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Africa :: Benin Print
Page last updated on October 09, 2020
  • Introduction :: Benin
  • Background field listing

    Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a West African kingdom that rose to prominence in about 1600 and over the next two and a half centuries became a regional power, largely based on its slave trade. France began to control the coastal areas of Dahomey in the second half of the 19th century; the entire kingdom was conquered by 1894. French Dahomey achieved independence in 1960; it changed its name to the Republic of Benin in 1975.

    A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent, who won a second five-year term in March 2011. Patrice TALON, a wealthy businessman, took office in 2016 after campaigning to restore public confidence in the government.

  • Geography :: Benin
  • Location field listing
    Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    9 30 N, 2 15 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 112,622 sq km
    land: 110,622 sq km
    water: 2,000 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 2,123 km
    border countries (4): Burkina Faso 386 km, Niger 277 km, Nigeria 809 km, Togo 651 km
    Coastline field listing
    121 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
    Terrain field listing
    mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 273 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m
    Natural resources field listing
    small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 31.3% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 22.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 3.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 4.9% (2011 est.)
    forest: 40% (2011 est.)
    other: 28.7% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    230 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    the population is primarily located in the south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the north remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west at shown in this population distribution map
    Natural hazards field listing
    hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
    Environment - current issues field listing
    inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification (the spread of the desert into agricultural lands in the north is accelerated by regular droughts)
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands
  • People and Society :: Benin
  • Population field listing
    12,864,634 (July 2020 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

    country comparison to the world: 74
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Beninese
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Fon and related 38.4%, Adja and related 15.1%, Yoruba and related 12%, Bariba and related 9.6%, Fulani and related 8.6%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4.3%, Dendi and related 2.9%, other 0.9%, foreigner 1.9% (2013 est.)
    Languages field listing
    French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
    Religions field listing
    Muslim 27.7%, Roman Catholic 25.5%, Protestant 13.5% (Celestial 6.7%, Methodist 3.4%, other Protestant 3.4%), Vodoun 11.6%, other Christian 9.5%, other traditional religions 2.6%, other 2.6%, none 5.8% (2013 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Benin has a youthful age structure – almost 65% of the population is under the age of 25 – which is bolstered by high fertility and population growth rates. Benin’s total fertility has been falling over time but remains high, declining from almost 7 children per women in 1990 to 4.8 in 2016. Benin’s low contraceptive use and high unmet need for contraception contribute to the sustained high fertility rate. Although the majority of Beninese women use skilled health care personnel for antenatal care and delivery, the high rate of maternal mortality indicates the need for more access to high quality obstetric care.

    Poverty, unemployment, increased living costs, and dwindling resources increasingly drive the Beninese to migrate. An estimated 4.4 million, more than 40%, of Beninese live abroad. Virtually all Beninese emigrants move to West African countries, particularly Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Of the less than 1% of Beninese emigrants who settle in Europe, the vast majority live in France, Benin’s former colonial ruler.

    With about 40% of the population living below the poverty line, many desperate parents resort to sending their children to work in wealthy households as domestic servants (a common practice known as vidomegon), mines, quarries, or agriculture domestically or in Nigeria and other neighboring countries, often under brutal conditions. Unlike in other West African countries, where rural people move to the coast, farmers from Benin’s densely populated southern and northwestern regions move to the historically sparsely populated central region to pursue agriculture. Immigrants from West African countries came to Benin in increasing numbers between 1992 and 2002 because of its political stability and porous borders.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 45.56% (male 2,955,396/female 2,906,079)
    15-24 years: 20.36% (male 1,300,453/female 1,318,880)
    25-54 years: 28.54% (male 1,735,229/female 1,935,839)
    55-64 years: 3.15% (male 193,548/female 211,427)
    65 years and over: 2.39% (male 140,513/female 167,270) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 82.6
    youth dependency ratio: 76.6
    elderly dependency ratio: 6
    potential support ratio: 16.7 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 17 years
    male: 16.4 years
    female: 17.6 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    Population growth rate field listing
    3.4% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Birth rate field listing
    42.1 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Death rate field listing
    8.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Net migration rate field listing
    0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Population distribution field listing
    the population is primarily located in the south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the north remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west at shown in this population distribution map
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 48.4% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 3.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    285,000 PORTO-NOVO (capital) (2018); 1.056 million Abomey-Calavi, 692,000 COTONOU (seat of government) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    20.4 years (2017/18 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    397 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 58.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 63.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 53.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 61.4 years
    male: 59.6 years
    female: 63.3 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Total fertility rate field listing
    5.53 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    15.5% (2017/18)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 81.2% of population
    rural: 72.2% of population
    total: 76.4% of population
    unimproved: urban: 18.8% of population
    rural: 27.8% of population
    total: 23.6% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    3.7% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    0.5 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 58.7% of population
    rural: 16% of population
    total: 36% of population
    unimproved: urban: 41.3% of population
    rural: 84% of population
    total: 64% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    1% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    73,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    2,200 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    9.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    16.8% (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Education expenditures field listing
    4% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 42.4%
    male: 54%
    female: 31.1% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 13 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 11 years (2016)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 5.6%
    male: 5.2%
    female: 5.9% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
  • Government :: Benin
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of Benin
    conventional short form: Benin
    local long form: Republique du Benin
    local short form: Benin
    former: Dahomey, People's Republic of Benin
    etymology: named for the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Porto-Novo (constitutional capital); Cotonou (seat of government)
    geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: the name Porto-Novo is Portuguese for "new port"; Cotonou means "by the river of death" in the native Fon language
    Administrative divisions field listing
    12 departments; Alibori, Atacora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
    Independence field listing
    1 August 1960 (from France)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 1 August (1960)
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1946, 1958 (preindependence); latest adopted by referendum 2 December 1990, promulgated 11 December 1990
    amendments: proposed concurrently by the president of the republic (after a decision in the Council of Ministers) and the National Assembly; consideration of drafts or proposals requires at least three-fourths majority vote of the Assembly membership; passage requires approval in a referendum unless approved by at least four-fifths majority vote of the Assembly membership; constitutional articles affecting territorial sovereignty, the republican form of government, and secularity of Benin cannot be amended
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Benin
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); prime minister position abolished
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    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); last held on 6 March and 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: Patrice TALON elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Lionel ZINSOU (FCBE) 28.4%, Patrice TALON (independent) 24.8%, Sebastien AJAVON (independent) 23.%, Abdoulaye Bio TCHANE (ABT) 8.8%, Pascal KOUPAKI (NC) 5.9%, other 9.1%; percent of vote in second round - Patrice TALON 65.4%, Lionel ZINSOU 34.6%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 28 April 2019 (next to be held in April 2023)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Union Progressiste 56.2%, Bloc Republicain 43.8%; seats by party - Union Progressiste 47, Bloc Republicain 36; composition - men 77, women 6, percent of women 7.2%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of the chief justice and 16 justices organized into an administrative division, judicial chamber, and chamber of accounts); Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 7 members, including the court president); High Court of Justice (consists of the Constitutional Court members, 6 members appointed by the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court president); note - jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice is limited to cases of high treason by the national president or members of the government while in office
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president and judges appointed by the president of the republic upon the advice of the National Assembly; judges appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court members - 4 appointed by the National Assembly and 3 by the president of the republic; members appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; other members of the High Court of Justice elected by the National Assembly; member tenure NA
    subordinate courts: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; district courts; village courts; Assize courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Alliance for a Triumphant Benin or ABT [Abdoulaye BIO TCHANE]
    African Movement for Development and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]
    Benin Renaissance or RB [Lehady SOGLO]
    Cowrie Force for an Emerging Benin or FCBE [Yayi BONI]
    Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]
    National Alliance for Development and Democracy or AND [Valentin Aditi HOUDE]
    New Consciousness Rally or NC [Pascal KOUPAKI]
    Patriotic Awakening or RP [Janvier YAHOUEDEOU]
    Social Democrat Party or PSD [Emmanuel GOLOU]
    Sun Alliance or AS [Sacca LAFIA]
    Union Makes the Nation or UN [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI] (includes PRD, MADEP)
    United Democratic Forces or FDU [Mathurin NAGO]

    note: approximately 20 additional minor parties

    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador Jean Claude Felix DO REGO (since 17 July 2020)
    chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656
    FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Patricia MAHONEY (since 18 January 2019)
    telephone: [229] 21-30-06-50
    embassy: Caporal Bernard Anani, 01 BP 2012, Cotonou
    mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou
    FAX: [229] 21-30-03-84
    Flag description field listing
    two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a vertical green band on the hoist side; green symbolizes hope and revival, yellow wealth, and red courage

    note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

    National symbol(s) field listing
    leopard; national colors: green, yellow, red
    National anthem field listing
    name: "L'Aube Nouvelle" (The Dawn of a New Day)
    lyrics/music: Gilbert Jean DAGNON

    note: adopted 1960

  • Economy :: Benin
  • Economy - overview field listing

    The free market economy of Benin has grown consecutively for four years, though growth slowed in 2017, as its close trade links to Nigeria expose Benin to risks from volatile commodity prices. Cotton is a key export commodity, with export earnings significantly impacted by the price of cotton in the broader market. The economy began deflating in 2017, with the consumer price index falling 0.8%.

    During the first two years of President TALON’s administration, which began in April 2016, the government has followed an ambitious action plan to kickstart development through investments in infrastructure, education, agriculture, and governance. Electricity generation, which has constrained Benin’s economic growth, has increased and blackouts have been considerably reduced. Private foreign direct investment is small, and foreign aid accounts for a large proportion of investment in infrastructure projects.

    Benin has appealed for international assistance to mitigate piracy against commercial shipping in its territory, and has used equipment from donors effectively against such piracy. Pilferage has significantly dropped at the Port of Cotonou, though the port is still struggling with effective implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. Projects included in Benin's $307 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) first compact (2006-11) were designed to increase investment and private sector activity by improving key institutional and physical infrastructure. The four projects focused on access to land, access to financial services, access to justice, and access to markets (including modernization of the port). The Port of Cotonou is a major contributor to Benin’s economy, with revenues projected to account for more than 40% of Benin’s national budget.

    Benin will need further efforts to upgrade infrastructure, stem corruption, and expand access to foreign markets to achieve its potential. In September 2015, Benin signed a second MCC Compact for $375 million that entered into force in June 2017 and is designed to strengthen the national utility service provider, attract private sector investment, fund infrastructure investments in electricity generation and distribution, and develop off-grid electrification for poor and unserved households. As part of the Government of Benin’s action plan to spur growth, Benin passed public private partnership legislation in 2017 to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, encourage new information and communication technology, and establish Independent Power Producers. In April 2017, the IMF approved a three year $150.4 million Extended Credit Facility agreement to maintain debt sustainability and boost donor confidence.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $25.39 billion (2017 est.)
    $24.04 billion (2016 est.)
    $23.12 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 141
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $9.246 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    5.6% (2017 est.)
    4% (2016 est.)
    2.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $2,300 (2017 est.)
    $2,200 (2016 est.)
    $2,200 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 201
    Gross national saving field listing
    17.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    15.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    16.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 70.5% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 13.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 27.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 31.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -43% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 26.1% (2017 est.)
    industry: 22.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 51.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    cotton, corn, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; livestock
    Industries field listing
    textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    3% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Labor force field listing
    3.662 million (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Unemployment rate field listing
    1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Population below poverty line field listing
    36.2% (2011 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 3.1%
    highest 10%: 29% (2003)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 1.578 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 2.152 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    17.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -6.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Public debt field listing
    54.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
    49.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    0.1% (2017 est.)
    -0.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Current account balance field listing
    -$1.024 billion (2017 est.)
    -$808 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Exports field listing
    $1.974 billion (2017 est.)
    $1.588 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Exports - partners field listing
    Bangladesh 18.1%, India 10.7%, Ukraine 9%, Niger 8.1%, China 7.7%, Nigeria 7.2%, Turkey 4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood
    Imports field listing
    $2.787 billion (2017 est.)
    $2.443 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Imports - commodities field listing
    foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
    Imports - partners field listing
    Thailand 18.1%, India 15.9%, France 8.5%, China 7.5%, Togo 5.9%, Netherlands 4.3%, Belgium 4.3% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $698.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $57.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Debt - external field listing
    $2.804 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.476 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Exchange rates field listing
    Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
    605.3 (2017 est.)
    593.01 (2016 est.)
    593.01 (2015 est.)
    591.45 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Benin
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 8 million (2017)
    electrification - total population: 41.4% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 70.8% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 18% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    335 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    1.143 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Electricity - imports field listing
    1.088 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    321,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    88% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    8 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    38,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    1,514 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    38,040 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    1.133 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    5.664 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
  • Communications :: Benin
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 48,508
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 9,461,872
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 79 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: fixed-line network characterized by aging, deteriorating equipment; mobile networks account for almost all Internet connections; govt. to provide telecom services to 80% of the country, mostly via mobile infrastructure by restructuring state-owned telecom companies; Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is available; Benin joins free roaming scheme (2019)
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity only about 1 per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular providers, cellular telephone subscribership has increased rapidly, exceeding 79 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 229; landing points for the SAT-3/WASC and ACE fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe, and most West African countries; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat-Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    state-run Office de Radiodiffusion et de Television du Benin (ORTB) operates a TV station providing a wide broadcast reach; several privately owned TV stations broadcast from Cotonou; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio, under ORTB control, includes a national station supplemented by a number of regional stations; substantial number of privately owned radio broadcast stations; transmissions of a few international broadcasters are available on FM in Cotonou (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 2,403,596
    percent of population: 20% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 27,034
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
  • Military and Security :: Benin
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Benin Armed Forces (Forces Armees Beninoises, FAB): Army, Navy, Air Force; Ministry of Public Security: Republican Police (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    0.7% of GDP (2019)
    0.86% of GDP (2018)
    1.26% of GDP (2017)
    1.14% of GDP (2016)
    1.1% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing

    the Benin Armed Forces (FAB) are comprised of approximately 7,200 active duty troops (6,500 Army; 500 Navy; 200 Air Force); est. 5,000 Republican Police

    (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the FAB is equipped with a mix of foreign-supplied weapons; historically, France and Russia (including the former Soviet Union) have been the chief suppliers of military hardware (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    250 Mali (MINUSMA) (April 2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2013)
    Maritime threats field listing
    West African piracy more than doubled in 2018 to become the most dangerous area in the World; the waters off of Benin saw a dramatic increase in 2018 with five attacks reported compared with none in 2017; three ships were boarded, two were hijacked, and 48 crew taken hostage or kidnapped
    Military - note field listing
    Benin participates in the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram along with Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria; the Benin military contingent is in charge of MNJTF garrison duties (2020)
  • Transportation :: Benin
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 112,392 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 805,347 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    TY (2016)
    Airports field listing
    6 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 5 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    134 km gas
    Railways field listing
    total: 438 km (2014)
    narrow gauge: 438 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Roadways field listing
    total: 16,000 km (2006)
    paved: 1,400 km (2006)
    unpaved: 14,600 km (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Waterways field listing
    150 km (seasonal navigation on River Niger along northern border) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 6
    by type: other 6 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Cotonou
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Cotonou
  • Transnational Issues :: Benin
  • Disputes - international field listing

    talks continue between Benin and Togo on funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River; Benin retains a border dispute with Burkina Faso near the town of Koualou; location of Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint is unresolved

    Illicit drugs field listing
    transshipment point used by traffickers for cocaine destined for Western Europe; vulnerable to money laundering due to poorly enforced financial regulations