Photos of Angola



From the late 14th to the mid 19th century a Kingdom of Kongo stretched across central Africa from present-day northern Angola into the current Congo republics. It traded heavily with the Portuguese who, beginning in the 16th century, established coastal colonies and trading posts and introduced Christianity. By the 19th century, Portuguese settlement had spread to the interior; in 1914, Portugal abolished the last vestiges of the Kongo Kingdom and Angola became a Portuguese colony.

Angola scores low on human development indexes despite using its large oil reserves to rebuild since the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but fighting picked up again in 1993. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - during the more than a quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and cemented the MPLA's hold on power. DOS SANTOS stepped down from the presidency in 2017, having led the country since 1979. He pushed through a new constitution in 2010. Joao LOURENCO was elected president in August 2017 and became president of the MPLA in September 2018.

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Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates

12 30 S, 18 30 E


total: 1,246,700 sq km

land: 1,246,700 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 24

Area - comparative

about eight times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries

total: 5,369 km

border countries (4): Democratic Republic of the Congo 2646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 231 km, Namibia 1427 km, Zambia 1065 km


1,600 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)


narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau


mean elevation: 1,112 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Moca 2,620 m

Natural resources

petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium

Land use

agricultural land: 45.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 3.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 41.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 54.3% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

860 sq km (2014)

Population distribution

most people live in the western half of the country; urban areas account for the highest concentrations of people, particularly the capital of Luanda as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau

Geography - note

the province of Cabinda is an exclave, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo

People and Society


33,642,646 (July 2021 est.)

note: Angola's national statistical agency projects the country's 2017 population to be 28.4 million

country comparison to the world: 42


noun: Angolan(s)

adjective: Angolan

Ethnic groups

Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%


Portuguese 71.2% (official), Umbundu 23%, Kikongo 8.2%, Kimbundu 7.8%, Chokwe 6.5%, Nhaneca 3.4%, Nganguela 3.1%, Fiote 2.4%, Kwanhama 2.3%, Muhumbi 2.1%, Luvale 1%, other 3.6% (2014 est.)

note: data represent most widely spoken languages; shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census


Roman Catholic 41.1%, Protestant 38.1%, other 8.6%, none 12.3% (2014 est.)

Demographic profile

More than a decade after the end of Angola's 27-year civil war, the country still faces a variety of socioeconomic problems, including poverty, high maternal and child mortality, and illiteracy. Despite the country's rapid post-war economic growth based on oil production, about 40 percent of Angolans live below the poverty line and unemployment is widespread, especially among the large young-adult population. Only about 70% of the population is literate, and the rate drops to around 60% for women. The youthful population - about 45% are under the age of 15 - is expected to continue growing rapidly with a fertility rate of more than 5 children per woman and a low rate of contraceptive use. Fewer than half of women deliver their babies with the assistance of trained health care personnel, which contributes to Angola's high maternal mortality rate.

Of the estimated 550,000 Angolans who fled their homeland during its civil war, most have returned home since 2002. In 2012, the UN assessed that conditions in Angola had been stable for several years and invoked a cessation of refugee status for Angolans. Following the cessation clause, some of those still in exile returned home voluntarily through UN repatriation programs, and others integrated into host countries.

Age structure

0-14 years: 47.83% (male 7,758,636/female 7,797,869)

15-24 years: 18.64% (male 2,950,999/female 3,109,741)

25-54 years: 27.8% (male 4,301,618/female 4,740,463)

55-64 years: 3.43% (male 523,517/female 591,249)

65 years and over: 2.3% (male 312,197/female 436,050) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 94.5

youth dependency ratio: 90.2

elderly dependency ratio: 4.3

potential support ratio: 23.5 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 15.9 years

male: 15.4 years

female: 16.4 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 225

Birth rate

42.22 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Death rate

8.24 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Net migration rate

-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 106

Population distribution

most people live in the western half of the country; urban areas account for the highest concentrations of people, particularly the capital of Luanda as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 66.8% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 4.32% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

8.632 million LUANDA (capital), 871,000 Lubango, 819,000 Cabinda (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.4 years (2015/16 est.)

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

Maternal mortality rate

241 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Infant mortality rate

total: 60.58 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 65.91 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 55.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 61.71 years

male: 59.66 years

female: 63.81 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 214

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 81.7% of population

rural: 36.6% of population

total: 65.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 18.3% of population

rural: 63.4% of population

total: 34.2% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.22 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 92.2% of population

rural: 29.2% of population

total: 70.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 7.8% of population

rural: 70.8% of population

total: 29.9% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 71.1%

male: 82%

female: 60.7% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 12 years

female: 7 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 39.4%

male: 39%

female: 39.8% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Angola

conventional short form: Angola

local long form: Republica de Angola

local short form: Angola

former: People's Republic of Angola

etymology: name derived by the Portuguese from the title "ngola" held by kings of the Ndongo (Ndongo was a kingdom in what is now northern Angola)

Government type

presidential republic


name: Luanda

geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 13 13 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: does not observe daylight savings time

etymology: originally named "Sao Paulo da Assuncao de Loanda" (Saint Paul of the Assumption of Loanda), which over time was shortened and corrupted to just Luanda

Administrative divisions

18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza-Norte, Cuanza-Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda-Norte, Lunda-Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire


11 November 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday

Independence Day, 11 November (1975)


history: previous 1975, 1992; latest passed by National Assembly 21 January 2010, adopted 5 February 2010

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by at least one third of the National Assembly membership; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly subject to prior Constitutional Court review if requested by the president of the republic

Legal system

civil legal system based on Portuguese civil law; no judicial review of legislation

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Angola

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Joao Manuel Goncalves LOURENCO (since 26 September 2017); Vice President Bornito De Sousa Baltazar DIOGO (since 26 September 2017); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Joao Manuel Goncalves LOURENCO (since 26 September 2017); Vice President Bornito De Sousa Baltazar DIOGO (since 26 September 2017)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: the candidate of the winning party or coalition in the last legislative election becomes the president; president serves a 5-year term (eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term); last held on 23 August 2017 (next to be held in 2022)

election results: Joao Manuel Goncalves LOURENCO (MPLA) elected president by the winning party following the 23 August 2017 general election

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (220 seats; members directly elected in a single national constituency and in multi-seat constituencies by closed list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 23 August 2017 (next to be held in August 2022)

election results: percent of vote by party - MPLA 61.1%, UNITA 26.7%, CASA-CE 9.5%, PRS 1.4%, FNLA 0.9%, other 0.5%; seats by party - MPLA 150, UNITA 51, CASA-CE 16, PRS 2, FNLA 1; composition - men 136, women 84, percent of women 38.2%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal de Justica (consists of the court president, vice president, and a minimum of 16 judges); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional (consists of 11 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president upon recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council, an 18-member body chaired by the president; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges - 4 nominated by the president, 4 elected by National Assembly, 2 elected by Supreme National Council, 1 elected by competitive submission of curricula; judges serve single 7-year terms

subordinate courts: provincial and municipal courts

Political parties and leaders

Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola Electoral Coalition or CASA-CE [Andre Mendes de CARVALHO]
National Front for the Liberation of Angola or FNLA; note - party has two factions; one led by Lucas NGONDA; the other by Ngola KABANGU
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola or UNITA [Isaias SAMAKUVA] (largest opposition party)
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola or MPLA [Joao LOURENCO]; note - Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS stepped down 8 Sept 2018 ruling party in power since 1975
Social Renewal Party or PRS [Benedito DANIEL]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Joaquim do Espirito SANTO (since 16 September 2019)

chancery: 2100-2108 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 785-1156

FAX: [1] (202) 822-9049

consulate(s) general: Houston, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Nina Maria FITE (since 14 February 2018)

telephone: [244] 946440977

embassy: 32 Rua Houari Boumedienne (in the Miramar area of Luanda), Luanda, C.P. 6468

mailing address: international mail: Caixa Postal 6468, Luanda; pouch: US Embassy Luanda, US Department of State, 2550 Luanda Place, Washington, DC 20521-2550

FAX: [244] (222) 64-1000

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle); red represents liberty and black the African continent; the symbols characterize workers and peasants

National symbol(s)

Palanca Negra Gigante (giant black sable antelope); national colors: red, black, yellow

National anthem

name: "Angola Avante" (Forward Angola)

lyrics/music: Manuel Rui Alves MONTEIRO/Rui Alberto Vieira Dias MINGAO

note: adopted 1975


Economic overview

Angola's economy is overwhelmingly driven by its oil sector. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 50% of GDP, more than 70% of government revenue, and more than 90% of the country's exports; Angola is an OPEC member and subject to its direction regarding oil production levels. Diamonds contribute an additional 5% to exports. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food is still imported.

Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 17% per year from 2004 to 2008. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Some of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war (1975-2002). However, the government since 2005 has used billions of dollars in credit from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to help rebuild Angola's public infrastructure. Land mines left from the war still mar the countryside, and as a result, the national military, international partners, and private Angolan firms all continue to remove them.

The global recession that started in 2008 stalled Angola’s economic growth and many construction projects stopped because Luanda accrued billions in arrears to foreign construction companies when government revenue fell. Lower prices for oil and diamonds also resulted in GDP falling 0.7% in 2016. Angola formally abandoned its currency peg in 2009 but reinstituted it in April 2016 and maintains an overvalued exchange rate. In late 2016, Angola lost the last of its correspondent relationships with foreign banks, further exacerbating hard currency problems. Since 2013 the central bank has consistently spent down reserves to defend the kwanza, gradually allowing a 40% depreciation since late 2014. Consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to less than 9% in 2014, before rising again to above 30% from 2015-2017.

Continued low oil prices, the depreciation of the kwanza, and slower than expected growth in non-oil GDP have reduced growth prospects, although several major international oil companies remain in Angola. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, is a major long-term challenge that poses an additional threat to the economy.

Real GDP growth rate

-2.5% (2017 est.)

-2.6% (2016 est.)

0.9% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 209

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

17.2% (2019 est.)

20.3% (2018 est.)

32.1% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 218

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: CCC (2020)

Moody's rating: Caa1 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: CCC+ (2020)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$212.285 billion (2019 est.)

$213.619 billion (2018 est.)

$217.987 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 65

GDP (official exchange rate)

$97.261 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$6,670 (2019 est.)

$6,934 (2018 est.)

$7,311 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 161

Gross national saving

23.3% of GDP (2019 est.)

25.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

23.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 82

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.2% (2011 est.)

industry: 61.4% (2011 est.)

services: 28.4% (2011 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 80.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 15.6% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 10.3% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -1.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 25.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -30.7% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 41.3 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 79.4 (2020)

Trading score: 36.2 (2020)

Enforcement score: 28.1 (2020)

Agricultural products

cassava, bananas, maize, sweet potatoes, pineapples, sugar cane, potatoes, citrus fruit, vegetables, cabbage


petroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite, uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing; food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar; textiles; ship repair

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 85%

industry: 15% (2015 est.)

industry and services: 15% (2003 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 0.6%

highest 10%: 44.7% (2000)


revenues: 37.02 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 45.44 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

65% of GDP (2017 est.)

75.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 59

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$1.254 billion (2017 est.)

-$4.834 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 154


$33.07 billion (2017 est.)

$31.03 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 67

Exports - partners

China 62%, India 10%, United Arab Emirates 4%, Portugal 3%, Spain 3% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, diamonds, natural gas, refined petroleum, ships (2019)


$19.5 billion (2017 est.)

$13.04 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 84

Imports - partners

China 22%, Portugal 15%, Nigeria 6%, Belgium 6%, United States 5%, South Africa 5%, Brazil 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, scrap vessels, meat, rice, palm oil (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$17.29 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$23.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 63

Debt - external

$42.08 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$27.14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74

Exchange rates

kwanza (AOA) per US dollar -

172.6 (2017 est.)

163.656 (2016 est.)

163.656 (2015 est.)

120.061 (2014 est.)

98.303 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 43% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 61% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 6% (2019)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 122,566

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 134

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 14,645,106

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 46.6 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 69

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: progress in opening up the telecom sector to new competitors, while still retaining a 45% govt. portion of the share; slow progress in LTE network development, with only about 12% of the country covered by network infrastructure; regulator offers 4th service license to be issued for competition, cracks down on informal SIM card sales, and auctions 800MHz spectrum; M-commerce services launch pending (2020)

domestic: only about one fixed-line per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity about 47 telephones per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 244; landing points for the SAT-3/WASC, WACS, ACE and SACS fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to other countries in west Africa, Brazil, Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 29, Angosat-2 satellite expected by 2021 (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

state controls all broadcast media with nationwide reach; state-owned Televisao Popular de Angola (TPA) provides terrestrial TV service on 2 channels; a third TPA channel is available via cable and satellite; TV subscription services are available; state-owned Radio Nacional de Angola (RNA) broadcasts on 5 stations; about a half-dozen private radio stations broadcast locally

Internet users

total: 4,353,033

percent of population: 14.34% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 90

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 109,561

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 120


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 10 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 55

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,516,628 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 78.16 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 32 (2020)

over 3,047 m: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 10

914 to 1,523 m: 6

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 70 (2020)

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 17

914 to 1,523 m: 27

under 914 m: 22


1 (2013)


352 km gas, 85 km liquid petroleum gas, 1065 km oil, 5 km oil/gas/water (2013)


total: 2,852 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 2,729 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)

123 km 0.600-m gauge

country comparison to the world: 63


total: 26,000 km (2018)

paved: 13,600 km (2018)

unpaved: 12,400 km (2018)

country comparison to the world: 103

Merchant marine

total: 54

by type: general cargo 14, oil tanker 8, other 32 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 117

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Namibe

LNG terminal(s) (export): Angola Soyo

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Angolan Armed Forces (Forcas Armadas Angolanas, FAA): Army, Navy (Marinha de Guerra Angola, MGA), Angolan National Air Force (Forca Aerea Nacional Angolana, FANA; under operational control of the Army); Rapid Reaction Police (paramilitary) (2021)

Military expenditures

1.7% of GDP (2019)

1.8% of GDP (2018)

2.4% of GDP (2017)

3% of GDP (2016)

3.5% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 73

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) are comprised of approximately 107,000 active troops (100,000 Army; 1,000 Navy; 6,000 Air Force); est. 10,000 Rapid Reaction Police (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

most Angolan military weapons and equipment are of Russian, Soviet, or Warsaw Pact origin; since 2010, Russia has remained the principle supplier of military hardware to Angola (2020)

Military service age and obligation

20-45 years of age for compulsory male and 18-45 years for voluntary male military service (registration at age 18 is mandatory); 20-45 years of age for voluntary female service; 2-year conscript service obligation; Angolan citizenship required; the Navy (MGA) is entirely staffed with volunteers (2019)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Democratic Republic of Congo accuses Angola of shifting monuments

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 23,458 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers), 6,347 (Cote d'Ivoire), 5,726 (Mauritania)  (2021)

Illicit drugs

used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa