Madagascar Population: 25,683,610


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Madagascar was one of the last major habitable landmasses on earth settled by humans. While some transient visits to the island may have occurred in the centuries B.C., large-scale settlement began between A.D. 350 and 550 with settlers from present-day Indonesia. The island attracted Arab and Persian traders as early as the 7th century, and migrants from Africa arrived around A.D. 1000. Madagascar was a pirate stronghold during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and served as a slave trading center into the 19th century. From the 16th to the late 19th century, a native Merina Kingdom dominated much of Madagascar. The island was conquered by the French in 1896 who made it a colony; independence was regained in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA won a second term in 2006 but, following protests in 2009, handed over power to the military, which then conferred the presidency on the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA, in what amounted to a coup d'etat. Following a lengthy mediation process led by the Southern African Development Community, Madagascar held UN-supported presidential and parliamentary elections in 2013. Former de facto finance minister Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA won a runoff election in December 2013 and was inaugurated in January 2014. In January 2019, RAJOELINA was declared the winner of a runoff election against RAVALOMANANA; both RATSIRAKA and RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA also ran in the first round of the election, which took place in November 2018.

    World's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel; despite Madagascar’s close proximity to the African continent, ocean currents isolate the island resulting in high rates of endemic plant and animal species; approximately 90% of the flora and fauna on the island are found nowhere else
Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Geographic coordinates: 20 00 S, 47 00 E
Area: total: 587,041 sq km
land: 581,540 sq km
water: 5,501 sq km

Size comparison: almost four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of Arizona
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 4,828 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or 100 nm from the 2,500-m isobath
Climate: tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
Terrain: narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center
Natural resources: graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, rare earth elements, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 71.1% (2011 est.) arable land: 6% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 1% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 64.1% (2011 est.) forest: 21.5% (2011 est.)
other: 7.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 10,860 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: periodic cyclones; drought; and locust infestation volcanism: Madagascar's volcanoes have not erupted in historical times
Current Environment Issues: erosion and soil degredation results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; agricultural fires; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; wildlife preservation (endangered species of flora and fauna unique to the island)
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
adjective: Malagasy
Ethnic groups: Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Languages: French (official), Malagasy (official), English
Religions: Christian, indigenous, Muslim
Population: 25,683,610 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 39.55% (male 5,119,804 /female 5,037,438)
15-24 years: 20.23% (male 2,608,996 /female 2,587,745)
25-54 years: 32.42% (male 4,160,278 /female 4,166,538)
55-64 years: 4.45% (male 560,072 /female 581,963)
65 years and over: 3.35% (male 390,094 /female 470,682) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 80.1 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 75 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.1 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 19.6 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 19.9 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20.1 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.46% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 31 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 6.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 37.2% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 4.48% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 3.058 million ANTANANARIVO (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 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.5 years (2008/09 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 353 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 40.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 43.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 66.6 years male: 65.1 years
female: 68.2 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.95 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 47.9% (2017)
Physicians density: 0.18 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density: 0.2 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 81.6% of population
rural: 35.3% of population
total: 51.5% of population

urban: 18.4% of population
rural: 64.7% of population
total: 48.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 18% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 8.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 12% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 82% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 91.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 88% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 35,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,600 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 5.3% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 32.9% (2013)
Education expenditures: 2.8% of GDP (2014)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 64.7%
male: 66.7%
female: 62.6% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 10 years male: 10 years female: 10 years (2016)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 1% male: 1% female: 1% (2012 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar
conventional short form: Madagascar
local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara
former: Malagasy Republic
etymology: the name "Madageiscar" was first used by the 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco POLO, as a corrupted transliteration of Mogadishu, the Somali port with which POLO confused the island
Government type: semi-presidential republic
Capital: name: Antananarivo
geographic coordinates: 18 55 S, 47 31 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the name, which means "City of the Thousand," was bestowed by 17th century King Adrianjakaking to honor the soldiers assigned to guard the city
Administrative divisions: 6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara
Independence: 26 June 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 26 June (1960)
Constitution: history: previous 1992; latest passed by referendum 17 November 2010, promulgated 11 December 2010 amendments: proposed by the president of the republic in consultation with the cabinet or supported by a least two-thirds of both the Senate and National Assembly membership; passage requires at least three-fourths approval of both the Senate and National Assembly and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles including the form and powers of government, the sovereignty of the state, and the autonomy of Madagascar’s collectivities cannot be amended (2017)
Legal system: civil law system based on the old French civil code and customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Andry RAJOELINA (since 21 January 2019) (2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Christian NTSAY (since 6 June 2018 and re-appointed 19 July 2019)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister 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 7 November and 19 December 2018 (next to be held in 2023); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly, appointed by the president

election results: Andry RAJOELINA elected President in second round; percent of vote - Andry RAJOELINA (TGV) 55.7%, Marc RAVALOMANANA 44.3% (TIM)
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament consists of: Senate or Antenimieran-Doholona (reestablished on 22 January 2016, following the December 2015 senatorial election) (63 seats; 42 members indirectly elected by an electoral college of municipal, communal, regional, and provincial leaders and 21 appointed by the president of the republic; members serve 5-year terms) National Assembly or Antenimierampirenena (151 seats; 87 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 64 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 29 December 2015 (next to be held in 2021) National Assembly - last held on 27 May 2019

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - HVM 34, TIM 3, MAPAR 2, LEADER-Fanilo 1, independent 2, appointed by the president 21; composition - men 51, women 12, percent of women 19% National Assembly - percent of vote by party -Independent Pro-HVM 18%, MAPAR 17%, MAPAR pro-HVM 16%, VPM-MMM 10%, VERTS 3%, LEADER FANILO 3%, HIARAKA ISIKA 3%, GPS/ARD 7%,  INDEPENDENT 9%, TAMBATRA 1%, TIM 13%;  composition - men 120, women 31, percent of women 20.5%; note - total National Assembly percent of women 20.1%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 11 members; addresses judicial administration issues only); High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 9 members); note - the judiciary includes a High Court of Justice responsible for adjudicating crimes and misdemeanors by government officials, including the president judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court heads elected by the president and judiciary officials to serve 3-year, single renewable terms; High Constitutional Court members appointed - 3 each by the president, by both legislative bodies, and by the Council of Magistrates; members serve single, 7-year terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance
Political parties and leaders: Economic liberalism and democratic action for national recovery or LEADER FANILO [Jean Max RAKOTOMAMONJY] FOMBA [Ny Rado RAFALIMANANA] Gideons fighting against poverty in Madagascar (Gedeona Miady amin'ny Fahantrana eto Madagascar) or GFFM [Andre Christian Dieu Donne MAILHOL] Green party or VERTS (Antoko Maintso) [Alexandre GEORGET] I Love Madagascar (Tiako I Madagasikara) or TIM [Marc RAVALOMANANA] Malagasy aware (Malagasy Tonga Saina) or MTS [Roland RATSIRAKA] Malagasy raising together (Malagasy Miara-Miainga) or MMM [Hajo ANDRIANAINARIVELO] New Force for Madagascar (Hery Vaovao ho an'ny Madagasikara) or HVM [Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA Rakotoarimanana] Total Refoundation of Madagascar (Refondation Totale de Madagascar) or RTM [Joseph Martin RANDRIAMAMPIONONA] Vanguard for the renovation of Madagascar (Avant-Garde pour la renovation de Madagascar) or AREMA [Didier RATSIRAKA] Young Malagasies Determined (Malagasy: Tanora malaGasy Vonona) or TGV [Andry RAJOELINA]and MAPAR [Andry RAJOELINA], and IRD (We are all with Andy Rajoelina) [Andry RAJOELINA]
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): traveller's palm, zebu;
national colors: red, green, white
National anthem: name: "Ry Tanindraza nay malala o" (Oh, Our Beloved Fatherland)
lyrics/music: Pasteur RAHAJASON/Norbert RAHARISOA

note: adopted 1959
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: (vacant)
chancery: 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-5525
FAX: [1] (202) 265-3034
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael PELLETIER (since 14 February 2019)
embassy: Lot 207A, Point Liberty, Andranoro, Antehiroka, 105 Antananarivo
mailing address: B.P. 620, Antsahavola, Antananarivo
telephone: [261] 20 23 480 00
FAX: [261] 20 23 480 35 or [261] 33 44 328 17
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Madagascar is a mostly unregulated economy with many untapped natural resources, but no capital markets, a weak judicial system, poorly enforced contracts, and rampant government corruption. The country faces challenges to improve education, healthcare, and the environment to boost long-term economic growth. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing roughly 80% of the population. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by bushfires, slash-and-burn clearing techniques, and the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns to the agriculture dependent economy. After discarding socialist economic policies in the mid-1990s, Madagascar followed a World Bank- and IMF-led policy of privatization and liberalization until a 2009 coup d’état led many nations, including the United States, to suspend non-humanitarian aid until a democratically-elected president was inaugurated in 2014. The pre-coup strategy had placed the country on a slow and steady growth path from an extremely low starting point. Exports of apparel boomed after gaining duty-free access to the US market in 2000 under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); however, Madagascar's failure to comply with the requirements of the AGOA led to the termination of the country's duty-free access in January 2010, a sharp fall in textile production, a loss of more than 100,000 jobs, and a GDP drop of nearly 11%. Madagascar regained AGOA access in January 2015 and ensuing growth has been slow and fragile. Madagascar produces around 80% of the world’s vanilla and its reliance on this commodity for most of its foreign exchange is a significant source of vulnerability. Economic reforms have been modest and the country’s financial sector remains weak, limiting the use of monetary policy to control inflation. An ongoing IMF program aims to strengthen financial and investment management capacity.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $39.85 billion (2017 est.) $38.25 billion (2016 est.) $36.72 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $11.5 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.2% (2017 est.) 4.2% (2016 est.) 3.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,600 (2017 est.) $1,500 (2016 est.) $1,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 14.8% of GDP (2017 est.) 15.4% of GDP (2016 est.) 11.2% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 67.1% (2017 est.) government consumption: 11.2% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 15.1% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 8.8% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 31.5% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -33.7% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 24% (2017 est.) industry: 19.5% (2017 est.) services: 56.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products
Industries: meat processing, seafood, soap, beer, leather, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism, mining
Industrial production growth rate: 5.2% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 13.4 million (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate: 1.8% (2017 est.) 1.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: 70.7% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 34.7% (2010 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 41 (2012) 42.7 (2010)
Budget: revenues: 1.828 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.136 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 15.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -2.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 36% of GDP (2017 est.) 38.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.3% (2017 est.) 6.7% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$35 million (2017 est.) $57 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $2.29 billion (2017 est.) $2.26 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, clothing, chromite, petroleum products, gems, ilmenite, cobalt, nickel
Exports - partners: France 24.8%, US 16.5%, China 6.7%, Germany 6.5%, Japan 6%, Netherlands 4.7% (2017)
Imports: $2.738 billion (2017 est.) $2.427 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food
Imports - partners: China 18.7%, India 9.3%, France 6.4%, South Africa 5.6%, UAE 5.3% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.076 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $4.089 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $3.425 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $6.461 billion (2014 est.) $6.462 billion (2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: n/a
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Malagasy ariary (MGA) per US dollar - 3,116.1 (2017 est.) 3,176.5 (2016 est.) 3,176.5 (2015 est.) 2,933.5 (2014 est.) 2,414.8 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 1.706 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 1.587 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 675,400 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 74% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 24% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 2% 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: 18,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 18,880 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 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 4.021 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 8,730,499
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 35 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: system is above average for the region; competition among the four mobile service providers has spurred recent growth in the mobile market and helped the service to be less expensive for the consumer; LTE services available (2018)

domestic: less than 1 per 100 for fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 35 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 261; landing point for the EASSy, SEACOM, and LION fiber-optic submarine cable systems; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region); possible IOX cable in 2019 and Africa-1 cable in 2020 providing additional links and international cable systems
Broadcast media: state-owned Radio Nationale Malagasy (RNM) and Television Malagasy (TVM) have an extensive national network reach; privately owned radio and TV broadcasters in cities and major towns; state-run radio dominates in rural areas; relays of 2 international broadcasters are available in Antananarivo (2019)
Internet country code: .mg
Internet users: total: 1,151,563
percent of population: 4.7% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 83 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 26
(2017) over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 16 (2017)
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 57
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 38 (2013)
under 914 m: 18 (2013)
Railways: total 836 km
narrow gauge: 836 km 1.000-m gauge (2018)
Roadways: total 31,640 km
Waterways: 600 km (432 km navigable) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 28

by type: general cargo 15, oil tanker 3, other 10 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara (Tulear)
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Military branches: People's Armed Forces: Intervention Force, Development Force, Navy, Air Force (2018)
Military service age and obligation: Madagascar has an all-volunteer military; 18-25 years of age for males; service obligation 18 months; women are permitted to serve in all branches (2018)
Military expenditures: 0.53% of GDP (2017) 0.59% of GDP (2016) 0.6% of GDP (2015) 0.65% of GDP (2014) 0.68% of GDP (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France); the vegetated drying cays of Banc du Geyser, which were claimed by Madagascar in 1976, also fall within the EEZ claims of the Comoros and France (Glorioso Islands, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands)
Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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