Cape Verde Population: 531,046


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The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; Cape Verde subsequently became a trading center for African slaves and later an important coaling and resupply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Following independence in 1975, and a tentative interest in unification with Guinea-Bissau, a one-party system was established and maintained until multi-party elections were held in 1990. Cape Verde continues to exhibit one of Africa's most stable democratic governments. Repeated droughts during the second half of the 20th century caused significant hardship and prompted heavy emigration. As a result, Cape Verde's expatriate population is greater than its domestic one. Most Cape Verdeans have both African and Portuguese antecedents.

Strategic location 500 km from west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site
Location: Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal
Geographic coordinates: 16 00 N, 24 00 W
Area: total: 4,033 sq km
land: 4,033 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Rhode Island
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 965 km
Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and erratic
Terrain: steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mt. Fogo 2,829 m (a volcano on Fogo Island)
Natural resources: salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, clay, gypsum
Land use: arable land: 11.66%
permanent crops: 0.74%
other: 87.59% (2011)
Irrigated land: 34.76 sq km (2004)
Natural hazards: prolonged droughts; seasonal harmattan wind produces obscuring dust; volcanically and seismically active volcanism: Fogo (elev. 2,829 m), which last erupted in 1995, is Cape Verde's only active volcano
Current Environment Issues: soil erosion; deforestation due to demand for wood used as fuel; water shortages; desertification; environmental damage has threatened several species of birds and reptiles; illegal beach sand extraction; overfishing
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Cape Verdean(s)
adjective: Cape Verdean
Ethnic groups: Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%
Languages: Portuguese (official), Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
Religions: Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs), Protestant (mostly Church of the Nazarene)
Population: 531,046 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 31.2% (male 83,355/female 82,503)
15-24 years: 21.8% (male 57,825/female 57,842)
25-54 years: 37.3% (male 95,970/female 102,217)
55-64 years: 4.5% (male 9,766/female 13,910)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 10,416/female 17,242) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 53.5 %
youth dependency ratio: 45.3 %
elderly dependency ratio: 8.2 %
potential support ratio: 12.2 (2013)
Median age: total: 23.5 years
male: 22.7 years
female: 24.4 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.41% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 20.96 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 6.22 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 62.6% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.12% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: PRAIA (capital) 132,000 (2011)
Sex ratio: 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: 0.93 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.71 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.5 note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2005 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 79 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 25.13 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 28.78 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 21.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.28 years
male: 69.05 years
female: 73.58 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.39 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 61.3% (2005)
Health expenditures: 4.1% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 0.57 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Hospital bed density: 2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 90% of population
rural: 85% of population
total: 88% of population

urban: 10% of population
rural: 15% of population
total: 12% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 73% of population
rural: 43% of population
total: 61% of population

urban: 27% of population
rural: 57% of population
total: 39% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.04% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 775 (2001)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 225 (as of 2001)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 10% (2008)
Education expenditures: 5.6% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.9%
male: 89.7%
female: 80.3% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2011)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Cape Verde
conventional short form: Cape Verde
local long form: Republica de Cabo Verde
local short form: Cabo Verde
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Praia
geographic coordinates: 14 55 N, 23 31 W
time difference: UTC-1 (4 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 22 municipalities (concelhos, singular - concelho); Boa Vista, Brava, Maio, Mosteiros, Paul, Porto Novo, Praia, Ribeira Brava, Ribeira Grande, Ribeira Grande de Santiago, Sal, Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina do Fogo, Santa Cruz, Sao Domingos, Sao Filipe, Sao Lourenco dos Orgaos, Sao Miguel, Sao Salvador do Mundo, Sao Vicente, Tarrafal, Tarrafal de Sao Nicolau
Independence: 5 July 1975 (from Portugal)
National holiday: Independence Day, 5 July (1975)
Constitution: 25 September 1992; a major revision on 23 November 1995 substantially increased the powers of the president; a 1999 revision created the position of national ombudsman (Provedor de Justica)
Legal system: civil law system of Portugal
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Jorge Carlos FONSECA (since 9 September 2011)

head of government: Prime Minister Jose Maria Pereira NEVES (since 1 February 2001)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 August 2011 with a second round runoff on 21 August 2011; prime minister nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president

election results: percent of vote (second round) - Jorge Carlos FONSECA 53.4%, Manuel Inocencio SOUSA 46.6%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (72 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 6 February 2011 (next to be held by 2016)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAICV 38, MPD 32, UCID 2
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the chief justice and at least 5 judges) judge selection and term of office: judges appointments - 1 by the president of the republic, 1 elected by the National Assembly, and the remainder by the Supreme Council of Magistrates, a 9-member independent body presided over by the chief justice and includes the high judicial inspector, 2 presidential appointees, 3 elected by the National Assembly, and 2 by their court peers; chief justice appointed by the president of the republic from among peers of the Supreme Court and in consultation with the Supreme Council of the Magistrates; judge tenure NA

subordinate courts: first instance (municipal) courts; audit, military, and fiscal and customs courts
Political parties and leaders: African Party for Independence of Cape Verde or PAICV [Jose Maria Pereira NEVES, chairman] Democratic and Independent Cape Verdean Union or UCID [Antonio MONTEIRO] Democratic Christian Party or PDC [Manuel RODRIGUES] Democratic Renovation Party or PRD [Victor FIDALGO] Movement for Democracy or MPD [Carlos VEIGA] Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Dr. Eurico MONTEIRO] Party of Work and Solidarity or PTS [Anibal MEDINA] Social Democratic Party or PSD [Joao ALEM]
Political pressure groups and leaders: other: environmentalists; political pressure groups
National anthem: name: "Cantico da Liberdade" (Song of Freedom)
lyrics/music: Amilcar Spencer LOPES/Adalberto Higino Tavares SILVA

note: adopted 1996
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Maria De Fatima Lima Da VEIGA
chancery: 3415 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 965-6820
FAX: [1] (202) 965-1207
consulate(s) general: Boston
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Adrienne O'NEAL
embassy: Rua Abilio Macedo 6, Praia
mailing address: C. P. 201, Praia
telephone: [238] 2-60-89-00
FAX: [238] 2-61-13-55
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The economy is service-oriented with commerce, transport, tourism, and public services accounting for about three-fourths of GDP. This island economy suffers from a poor natural resource base, including serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought and poor soil for agriculture on several of the islands. Although about 40% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of food production in GDP is low. About 82% of food must be imported. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit financed by foreign aid and remittances from its large pool of emigrants; remittances supplement GDP by more than 20%. Despite the lack of resources, sound economic management has produced steadily improving incomes. Continued economic reforms are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy and mitigate high unemployment. Future prospects depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, the encouragement of tourism, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program. Cape Verde became a member of the WTO in July 2008.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.214 billion (2012 est.) $2.123 billion (2011 est.) $2.02 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $1.899 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.3% (2012 est.) 5% (2011 est.) 5.2% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,200 (2012 est.) $4,100 (2011 est.) $3,900 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 23.4% of GDP (2012 est.) 21.4% of GDP (2011 est.) 25% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 66.6%
government consumption: 18.9%
investment in fixed capital: 34.2%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 44%
imports of goods and services: -63.8% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 66.6%
government consumption: 18.9%
investment in fixed capital: 34.2%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 44%
imports of goods and services: -63.8% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: bananas, corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, coffee, peanuts; fish
Industries: food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments, salt mining, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate: 4% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 196,100 (2007)
Unemployment rate: 21% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: 30% (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 40.6% (2001)
Budget: revenues: $435.8 million
expenditures: $588.4 million (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 22.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 86.2% of GDP (2012 est.) 78.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5% (2012 est.) 4.5% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$257.9 million (2012 est.) -$287.8 million (2011 est.)
Exports: $184 million (2012 est.) $211 million (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: fuel, shoes, garments, fish, hides
Exports - partners: Spain 66.6%, Portugal 13.9%, US 5% (2012)
Imports: $902 million (2012 est.) $1.06 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, industrial products, transport equipment, fuels
Imports - partners: Portugal 38%, Netherlands 21.4%, China 7.9%, Spain 7% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $376 million (31 December 2012 est.) $339 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $1.136 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $1.025 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Exchange rates: Cape Verdean escudos (CVE) per US dollar - 85.822 (2012 est.) 79.323 (2011 est.) 83.259 (2010 est.) 79.38 (2009) 73.84 (2008)
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Electricity - production: 277 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 173
Electricity - consumption: 257.6 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 89,800 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 96.9% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 3.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 2,608 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,407 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 271,400 Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 74,500 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 155
Cellular Phones in use: 396,400 (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: effective system, extensive modernization from 1996-2000 following partial privatization in 1995

domestic: major service provider is Cabo Verde Telecom (CVT); fiber-optic ring, completed in 2001, links all islands providing Internet access and ISDN services; cellular service introduced in 1998; broadband services launched in 2004

international: country code - 238; landing point for the Atlantis-2 fiber-optic transatlantic telephone cable that provides links to South America, Senegal, and Europe; HF radiotelephone to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
Broadcast media: state-run TV and radio broadcast network plus a growing number of private broadcasters; Portuguese public TV and radio services for Africa are available; transmissions of a few international broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code: .cv
Internet hosts: 38 (2012)
Internet users: 150,000 (2009)
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Airports: 9 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 157
Airports (paved runways): total 9
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Roadways: total 1,350 km
paved: 932 km
unpaved: 418 km (2000)
Merchant marine: total 13

by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 2, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 1

foreign-owned: 3 (Greece 1, Spain 1, UK 1)

registered in other countries: 1 (unknown 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Porto Grande
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Military branches: Armed Forces: Army (also called the National Guard, GN), Cape Verde Coast Guard (Guardia Costeira de Cabo Verde, GCCV; includes naval infantry) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18-35 years of age for male and female selective compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years; 17 years of age for voluntary service (with parental consent) (2013)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 132,087
females age 16-49: 136,956 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 106,864
females age 16-49: 117,518 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 6,029
female: 6,026 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 0.4% of GDP (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Illicit drugs: used as a transshipment point for Latin American cocaine destined for Western Europe, particularly because of Lusophone links to Brazil, Portugal, and Guinea-Bissau; has taken steps to deter drug money laundering, including a 2002 anti-money laundering reform that criminalizes laundering the proceeds of narcotics trafficking and other crimes and the establishment in 2008 of a Financial Intelligence Unit (2008)
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