The Central African Republic is rich in natural resources. However, the country is among the world’s poorest due to political turmoil, corruption and poorly developed infrastructure.
Key figures and facts
- Capital: Bangui
- Ethnic groups: Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M’Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, others 2%
- Language: French (official), Sangho, other tribal languages,
- Religion: African religions 35%, Protestants 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslims 15%. Note: Natural religion strongly influences the Christian majority.
- Population: 4,737,423 (2018)
- Control Form: Republic
- Area: 622 980 Km2
- Currency: Central African CFA Franc
- GNP per capita: 699 PPP $
- National Day: December 1st
Population of the Central African Republic
In 2006, the population was estimated at 4.3 million, and annual population growth to 1.8% (1994–2004). The birth and death rates are high, respectively 34 and 19 ‰ (2005), giving a “young” population: 42% are under 15, and only 4.2% are 65 and older. The average life expectancy is for women is 41 years and for men 40 years.
The population consists of a number of ethnic groups with different languages, culture and social forms. The largest population groups are baya (gbaya, 33%), living in the east, and banda (27%) living in the central parts of the country. In the southeast, azande and nzakara live; in the north, various Muslim peoples live. sara and runga. Ngbandi, a group of fishermen and traders (including, among others, sango) living along the Oubangui River in the south.
The population density is 6.9 per km2. The majority of the population lives in the southern and western parts of the country. The largest city is the capital Bangui with 670,000 residents (2003); About 810,000 in the metropolitan area.
About 60% of the population are supporters of traditional, local religions. About 35% are Christians, of whom approximately 17% members of the Catholic Church. About 5% are Muslims.
French is the official language. The most popular language is sango, which is also used as a lingua franca. Another widespread language is zande (azande). Both belong to the Niger-Congo language family.