Central African Republic Population: 5,745,062


« Previous Country | Next Country »   Back to Flag Counter Overview
The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African Republic upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was established in 1993 but lasted only a decade. In March 2003, President Ange-Felix PATASSE was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Elections held in 2005 affirmed General BOZIZE as president; he was reelected in 2011 in voting widely viewed as flawed. The government still lacks full control of the countryside, where lawlessness persists. Several rebel groups joined together in early December 2012 to launch a series of attacks that left them in control of numerous towns in the northern and central parts of the country. The rebels - unhappy with BOZIZE's government - participated in peace talks in early January 2013 which resulted in a coalition government including the rebellion's leadership. In March 2013, the coalition government dissolved, rebels seized the capital, and President BOZIZE fled the country. Rebel leader Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency and the following month established a National Transitional Council (CNT). In January 2014, the CNT elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA as interim president. Elections completed in March 2016 installed independent candidate Faustin-Archange TOUADERA as president; he continues to work towards peace between the government and armed groups, and is developing a disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and repatriation program to reintegrate the armed groups into society.

    Landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa
Location: Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates: 7 00 N, 21 00 E
Area: total: 622,984 sq km
land: 622,984 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Texas; about four times the size of Georgia
Land Boundaries: total: 5,920 km border countries (6): Cameroon 901 km, Chad 1556 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1747 km, Republic of the Congo 487 km, South Sudan 1055 km, Sudan 174 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
Terrain: vast, flat to rolling plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Natural resources: diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 8.1% (2011 est.) arable land: 2.9% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 5.1% (2011 est.) forest: 36.2% (2011 est.)
other: 55.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 10 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
Current Environment Issues: water pollution; tap water is not potable; poaching and mismanagement have diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation; soil erosion
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
^Back to Top
Nationality: noun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African
Ethnic groups: Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
Languages: French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Religions: indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%

note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
Population: 5,745,062 (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: 39.89% (male 1,151,724 /female 1,140,083)
15-24 years: 19.91% (male 574,969 /female 568,942)
25-54 years: 32.64% (male 938,365 /female 936,948)
55-64 years: 4.17% (male 112,310 /female 127,045)
65 years and over: 3.39% (male 75,401 /female 119,275) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 90 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 83.1 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 14.4 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 19.8 years
male: 19.5 years
female: 20.1 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.11% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 34 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 12.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 41.4% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 2.52% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 851,000 BANGUI (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 882 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 84.3 deaths/1,000 live births male: 91.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 76.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 53.3 years male: 51.9 years
female: 54.7 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.25 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 15.2% (2010/11)
Physicians density: 0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density: 1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 89.6% of population
rural: 54.4% of population
total: 68.5% of population

urban: 10.4% of population
rural: 45.6% of population
total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 43.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 7.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 21.8% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 56.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 92.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 78.2% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 4% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 110,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 5,200 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 7.5% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 24.6% (2012)
Education expenditures: 1.2% of GDP (2011)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 36.8%
male: 50.7%
female: 24.4% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 7 years male: 8 years female: 6 years (2012)
^Back to Top
Country name: conventional long form: Central African Republic
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republique Centrafricaine
local short form: none
former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire
abbreviation: CAR
etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the country's location on the continent; "Africa" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia "Africa terra," which meant "Land of the Afri" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Bangui
geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: established as a French settlement in 1889 and named after its location on the northern bank of the Ubangi River; the Ubangi itself was named from the native word for the "rapids" located beside the outpost, which marked the end of navigable water north from from Brazzaville
Administrative divisions: 14 prefectures (prefectures, singular - prefecture), 2 economic prefectures* (prefectures economiques, singular - prefecture economique), and 1 commune**; Bamingui-Bangoran, Bangui**, Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Kemo, Lobaye, Mambere-Kadei, Mbomou, Nana-Grebizi*, Nana-Mambere, Ombella-Mpoko, Ouaka, Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Sangha-Mbaere*, Vakaga
Independence: 13 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest (interim constitution) approved by the Transitional Council 30 August 2015, adopted by referendum 13-14 December 2015, ratified 27 March 2016 amendments: proposals require support of the government, two-thirds of the National Council of Transition, and assent by the "Mediator of the Central African" crisis; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the National Council membership; non-amendable constitutional provisions include those on the secular and republican form of government, fundamental rights and freedoms, amendment procedures, or changes to the authorities of various high-level executive, parliamentary, and judicial officials (2017)
Legal system: civil law system based on the French model
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (since 30 March 2016)

head of government: Prime Minister Firmin Ngrébada (since 25 February 2019)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: under the 2015 constitution, the president is elected by universal direct suffrage for a period of 5 years (eligible for a second term); election last held 30 December 2015 with a runoff 20 February 2016 (next to be held in 2020)

election results: Faustin-Archange TOUADERA elected president in the second round; percent of vote in first round - Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE (URCA) 23.7%, Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (independent) 19.1%, Desire KOLINGBA (RDC) 12.%, Martin ZIGUELE (MLPC) 11.4%, other 33.8%; percent of vote in second round - Faustin-Archange TOUADERA 62.7%, Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE 37.3%

note: rebel forces seized the capital in March 2013, forcing former President BOZIZE to flee the country; Interim President Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency, reinstated the prime minister, and established a National Transitional Council (CNT) in April 2013; the NTC elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA interim president in January 2014 to serve until February 2015, when new elections were to be held; her term was extended because instability delayed new elections and the transition did not take place until the end of March 2016
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (140 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held 30 December 2015 (results annulled), 14 February 2016 - first round and 31 March 2016 - second round (next to be held in 2021)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UNDP 16, URCA 11, RDC 8, MLPC 10, KNK 7, other 28, independent 60; composition - men 129, women 11, percent of women 7.9%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists ofn/ajudges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, at least 3 of whom are women) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judge appointments - 2 by the president, 1 by the speaker of the National Assembly, 2 elected by their peers, 2 are advocates elected by their peers, and 2 are law professors elected by their peers; judges serve 7-year non-renewable terms

subordinate courts: high courts; magistrates' courts
Political parties and leaders: Action Party for Development or PAD [El Hadj Laurent NGON-BABA] Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Clement BELIBANGA] Central African Democratic Rally or RDC [Desire Nzanga KOLINGBA] Movement for Democracy and Development or MDD [Louis PAPENIAH] Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [Martin ZIGUELE] National Convergence (also known as Kwa Na Kwa) or KNK [Francois BOZIZE] National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Amine MICHEL] New Alliance for Progress or NAP [Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH] Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE] Union for Central African Renewal or URCA [Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE]
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country) (suspended), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): elephant;
national colors: blue, white, green, yellow, red
National anthem: name: "Le Renaissance" (The Renaissance)
lyrics/music: Barthelemy BOGANDA/Herbert PEPPER

note: adopted 1960; Barthelemy BOGANDA wrote the anthem's lyrics and was the first prime minister of the autonomous French territory
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Martial NDOUBOU (since 17 September 2018)
chancery: 2704 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Lucy TAMLYN (since 6 February 2019)
embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
mailing address: P.O. Box 924, Bangui
telephone: [236] 21 61 0200
FAX: [236] 21 61 4494
^Back to Top
Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry and mining, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with about 60% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates more than half of estimated GDP, although statistics are unreliable in the conflict-prone country. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked geography, poor transportation system, largely unskilled work force, and legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Distribution of income is highly unequal and grants from the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs. CAR shares a common currency with the Central African Monetary Union. The currency is pegged to the Euro. Since 2009, the IMF has worked closely with the government to institute reforms that have resulted in some improvement in budget transparency, but other problems remain. The government's additional spending in the run-up to the 2011 election worsened CAR's fiscal situation. In 2012, the World Bank approved $125 million in funding for transport infrastructure and regional trade, focused on the route between CAR's capital and the port of Douala in Cameroon. In July 2016, the IMF approved a three-year extended credit facility valued at $116 million; in mid-2017, the IMF completed a review of CAR’s fiscal performance and broadly approved of the government’s management, although issues with revenue collection, weak government capacity, and transparency remain. The World Bank in late 2016 approved a $20 million grant to restore basic fiscal management, improve transparency, and assist with economic recovery. Participation in the Kimberley Process, a commitment to remove conflict diamonds from the global supply chain, led to a partially lifted the ban on diamond exports from CAR in 2015, but persistent insecurity is likely to constrain real GDP growth.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.39 billion (2017 est.) $3.249 billion (2016 est.) $3.108 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.937 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.3% (2017 est.) 4.5% (2016 est.) 4.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $700 (2017 est.) $700 (2016 est.) $600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 5.4% of GDP (2017 est.) 8.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 4.2% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 95.3% (2017 est.) government consumption: 8.5% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 13.7% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 12% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -29.5% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 43.2% (2017 est.) industry: 16% (2017 est.) services: 40.8% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Industries: gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
Industrial production growth rate: 3.9% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 2.242 million (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate: 6.9% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line: 62% n/a (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 33% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 43.6 (2003 est.) 61.3 (1993)
Budget: revenues: 282.9 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 300.1 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 14.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -0.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 52.9% of GDP (2017 est.) 56% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.1% (2017 est.) 4.6% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$163 million (2017 est.) -$97 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $113.7 million (2017 est.) $101.5 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
Exports - partners: France 31.2%, Burundi 16.2%, China 12.5%, Cameroon 9.6%, Austria 7.8% (2017)
Imports: $393.1 million (2017 est.) $342.2 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners: France 17.1%, US 12.3%, India 11.5%, China 8.2%, South Africa 7.4%, Japan 5.8%, Italy 5.1%, Cameroon 4.9%, Netherlands 4.6% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $304.3 million (31 December 2017 est.) $252.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $779.9 million (31 December 2017 est.) $691.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
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.)
^Back to Top
Electricity - production: 171.4 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 159.4 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 38,300 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 50% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 50% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1% 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 (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 2,800 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,799 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: 413,800 Mt (2017 est.)
^Back to Top
Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 1,248,346
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and at low-capacity; ongoing conflict has obstructed telecommunication and media development, although there are ISP (Internet service providers) and mobile phone carriers, radio is the most-popular communications medium (2018)

domestic: very limited telephone service with less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; with the presence of multiple providers mobile-cellular service has reached 22 per 100 mobile-cellular subscribers; cellular usage is increasing from a low base; most fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone services are concentrated in Bangui (2018)

international: country code - 236; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Broadcast media: government-owned network, Radiodiffusion Television Centrafricaine, provides limited domestic TV broadcasting; state-owned radio network is supplemented by a small number of privately owned broadcast stations as well as a few community radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2017)
Internet country code: .cf
Internet users: total: 246,000
percent of population: 4.6% (July 2016 est.)
^Back to Top
Airports: 39 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 37
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 19 (2013)
under 914 m: 6 (2013)
Roadways: total 24,000 km
(2018) paved: 700 km (2018)
unpaved: 23,300 km (2018)
Waterways: 2,800 km (the primary navigable river is the Ubangi, which joins the River Congo; it was the traditional route for the export of products because it connected with the Congo-Ocean railway at Brazzaville; because of the warfare on both sides of the River Congo from 1997, importers and exporters preferred routes through Cameroon) (2011)
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Bangui (Oubangui) Nola (Sangha)
^Back to Top
Military branches: Central African Armed Forces (Forces Armees Centrafricaines, FACA): Ground Forces (includes Military Air Service), General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG), National Police (2017)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for military service; no conscription (2017)
^Back to Top
 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: periodic skirmishes persist over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 613,031 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2019)
^Back to Top

« Previous Country | Next Country »   Back to Flag Counter Overview

   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

Flag Counter