Gabon Population: 1,738,541


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El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - dominated the country's political scene for four decades (1967-2009) following independence from France in 1960. President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, allegations of electoral fraud during local elections in December 2002 and the presidential election in 2005 exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. Following President BONGO's death in 2009, a new election brought Ali BONGO Ondimba, son of the former president, to power. Despite constrained political conditions, Gabon's small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make it one of the more stable African countries.

A small population and oil and mineral reserves have helped Gabon become one of Africa's wealthier countries; in general, these circumstances have allowed the country to maintain and conserve its pristine rain forest and rich biodiversity
Location: Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea
Geographic coordinates: 1 00 S, 11 45 E
Area: total: 267,667 sq km
land: 257,667 sq km
water: 10,000 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Colorado
Land Boundaries: total: 3,261 km border countries (3): Cameroon 349 km, Republic of the Congo 2,567 km, Equatorial Guinea 345 km
Coastline: 885 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; always hot, humid
Terrain: narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 19% arable land 1.2%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 17.2% forest: 81%
other: 0% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 40 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: NA
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; poaching
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Gabonese (singular and plural)
adjective: Gabonese
Ethnic groups: Bantu tribes, including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba); other Africans and Europeans, 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality
Languages: French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Religions: Catholic 41.9%, Protestant 13.7%, other Christian 32.4%, Muslim 6.4%, animist 0.3%, other 0.3%, none/no answer 5% (2012 est.)
Population: 1,738,541 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 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 41.98% (male 366,875/female 363,031)
15-24 years: 20.37% (male 177,501/female 176,653)
25-54 years: 29.59% (male 257,841/female 256,604)
55-64 years: 4.28% (male 35,895/female 38,533)
65 years and over: 3.77% (male 28,137/female 37,471) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 73.1%
youth dependency ratio: 64.3%
elderly dependency ratio: 8.8%
potential support ratio: 11.3% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 18.6 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.92% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 34.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 13.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 87.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: LIBREVILLE (capital) 707,000 (2015)
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: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 20.3 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 291 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 45.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 38 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 52.1 years male: 51.6 years
female: 52.5 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.43 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 31.1% (2012)
Health expenditures: 3.4% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density: 6.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 97.2% of population
rural: 66.7% of population
total: 93.2% of population

urban: 2.8% of population
rural: 33.3% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 43.4% of population
rural: 31.5% of population
total: 41.9% of population

urban: 56.6% of population
rural: 68.5% of population
total: 58.1% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 3.76% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 46,700 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,300 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 15.8% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 6.5% (2012)
Education expenditures: 2.7% of GDP (2014)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.2%
male: 85.3%
female: 81% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 35.7% male: 30.6%
female: 41.9% (2010 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Gabonese Republic
conventional short form: Gabon
local long form: Republique Gabonaise
local short form: Gabon
etymology: name originates from the Portuguese word "gabao" meaning "cloak," which is roughly the shape that the early explorers gave to the estuary of the Komo River by the capital of Libreville
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Libreville
geographic coordinates: 0 23 N, 9 27 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue, Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo, Ogooue-Maritime, Woleu-Ntem
Independence: 17 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 17 August (1960)
Constitution: previous 1961; latest drafted May 1990, adopted 15 March 1991, promulgated 26 March 1991; amended several times, last in 2011 (2016)
Legal system: mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Ali BONGO Ondimba (since 16 October 2009)

head of government: Prime Minister Emmanuel ISSOZE-NGONDET (since 29 September 2016)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 27 August 2016 (next to be held in August 2023); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Ali BONGO Ondimba re-elected president; percent of vote - Ali BONGO Ondimba (PDG) 49.8%, Jean PING (UFC) 48.2%, other 2.0%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (number of seats not fixed; members indirectly elected by municipal councils and departmental assemblies by absolute majority vote in two rounds; members serve 6-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats; members elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in two rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 13 December 2014 (next to be held in January 2021); National Assembly - last held on 17 December 2011 (next to be held by July 2017)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 81, CLR 7, PSD 2, ADERE-UPG 1, UPG 1, PGCI 1, independent 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 114, RPG 3, other 3
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 4 permanent specialized supreme courts - Supreme Court or Cour de Cassation, Administrative Supreme Court or Conseil d'Etat, Accounting Supreme Court or Cour des Comptes, Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle - and the non-permanent Court of State Security, initiated only for cases of high treason by the president and criminal activity by executive branch officials judge selection and term of office: appointment and tenure of Supreme, Administrative, Accounting, and State Security courts NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed - 3 by the national president, 3 by the president of the Senate, and 3 by the president of the National Assembly; judges serve 7-year, single renewable terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; county courts; military courts
Political parties and leaders: Circle of Liberal Reformers or CLR [General Jean-Boniface ASSELE] Democratic and Republican Alliance or ADERE [DIDJOB Divungui di Ndinge] Gabonese Democratic Party or PDG [Ali BONGO Ondimba] Independent Center Party of Gabon or PGCI [Luccheri GAHILA] National Rally of Woodcutters-Democratic or RNB-D [Pierre Andre KOMBILA] Social Democratic Party or PSD [Pierre Claver MAGANGA-MOUSSAVOU] Union for the New Republic or UPRN [Louis Gaston MAYILA] Union of Gabonese People or UPG [Richard MOULOMBA] United Forced for Change or UFC [Jean PING]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
National symbol(s): black panther; national colors: green, yellow, blue
National anthem: name: "La Concorde" (The Concorde)
lyrics/music: Georges Aleka DAMAS

note: adopted 1960
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael MOUSSA-NDONG (since September 19, 2011)
chancery: 2034 20th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 797-1000
FAX: [1] (301) 332-0668
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Cythia AKUETTEH (since 13 August 2014); note - also accredited to Sao Tome and Principe
embassy: Boulevard du Bord de Mer, Libreville
mailing address: Centre Ville, B. P. 4000, Libreville; pouch: 2270 Libreville Place, Washington, DC 20521-2270
telephone: [241] 01-45-71-00
FAX: [241] 01-74-55-07
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Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most sub-Saharan African nations, but because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon relied on timber and manganese exports until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. From 2010 to 2014, oil accounted for approximately 80% of Gabon’s exports, 45% of its GDP, and 60% of its state budget revenues. Gabon faces fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. A rebound of oil prices from 2001 to 2013 helped growth, but declining production, as some fields passed their peak production, has hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. GDP grew nearly 6% per year over the 2010-14 period, but slowed significantly in 2015 as oil prices declined. Low oil prices also weakened government revenue and negatively affected the trade and current account balances. Despite an abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management and over-reliance on oil has stifled the economy. There are frequent power cuts and water shortages. However, President BONGO has made efforts to increase transparency and is taking steps to make Gabon a more attractive investment destination to diversify the economy. BONGO has attempted to boost growth by increasing government investment in human resources and infrastructure.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $36.22 billion (2016 est.) $35.1 billion (2015 est.) $33.75 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $14.56 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.2% (2016 est.) 4% (2015 est.) 4.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $19,300 (2016 est.) $18,900 (2015 est.) $18,500 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 30.4% of GDP (2016 est.) 33.9% of GDP (2015 est.) 42.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 40.8%
government consumption: 15.8%
investment in fixed capital: 31.1%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 39.8%
imports of goods and services: -27.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 40.8%
government consumption: 15.8%
investment in fixed capital: 31.1%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 39.8%
imports of goods and services: -27.6% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
Industries: petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, cement
Industrial production growth rate: -1.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 674,700 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 60%
industry: 15%
services: 25% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 21% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 32.7% (2005)
Budget: revenues: $2.917 billion
expenditures: $3.464 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 20% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 43.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 39.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.1% (2016 est.) 0.6% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$767 million (2016 est.) -$326 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $4.395 billion (2016 est.) $5.181 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: crude oil, timber, manganese, uranium
Exports - partners: China 15.5%, Italy 7.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 7.2%, Australia 7%, Spain 6.3%, South Korea 5.4%, Netherlands 5%, US 4.7% (2015)
Imports: $3.002 billion (2016 est.) $3.061 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
Imports - partners: China 21.4%, France 19.6%, US 6.6%, Benin 4.7%, Netherlands 4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.585 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $1.878 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $5.158 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $4.883 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 590.8 (2016 est.) 591.45 (2015 est.) 591.45 (2014 est.) 494.42 (2013 est.) 510.53 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 2.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 2.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 400 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 600,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 59% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 41% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 213,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 200,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 2 billion bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 21,750 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 19,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 7,212 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 5,364 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 420 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 420 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 6 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 2.958 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 173 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: adequate system of cable, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, radiotelephone communication stations, and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations

domestic: a growing mobile cellular network with multiple providers is making telephone service more widely available with mobile cellular teledensity exceeding 170 per 100 persons

international: country code - 241; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media: state owns and operates 2 TV stations and 2 radio broadcast stations; a few private radio and TV stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible; satellite service subscriptions are available (2007)
Internet country code: .ga
Internet users: total: 401,000 percent of population: 23.5% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 44 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 14
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 30

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 14 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 807 km; oil 1,639 km; water 3 km (2013)
Railways: total 649 km
standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 9,170 km
paved: 1,097 km
unpaved: 8,073 km (2007)
Waterways: 1,600 km (310 km on Ogooue River) (2010)
Merchant marine:

registered in other countries: 2 (Cambodia 1, Panama 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Libreville, Owendo, Port-Gentil oil terminal(s): Gamba, Lucina
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Military branches: Gabonese Defense Forces (Forces de Defense Gabonaise): Land Force (Force Terrestre), Gabonese Navy (Marine Gabonaise), Gabonese Air Forces (Forces Aerienne Gabonaises, FAG) (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 20 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Military expenditures: 1.34% of GDP (2012) NA% (2011) 1.34% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: UN urges Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to resolve the sovereignty dispute over Gabon-occupied Mbane Island and lesser islands and to establish a maritime boundary in hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay
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