Cameroon Population: 25,640,965


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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 because of its central location on the continent and its position at the west-south juncture of the Gulf of Guinea; 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; about four times the size of Pennsylvania
Land Boundaries: total: 5,018 km border countries (6): Central African Republic 901 km, Chad 1116 km, Republic of the Congo 494 km, Equatorial Guinea 183 km, Gabon 349 km, Nigeria 1975 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
Natural resources: petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 20.6% (2011 est.) arable land: 13.1% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 3.3% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 4.2% (2011 est.) forest: 41.7% (2011 est.)
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 (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 and overgrazing result in erosion, desertification, and reduced quality of pastureland; poaching; overfishing; overhunting
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: Roman 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: 25,640,965 (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: 42.15% (male 5,445,142 /female 5,362,166)
15-24 years: 19.6% (male 2,524,031 /female 2,502,072)
25-54 years: 31.03% (male 4,001,963 /female 3,954,258)
55-64 years: 3.99% (male 499,101 /female 524,288)
65 years and over: 3.23% (male 384,845 /female 443,099) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 85.9 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 80 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 17 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 18.6 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.7 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.54% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 35 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 56.4% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 3.63% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 3.656 million Douala
3.412 million YAOUNDE (capital) (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: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.7 years (2011 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 596 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 49.8 deaths/1,000 live births male: 53.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 59.4 years male: 58 years
female: 60.9 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.58 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 34.4% (2014)
Physicians density: 0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
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 (2015 est.)
rural: 26.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 45.8% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 38.2% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 73.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 54.2% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 3.7% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 510,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 24,000 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 11.4% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 14.8% (2014)
Education expenditures: 3.1% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 75%
male: 81.2%
female: 68.9% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years male: 14 years female: 12 years (2016)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 6.3% male: 5.8% female: 6.8% (2014 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: Kamerun, 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 after 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)
etymology:  founded as a German colonial settlement of Jaunde in 1888 and named after the local Yaunde (Ewondo) people
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: history: several previous; latest effective 18 January 1996 amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; amendment drafts require approval of at least one-third of the membership in either house of Parliament; passage requires absolute majority vote of the Parliament membership; passage of drafts requested by the president for a second reading in Parliament requires two-thirds majority vote of its membership; the president can opt to submit drafts to a referendum, in which case passage requires a simple majority; constitutional articles on Cameroon’s unity and territorial integrity and its democratic principles cannot be amended; amended 2008 (2017)
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 Joseph Dion NGUTE (since 4 January 2019); Deputy Prime Minister Amadou ALI (since 2014)

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 7 October 2018 (next to be held in October 2025); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Paul BIYA reelected president; percent of vote - Paul BIYA (CPDM) 71.3%, Maurice KAMTO (MRC) 14.2%, Cabral LIBII (Univers) 6.3%, other 8.2%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of: Senate or Senat (100 seats; 70 members indirectly elected by regional councils and 30 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms) National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 25 March 2018 (next to be held in 2023) National Assembly - last held on 30 September 2013 (next delayed until October 2019)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 63, SDF 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 148, SDF 18, UNDP 5, UDC 4, UPC 3, other 2; composition - men 74, women 26, percent of women 26% National Assembly - last held on 30 September 2013 (next delayed until October 2019); composition - men 124, women 56, percent of women 31.3%; note - total Parliament percent of women 29.3%
Judicial branch: highest courts: 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 magistrates' courts
Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Democracy and Development 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]
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 Ave., Washington, DC, 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Peter Henry BARLERIN (since 20 December 2017)
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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Cameroon’s market-based, diversified economy features oil and gas, timber, aluminum, agriculture, mining and the service sector. Oil remains Cameroon’s main export commodity, and despite falling global oil prices, still accounts for nearly 40% of exports. 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, as low oil prices have led to lower revenues. Cameroon devotes significant resources to several large infrastructure projects currently under construction, including a deep seaport 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): $89.54 billion (2017 est.) $86.47 billion (2016 est.) $82.63 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $34.99 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2017 est.) 4.6% (2016 est.) 5.7% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,700 (2017 est.) $3,700 (2016 est.) $3,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 25.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 25.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 23.9% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 66.3% (2017 est.) government consumption: 11.8% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 21.6% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: -0.3% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 21.6% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -20.9% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 16.7% (2017 est.) industry: 26.5% (2017 est.) services: 56.8% (2017 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: 3.3% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 9.912 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.3% (2014 est.) 30% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line: 30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 37.5%
highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 46.5 (2014 est.) 44.6 (2001)
Budget: revenues: 5.363 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 6.556 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 15.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -3.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 36.9% of GDP (2017 est.) 32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.6% (2017 est.) 0.9% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$932 million (2017 est.) -$1.034 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $4.732 billion (2017 est.) $4.561 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports - partners: Netherlands 15.6%, France 12.6%, China 11.7%, Belgium 6.8%, Italy 6.3%, Algeria 4.8%, Malaysia 4.4% (2017)
Imports: $4.812 billion (2017 est.) $4.827 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports - partners: China 19%, France 10.3%, Thailand 7.9%, Nigeria 4.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $3.235 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $2.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $9.375 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $7.364 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $230 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 605.3 (2017 est.) 593.01 (2016 est.) 593.01 (2015 est.) 591.45 (2014 est.) 494.42 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 8.108 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 6.411 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 55 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 1.558 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 52% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 47% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 75,720 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 96,370 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 36,480 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 200 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 39,080 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 45,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 8,545 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 14,090 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 910.4 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 906.1 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 135.1 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 7.672 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 19,706,027
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 79 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: equipment is old and outdated, and connections with many parts of the country are unreliable; 3G service and LTE service both developing given growing competition, along with a fast-developing mobile broadband sector (2018)

domestic: only about 3 per 100 persons for fixed-line subscriptions; mobile-cellular usage has increased sharply, reaching a subscribership base of over 79 per 100 persons (2018)

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); the country is connected to the SAIL submarine cable, providing a direct link to Brazil and with onward connectivity to other countries in the Americas
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 finally issued licenses to 2 private TV broadcasters and 1 private radio broadcaster; about 70 privately owned, unlicensed radio stations operating but are subject to closure at any time; foreign news services required to partner with state-owned national station (2019)
Internet country code: .cm
Internet users: total: 6,090,201
percent of population: 25% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 33 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 11
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 22
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Pipelines: 53 km gas, 5 km liquid petroleum gas, 1107 km oil, 35 km water (2013)
Railways: total 987 km
narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

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
Roadways: total 77,589 km
(2016) paved: 5,133 km (2016)
unpaved: 72,456 km (2016)
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)
Merchant marine: total 19

by type: general cargo 4, other 15 (2018)
Ports and terminals: oil terminal(s): Limboh Terminal
river port(s): Douala (Wouri) Garoua (Benoue)
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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: 1.6% of GDP (2016) 1.25% of GDP (2015) 1.25% of GDP (2014) 1.33% of GDP (2013) 1.34% of GDP (2012)
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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): 286,052 (Central African Republic), 94,847 (Nigeria) (2019) IDPs: 793,637 (2019) (includes far north, northwest, and southwest)
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