Congo, Republic of the

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. Now back under Marxist leadership, the Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers.

Geography

Area

total: 342,000 sq km

land: 341,500 sq km

water: 500 sq km

Climate

tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator

Natural resources

petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower

People and Society

Population

5,546,307 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Kongo 40.5%, Teke 16.9%, Mbochi 13.1%, foreigner 8.2%, Sangha 5.6%, Mbere/Mbeti/Kele 4.4%, Punu 4.3%, Pygmy 1.6%, Oubanguiens 1.6%, Duma 1.5%, Makaa 1.3%, other and unspecified 1% (2014-15 est.)

Languages

French (official), French Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)

Religions

Roman Catholic 33.1%, Awakening Churches/Christian Revival 22.3%, Protestant 19.9%, Salutiste 2.2%, Muslim 1.6%, Kimbanguiste 1.5%, other 8.1%, none 11.3% (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

2.34% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Brazzaville

Executive branch

chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997)

head of government: Prime Minister Clement MOUAMBA (since 24 April 2016); note - a constitutional referendum held in 2015 approved the change of the head of government from the president to the prime minister (2019)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
Senate (72 seats; members indirectly elected by local, district, and regional councils by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-half of membership renewed every 3 years)
National Assembly (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

primarily an oil- and natural resources-based economy; recovery from mid-2010s oil devaluation has been slow and curtailed by COVID-19; extreme poverty increasing, particularly in southern rural regions; attempting to implement recommended CEMAC reforms; increasing likelihood of debt default

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$19.03 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

cassava, sugar cane, oil palm fruit, cassava leaves, bananas, plantains, roots/tubers, game meat, vegetables, mangoes/guavas

Industries

petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes

Exports

$4.193 billion (2017 est.)

Exports - partners

China 49%, United Arab Emirates 15%, India 6%, Italy 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, copper, lumber, ships, refined petroleum (2019)

Imports

$2.501 billion (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

China 15%, France 12%, Belgium 6%, Angola 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

ships, chicken products, refined petroleum, processed fish, packaged medicines (2019)


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022