Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Facts & Figures
President: Joseph Kabila (2001)
Prime Minister: Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon (2012)
Land area: 875,520 sq mi (2,267,599 sq km); total area: 905,568 sq mi (2,345,410 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 77,433,744 (growth rate: 2.5%); birth rate: 35.62/1000; infant mortality rate: 73.15/1000; life expectancy: 56.54
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Kinshasa, 8.798 million
Other large cities: Lubumbashi, 1.556 million; Mbuji-Mayi, 1.504 million; Kananga 888,000; Kisangani 820,000
Monetary unit: Congolese franc
National Name: Republique Democratique du Congo
Languages: French (official), Lingala, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba
Ethnicity/race: With over 200 African ethnic groups, the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes—Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic)—make up about 45% of the population
National Holiday: Independence Day, June 30
Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Islam 10%; other syncretic and indigenous 10%
Literacy rate: 66.8% (2010 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $29.39 billion; per capita $400. Real growth rate: 6.2%. Inflation: 7.1% (2013 est.). Unemployment: n.a. Arable land: 2.9%. Agriculture: coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products. Labor force: 35.18 million (2013) Industries: mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair. Natural resources: cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber. Exports: $9.936 billion (2013 est.): diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee. Imports: $8.924 billion (2013 est.): foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels. Major trading partners: Belgium, China, South Africa, France, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe (2012).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 58,200 (2012); mobile cellular: 19.487 million (2012). Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 2 (2001). Television broadcast stations: 4 (2001). Internet hosts: 2,515 (2012). Internet users: 290,000 (2008).
Transportation: Railways: total: 4,007 km (2008). Highways: total: 153,497 km; paved: 2,794 km; unpaved: 150,703 km (2004). Waterways: 15,000 km (navigation on the Congo curtailed by fighting) (2011). Ports and harbors: Banana, Boma, Bukavu, Bumba, Goma, Kalemie, Kindu, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka. Airports: 198 (2013 est.).
International disputes: heads of the Great Lakes states and UN pledged in 2004 to abate tribal, rebel, and militia fighting in the region, including northeast Congo, where the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), organized in 1999, maintains over 16,500 uniformed peacekeepers; members of Uganda's Lords Resistance Army forces continue to seek refuge in Congo's Garamba National Park as peace talks with the Uganda government evolve; the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area; Uganda and DRC dispute Rukwanzi Island in Lake Albert and other areas on the Semliki River with hydrocarbon potential; boundary commission continues discussions over Congolese-administered triangle of land on the right bank of the Lunkinda River claimed by Zambia near the DRC village of Pweto; DRC accuses Angola of shifting monuments.