Country Summary



Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. Guinea-Bissau’s history of political instability, a civil war, and several coups (the latest in 2012) have resulted in a fragile state with a weak economy, high unemployment, rampant corruption, and widespread poverty.



total: 36,125 sq km
land: 28,120 sq km
water: 8,005 sq km


tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds

Natural resources

fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum

People and Society


2,078,820 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Balanta 30%, Fulani 30%, Manjaco 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel 7%, unspecified smaller ethnic groups 6% (2015 est.)


Portuguese-based Creole, Portuguese (official; largely used as a second or third language), Pular (a Fula language), Mandingo


Muslim 46.1%, folk religions 30.6%, Christian 18.9%, other or unaffiliated 4.4% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.54% (2023 est.)


Government type

semi-presidential republic


name: Bissau

Executive branch

chief of state: President Umaro Sissoco EMBALO (since 27 February 2020); note - President EMBALO was declared winner of the 29 December 2019 runoff presidential election by the electoral commission; in late February 2020, EMBALO inaugurated himself with only military leadership present, even though the Supreme Court of Justice had yet to rule on an electoral litigation appeal lodged by his political rival Domingos Simoes PEREIRA
head of government: Prime Minister Rui Duarte DE BARROS (since 27 December 2023); note - on 4 December 2023 the president dissolved the parliament

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National People's Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (102 seats; 100 members directly elected in 27 multi-seat constituencies by closed party-list proportional representation vote and 2 elected in single-seat constituencies for citizens living abroad (Africa 1, Europe 1); all members serve 4-year terms)


Economic overview

extremely poor West African economy; ethnically diverse labor force; increasing government expenditures; slight inflation due to food supply disruptions; major cashew exporter; systemic banking instabilities and corruption; vulnerable to oil price shocks

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$3.774 billion (2021 est.)
$3.636 billion (2020 est.)
$3.725 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$1,800 (2021 est.)
$1,800 (2020 est.)
$1,900 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

rice, cashew nuts, roots/tubers nes, oil palm fruit, plantains, cassava, groundnuts, vegetables, coconuts, fruit


agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks


$232.536 million (2020 est.)
$291.805 million (2019 est.)
$380.428 million (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

India 50%, Belgium 28%, Cote d'Ivoire 8% (2019)

Exports - commodities

cashews, natural gas, mackerel, fish, scrap vessels (2021)


$439 million (2020 est.)
$502 million (2019 est.)
$459 million (2018 est.)

Imports - partners

Portugal 31%, Senegal 20%, China 10%, Netherlands 7%, Pakistan 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, rice, wheat products, soups/broths, malt extract (2019)

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
554.531 (2021 est.)
575.586 (2020 est.)
585.911 (2019 est.)
555.446 (2018 est.)
580.657 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2024