oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions provide Cameroon with one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Oil remains Cameroon’s main export commodity, and despite falling global oil prices, still accounts for nearly 40% of export earnings. Cameroon’s economy suffers from factors that often impact underdeveloped countries, such as stagnant per capita income, a relatively inequitable distribution of income, a top-heavy civil service, endemic corruption, continuing inefficiencies of a large parastatal system in key sectors, and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise. Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. The IMF continues to press for economic reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. The Government of Cameroon provides subsidies for electricity, food, and fuel that have strained the federal budget and diverted funds from education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects, especially in 2015, as low oil prices have led to lower revenues. Cameroon devotes significant resources to several large infrastructure projects currently under construction, including a deep sea port in Kribi and the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project. Cameroon’s energy sector continues to diversify, recently opening a natural gas powered electricity generating plant. Cameroon continues to seek foreign investment to improve its inadequate infrastructure, create jobs, and improve its economic footprint, but its unfavorable business environment remains a significant deterrent to foreign investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $77.24 billion (2016 est.) $73.7 billion (2015 est.) $69.66 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $30.87 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.8% (2016 est.) 5.8% (2015 est.) 5.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,300 (2016 est.) $3,200 (2015 est.) $3,100 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 17.7% of GDP (2016 est.) 17.6% of GDP (2015 est.) 18.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 76.8%
government consumption: 12.1%
investment in fixed capital: 22.7%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 20.3%
imports of goods and services: -32.1% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 76.8%
government consumption: 12.1%
investment in fixed capital: 22.7%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 20.3%
imports of goods and services: -32.1% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, cassava (manioc, tapioca); livestock; timber
Industries: petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate: 5.2% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 9.612 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: 30% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line: 48% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 44.6 (2001) 47.7 (1996)
Budget: revenues: $4.765 billion
expenditures: $6.497 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 15.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 31.1% of GDP (2016 est.) 28.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.4% (2016 est.) 2.7% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.297 billion (2016 est.) -$1.192 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $5.559 billion (2016 est.) $5.756 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports - partners: China 16.7%, India 15.7%, Spain 6.2%, Belgium 6.1%, France 6.1%, Portugal 5.6%, Netherlands 5%, Italy 5% (2015)
Imports: $6.63 billion (2016 est.) $6.5 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports - partners: China 27.9%, Nigeria 13.9%, France 10.9%, Belgium 4.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.416 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $2.714 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $7.375 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $6.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $230 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per 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: 6.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 6.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 1.1 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 28.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 71.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 95,960 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 50,830 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 37,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 200 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 51,670 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 43,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 14,590 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 4,134 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 469 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 469 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 135.1 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: 16.807 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 71 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: system includes cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter; Camtel, the monopoly provider of fixed-line service, provides connections for only about 4 per 100 persons; equipment is old and outdated, and connections with many parts of the count

domestic: mobile-cellular usage, in part a reflection of the poor condition and general inadequacy of the fixed-line network, has increased sharply, reaching a subscribership base of 70 per 100 persons

international: country code - 237; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media: government maintains tight control over broadcast media; state-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), broadcasting on both a TV and radio network, was the only officially recognized and fully licensed broadcaster until August 2007, when the government fi (2007)
Internet country code: .cm
Internet users: total: 4.909 million percent of population: 20.7% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 33 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 22

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 53 km; liquid petroleum gas 5 km; oil 1,107 km; water 35 km (2013)
Railways: total 987 km

narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge

note: railway connections generally efficient but limited; rail lines connect major cities of Douala, Yaounde, Ngaoundere, and Garoua; passenger and freight service provided by CAMRAIL (2014)
Roadways: total 51,350 km
paved: 4,108 km
unpaved: 47,242 km

note: there are 28,857 km of national roads (2011)
Waterways: (major rivers in the south, such as the Wouri and the Sanaga, are largely non-navigable; in the north, the Benue, which connects through Nigeria to the Niger River, is navigable in the rainy season only to the port of Garoua) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Douala (Wouri); Garoua (Benoue) oil terminal(s): Limboh Terminal
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Military branches: Cameroon Armed Forces (Forces Armees Camerounaises, FAC): Army (L'Armee de Terre), Navy (Marine Nationale Republique (MNR), includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC), Rapid Intervention Brigade, Fire Fighter Corps, Gendarmerie (2015)
Military service age and obligation: 18-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years; periodic government calls for volunteers (2012)
Military expenditures: 1.42% of GDP (2012) 1.37% of GDP (2011) 1.42% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Joint Border Commission with Nigeria reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately ceded sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a full phase-out of Nigerian control and patriation of residents in 2008; Cameroon and Nigeria agreed on maritime delimitation in March 2008; sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 259,145 (Central African Republic); 87,112 (Nigeria) (2017) IDPs: 198,889 (2016)
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