Republic of the Congo Population: 5,062,021


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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 two-year civil war that ended in 1999 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, who had ruled from 1979 to 1992, and sparked a short period of ethnic and political unrest that was resolved by a peace agreement in late 1999. A new constitution adopted three years later provided for a multi-party system and a seven-year presidential term, and elections arranged shortly thereafter installed SASSOU-Nguesso. Following a year of renewed fighting, President SASSOU-Nguesso and southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003. SASSOU-Nguesso was reeelected in 2009 and, after passing a referendum allowing him to run for a third term, was reelected again in 2016. 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.

    About 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
Location: Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Geographic coordinates: 1 00 S, 15 00 E
Area: total: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Montana; about twice the size of Florida
Land Boundaries: total: 5,008 km border countries (5): Angola 231 km, Cameroon 494 km, Central African Republic 487 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1229 km, Gabon 2567 km
Coastline: 169 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate: tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Terrain: coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Natural resources: petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 31.1% (2011 est.) arable land: 1.6% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.2% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 29.3% (2011 est.) forest: 65.6% (2011 est.)
other: 3.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: seasonal flooding
Current Environment Issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation; wildlife protection
International Environment 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
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Nationality: noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups: Kongo 40.5%, Teke 16.9%, Mbochi 13.1%, foreigner 8.2%, Sangha 5.6%, Mbere/Mbeti/Kele 4.4%, Punu 4.3%, Pygmy 1.6%, Oubanguiens 1.6%, Duma 1.5%, Makaa 1.3%, other and unspecified 1% (2014-15 est.)
Languages: French (official), French 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.)
Population: 5,062,021 (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: 41.75% (male 1,066,474 /female 1,046,924)
15-24 years: 16.99% (male 431,279 /female 428,999)
25-54 years: 33.77% (male 857,596 /female 851,712)
55-64 years: 4.39% (male 112,669 /female 109,429)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 69,621 /female 87,318) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 84.5 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 78.3 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 6.2 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 16.1 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 19.6 years
male: 19.4 years
female: 19.8 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.17% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 33.7 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 9.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 66.9% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 3.28% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 2.23 million BRAZZAVILLE (capital)
1.138 million Pointe-Noire (2018)
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: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.8 years (2011/12 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 442 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 53.5 deaths/1,000 live births male: 58.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 60.3 years male: 59 years
female: 61.6 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.26 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 30.1% (2014/15)
Physicians density: 0.12 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 95.8% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 76.5% of population

urban: 4.2% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 20% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 5.6% of population (2015 est.)
total: 15% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 80% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 94.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 85% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 3.1% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 100,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 4,900 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 9.6% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 12.3% (2015)
Education expenditures: 4.6% of GDP (2015)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 79.3%
male: 86.4%
female: 72.9% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years male: 11 years female: 11 years (2012)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: Congo
former: French Congo, Middle Congo, People's Republic of the Congo, Congo/Brazzaville
etymology: named for the Congo River, which makes up much of the country's eastern border; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning "hunters"
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: named after the Italian-born French explorer and humanitarian, Pierre Savorgnan de BRAZZA (1852-1905), who promoted French colonial interests in central Africa and worked against slavery and the abuse of African laborers
Administrative divisions: 12 departments (departments, singular - department); Bouenza, Brazzaville, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire, Pool, Sangha
Independence: 15 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 25 October 2015 amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; passage of presidential proposals requires Supreme Court review followed by approval in a referendum; such proposals may also be submitted directly to Parliament, in which case passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote of both houses in joint session; proposals by Parliament require three-fourths majority vote of both houses in joint session; constitutional articles including those affecting the country’s territory, republican form of government, and secularity of the state are not amendable (2017)
Legal system: mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997)

head of government: Prime Minister (vacant); Prime Minister Clement MOUAMBA (since 23 April 2016) resigned on 18 August 2017; note - a constitutional referendum held in 2015 approved the change of the head of government from the president to the prime minister

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 additional terms); election last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)

election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (PCT) 60.4%, Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS (MCDDI) 15.1%, Jean-Marie MOKOKO (independent) 13.9%, Pascal Tsaty MABIALA (UPADS) 4.4%, other 6.2%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of: Senate (72 seats; members indirectly elected by regional councils by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-half of membership renewed every 3 years) National Assembly (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)

elections:   Senate - last held on 31 August 2017 for expiry of half the seats (next to be held in 2020) National Assembly - last held on 16 and 30 July 2017 (next to be held in July 2022)

election results:   Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 46, independent 12, MAR 2, RDPS 2, UPADS 2, DRD 1, FP 1, MCDDI 1, PRL 1, Pulp 1, PUR 1, RC 1; composition - men 58, women 14, percent of women 19.4% National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 96, UPADS 8, MCDDI 4, other 23 (less than 4 seats) independent 20; composition - men 134, women 17, percent of women 11.3%; note - total Parliament percent of women 13.9%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists ofn/ajudges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); note - a High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by Parliament and serve until age 65; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president of the republic - 3 directly by the president and 6 nominated by Parliament; members appointed for renewable 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: Court of Audit and Budgetary Discipline; courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts
Political parties and leaders: Action Movement for Renewal or MAR [Roland BOUITI-VIAUDO] Citizen's Rally or RC [Claude Alphonse NSILOU] Congolese Labour Party or PCT [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO] Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS] Movement for Unity, Solidarity, and Work or MUST [Claudine MUNARI] Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Pascal Tsaty MABIALA] Party for the Unity of the Republic or PUR Patriotic Union for Democracy and Progress or UPDP [Auguste-Celestin GONGARD NKOUA] Prospects and Realities Club or CPR Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Bernard BATCHI] Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP Republican and Liberal Party or PRL [Bonaventure MIZIDY] Union for the Republic or UR Union of Democratic Forces or UDF Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR many smaller parties
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): lion, elephant;
national colors: green, yellow, red
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
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 Todd P. HASKELL (since July 2017)
embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville
mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 06 612-2000
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The Republic of the Congo’s economy is a mixture of subsistence farming, 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, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. The Republic of the Congo is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and shares a common currency – the Central African Franc – with five other member states in the region. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices that began in 2014 has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending. The fiscal deficit amounted to 11% of GDP in 2017. The government’s inability to pay civil servant salaries has resulted in multiple rounds of strikes by many groups, including doctors, nurses, and teachers. In the wake of a multi-year recession, the country reached out to the IMF in 2017 for a new program; the IMF noted that the country’s continued dependence on oil, unsustainable debt, and significant governance weakness are key impediments to the country’s economy. In 2018, the country’s external debt level will approach 120% of GDP. The IMF urged the government to renegotiate debts levels to sustainable levels before it agreed to a new macroeconomic adjustment package.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $29.39 billion (2017 est.) $30.33 billion (2016 est.) $31.22 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $8.718 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -3.1% (2017 est.) -2.8% (2016 est.) 2.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,800 (2017 est.) $7,200 (2016 est.) $7,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 19.5% of GDP (2017 est.) -12.8% of GDP (2016 est.) 6.6% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 47.6% (2017 est.) government consumption: 9.6% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 42.5% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 62.9% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -62.7% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 9.3% (2017 est.) industry: 51% (2017 est.) services: 39.7% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: cassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Industries: petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate: -3% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 2.055 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 35.4%
industry: 20.6%
services: 44% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate: 36% (2014 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)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 48.9 (2011 est.)
Budget: revenues: 1.965 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.578 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 22.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 130.8% of GDP (2017 est.) 128.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.5% (2017 est.) 3.2% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.128 billion (2017 est.) -$5.735 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $4.193 billion (2017 est.) $4.116 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners: China 53.8%, Angola 6.2%, Gabon 5.7%, Italy 5.4%, Spain 5.4%, Australia 4.8% (2017)
Imports: $2.501 billion (2017 est.) $5.639 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: France 15%, China 14%, Belgium 12.2%, Norway 8.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $505.7 million (31 December 2017 est.) $727.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $4.605 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $4.721 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: n/a
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 579.8 (2017 est.) 593.01 (2016 est.) 593.01 (2015 est.) 591.45 (2014 est.) 494.42 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 1.696 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 912 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 22 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports: 18 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 591,500 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 64% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 36% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 244,200 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 254,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 15,760 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 17,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 5,766 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 7,162 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 1.387 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 1.387 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 5.239 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 5.056 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 102 (2017 est.)
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 (2018)

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 102 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
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
Internet country code: .cg
Internet users: total: 362,000
percent of population: 7.6% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 27 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 8
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Pipelines: 232 km gas, 4 km liquid petroleum gas, 982 km oil (2013)
Railways: total 510 km
narrow gauge: 510 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 23,324 km
(2017) paved: 3,111 km (2017)
unpaved: 20,213 km (2017)

note: road network in Congo is composed of 23,324 km of which 17,000 km are classified as national, departmental, and routes of local interest: 6,324 km are non-classified routes
Waterways: 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, necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 16

by type: general cargo 3, oil tanker 2, other 11 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Pointe-Noire oil terminal(s): Djeno
river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo) Impfondo (Oubangi)Ouesso (Sangha)Oyo (Alima)
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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: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in the Armed Forces (2012)
Military expenditures: 7.17% of GDP (2016) 4.97% of GDP (2014) 2.61% of GDP (2013)
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 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): 23,967 (Central African Republic) (2018), 23,967 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2019) IDPs: 107,000 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2018)
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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