Burundi Population: 11,844,520


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Burundi is a small country in Central-East Africa bordered by Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lake Tanganyika. Burundi gained its independence from Belgium in 1962 as the Kingdom of Burundi, but the monarchy was overthrown in 1966 and a republic established. Political violence and non-democratic transfers of power have marked much of its history; Burundi's first democratically elected president, a Hutu, was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office. The internationally brokered Arusha Agreement, signed in 2000, and subsequent ceasefire agreements with armed movements ended the 1993-2005 civil war. Burundi’s second democratic elections were held in 2005. Pierre NKURUNZIZA was elected president in 2005 and 2010, and again in a controversial election in 2015. Burundi continues to face many economic and political challenges.

    Landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile
Location: Central Africa, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, west of Tanzania
Geographic coordinates: 3 30 S, 30 00 E
Area: total: 27,830 sq km
land: 25,680 sq km
water: 2,150 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land Boundaries: total: 1,140 km border countries (3): Democratic Republic of the Congo 236 km, Rwanda 315 km, Tanzania 589 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: 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 Celsius 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)
Terrain: hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains
Natural resources: nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone
Land use: agricultural land: 73.3% (2011 est.) arable land: 38.9% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 15.6% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 18.8% (2011 est.) forest: 6.6% (2011 est.)
other: 20.1% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 230 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: flooding; landslides; drought
Current Environment 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
International Environment 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
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Nationality: noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundian
Ethnic groups: Hutu 85%, Tutsi 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
Languages: Kirundi 29.7% (official), Kirundi and other language 9.1%, French (official); French and other language 0.3%, Swahili; Swahili and other language 0.2% (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area), English (official); English and other language 0.06%, more than 2 languages 3.7%, unspecified 56.9% (2008 est.) note: data represent language read and written by people 10 years of age or older; spoken Kirundi is nearly universal
Religions: Roman 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.)
Population: 11,844,520 (July 2018 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
Age structure: 0-14 years: 45.52% (male 2,712,836 /female 2,678,223)
15-24 years: 19.21% (male 1,135,145 /female 1,139,717)
25-54 years: 28.7% (male 1,694,547 /female 1,704,369)
55-64 years: 3.89% (male 218,272 /female 242,855)
65 years and over: 2.69% (male 137,590 /female 180,966) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 89.6 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 84.8 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 4.7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 21.1 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 17.1 years
male: 16.8 years
female: 17.3 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.23% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 40.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 8.6 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 13% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 5.68% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 899,000 BUJUMBURA (capital) (2018)
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: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 21.3 years (2010 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 712 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 57.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 63.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 61.4 years male: 59.6 years
female: 63.2 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.93 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 28.5% (2016/17)
Physicians density: 0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density: 0.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 91.1% of population
rural: 73.8% of population
total: 75.9% of population

urban: 8.9% of population
rural: 26.2% of population
total: 24.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 43.8% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 48.6% of population (2015 est.)
total: 48% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 56.2% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 51.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 52% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.1% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 78,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,700 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 5.4% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 29.3% (2016)
Education expenditures: 4.3% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 85.6%
male: 88.2%
female: 83.1% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years male: 11 years female: 11 years (2017)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 2.9% male: 4.4% female: 2% (2014 est.)
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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, German East Africa, Ruanda-Urundi, Kingdom of Burundi
etymology: name derived from the pre-colonial Kingdom of Burundi (17th-19th century)
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Gitega (political capital), Bujumbura (commercial capital); note - in January 2019, the Burundian parliament voted to make Gitega the political capital of the country while Bujumbura would remain its economic capital; all branches of the government are expected to have moved from Bujumbura to Gitega by 2021
geographic coordinates: 3 25 S, 29 55 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology:  the naming origins for both Gitega and Bujumbura are obscure; Bujumbura's name prior to independence in 1962 was Usumbura
Administrative divisions: 18 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rumonge, Rutana, Ruyigi
Independence: 1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
National holiday: Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest ratified by referendum 28 February 2005 amendments: proposed by the president of the republic after consultation with the government or by absolute majority support of the membership in both houses of Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Senate membership and at least four-fifths majority vote by the National Assembly; the president can opt to submit amendment bills to a referendum; constitutional articles including those on national unity, the secularity of Burundi, its democratic form of government, and its sovereignty cannot be amended; amended 2018 (amendments extend the presidential term from 5 to 7 years, reintroduces the position of the prime minister, and reduces the number of vice presidents from 2 to 1) (2019)
Legal system: mixed legal system of Belgian civil law and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Gaston SINDIMWO (since 20 August 2015); Second Vice President Joseph BUTORE (since 20 August 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Gaston SINDIMWO (since 20 August 2015); Second Vice President Joseph BUTORE (since 20 August 2015)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 July 2015 (next to be held in 2020); vice presidents nominated by the president, endorsed by Parliament; note - a 2018 constitutional referendum effective for the 2020 election, increased the presidential term from 5 to 7 years with a 2-consecutive-term limit, reinstated the position of the prime minister position, and reduced the number of vice presidents from 2 to 1

election results: Pierre NKURUNZIZA reelected president; percent of vote - Pierre NKURUNZIZA (CNDD-FDD) 69.4%, Agathon RWASA (Hope of Burundians - Amizerio y'ABARUNDI) 19%, other 11.6%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of: Senate or Inama Nkenguzamateka (43 seats in the July 2015 election; 36 members indirectly elected by an electoral college of provincial councils using a three-round voting system, which requires a two-thirds majority vote in the first two rounds and simple majority vote for the two leading candidates in the final round; 4 seats reserved for former heads of state, 3 seats reserved for Twas, and 30% of all votes reserved for women; members serve 5-year terms) National Assembly or Inama Nshingamateka (121 seats in the June 2015 election; 100 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 21 co-opted members; 60% of seats allocated to Hutu and 40% to Tutsi; 3 seats reserved for Twas; 30% of total seats reserved for women; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 24 July 2015 (next to be held in 2019) National Assembly - last held on 29 June 2015 (next to be held in 2020)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 33, FRODEBU 2, CNDD 1, former heads of state 4, Twas 3, women 8; composition - men 25, women 18, percent of women 41.9%; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CNDD-FDD 60.3%, Independents of Hope 11.2%, UPRONA 2.5%, other 26%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 77, Independents of Hope 21, UPRONA 2, women 18, Twas 3; composition - men 77, women 44, percent of women 36.4%; note - total Parliament percent of women 37.8%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 9 judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and cassation chambers); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 members) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission, a 15-member independent body of judicial and legal profession officials), appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate and serve 6-year nonrenewable terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; County Courts; Courts of Residence; Martial Court; Court Against Corruption; Commercial Court
Political parties and leaders: Front for Democracy in Burundi-Nyakuri or FRODEBU-Nyakuri [Keffa NIBIZI] Front for Democracy in Burundi-Sahwanya or FRODEBU-Sahwanya [Pierre Claver NAHIMANA] National Congress for Liberty or CNL [Agathon RWASA] National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Front for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD-FDD [Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE] National Liberation Forces or FNL [Jacques BIGITIMANA] Union for National Progress (Union pour le Progress Nationale) or UPRONA [Abel GASHATSI]
National symbol(s): lion;
national colors: red, white, green
National anthem: name: "Burundi Bwacu" (Our Beloved Burundi)
lyrics/music: Jean-Baptiste NTAHOKAJA/Marc BARENGAYABO

note: adopted 1962
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Benjamin MANIRAKIZA (since 7 December 2017)
chancery: 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 408, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574
FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Jennifer Duval (since May 2019)
embassy: Avenue Des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura BP1720
mailing address: B.P. 1720, Bujumbura
telephone: [257] 22-207-000
FAX: [257] 22-222-926
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Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. Agriculture accounts for over 40% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for more than half of foreign exchange earnings, but these earnings are subject to fluctuations in weather and international coffee and tea prices, Burundi is heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as foreign exchange earnings from participation in the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Foreign aid represented 48% of Burundi's national income in 2015, one of the highest percentages in Sub-Saharan Africa, but this figure decreased to 33.5% in 2016 due to political turmoil surrounding President NKURUNZIZA’s bid for a third term. Burundi joined the East African Community (EAC) in 2009. Burundi faces several underlying weaknesses – low governmental capacity, corruption, a high poverty rate, poor educational levels, a weak legal system, a poor transportation network, and overburdened utilities – that have prevented the implementation of planned economic reforms. The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept pace with inflation, which reached approximately 18% in 2017. Real GDP growth dropped precipitously following political events in 2015 and has yet to recover to pre-conflict levels. Continued resistance by donors and the international community will restrict Burundi’s economic growth as the country deals with a large current account deficit.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $8.007 billion (2017 est.) $8.007 billion (2016 est.) $8.091 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $3.396 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0% (2017 est.) -1% (2016 est.) -4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $700 (2017 est.) $800 (2016 est.) $800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: -5.3% of GDP (2017 est.) -4.1% of GDP (2016 est.) -6.7% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 83% (2017 est.) government consumption: 20.8% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 16% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 5.5% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -25.3% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 39.5% (2017 est.) industry: 16.4% (2017 est.) services: 44.2% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: coffee, cotton, tea, corn, beans, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, cassava (manioc, tapioca); beef, milk, hides
Industries: light consumer goods (sugar, shoes, soap, beer); cement, assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing (fruits)
Industrial production growth rate: -2% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 5.012 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 93.6%
industry: 2.3%
services: 4.1% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate: n/a
Population below poverty line: 64.6% (2014 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)
Budget: revenues: 536.7 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 729.6 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 15.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -5.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 51.7% of GDP (2017 est.) 48.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 16.6% (2017 est.) 5.5% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$418 million (2017 est.) -$411 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $119 million (2017 est.) $109.7 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Exports - partners: Democratic Republic of the Congo 25.5%, Switzerland 18.4%, UAE 14.9%, Belgium 6% (2017)
Imports: $603.8 million (2017 est.) $527.2 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: India 18.5%, China 13%, Kenya 7.9%, UAE 6.8%, Saudi Arabia 6.8%, Uganda 6%, Tanzania 5.4%, Zambia 4.6% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $97.4 million (31 December 2017 est.) $95.17 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $610.9 million (31 December 2017 est.) $622.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Burundi francs (BIF) per US dollar - 1,731 (2017 est.) 1,654.63 (2016 est.) 1,654.63 (2015 est.) 1,571.9 (2014 est.) 1,546.7 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 304 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 382.7 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 100 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 68,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 14% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 73% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 14% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 1,500 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 1,374 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 217,000 Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 5,920,612
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 52 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: with the great population density Burundi remains one of the most alluring telecom markets in Africa for investors; the government in early 2018 began the Burundi Broadband project, which plans to deliver nationwide connectivity by 2025; mobile operators have launched 3G and LTE mobile services to capitalize on the expanding demand for Internet access (2018)

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 approaching 52 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 257; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); the government, supported by the Word Bank, has backed a joint venture with a number of prominent telcoms to build a national fiber backbone network, offering onward connectivity to submarine cable infrastructure landings in Kenya and Tanzania
Broadcast media: state-controlled Radio Television Nationale de Burundi (RTNB) operates a TV station and a national radio network; 3 private TV stations and about 10 privately owned radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available in Bujumbura (2019)
Internet country code: .bi
Internet users: total: 574,236
percent of population: 5.2% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 7 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 1
(2017) over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 6
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2012)
Roadways: total 12,322 km
(2016) paved: 1,500 km (2016)
unpaved: 10,822 km (2016)
Waterways: (mainly on Lake Tanganyika between Bujumbura, Burundi's principal port, and lake ports in Tanzania, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2011)
Ports and terminals: lake port(s): Bujumbura (Lake Tanganyika)
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Military branches: National Defense Forces (Forces de Defense Nationale, FDN): Army (includes maritime wing, air wing), National Police (Police Nationale du Burundi) (2017)
Military service age and obligation: 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 ages: 45 (enlisted), 50 (NCOs), 55 (officers), and 60 (officers with the rank of general) (2017)
Military expenditures: 2.21% of GDP (2016) 2.14% of GDP (2015) 2.01% of GDP (2014) 2.24% of GDP (2013) 2.39% of GDP (2012)
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 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): 77,385 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2019) IDPs: 113,067 (some ethnic Tutsis remain displaced from intercommunal violence that broke out after the 1,993 coup and fighting between government forces and rebel groups; violence since April 2015) (2019)
stateless persons: 974 (2018)
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