Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



South Africa occupied the colony, then known as German South West Africa, in 1915 during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II. In 1966, the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that became Namibia. Namibia gained independence in 1990 and has been governed by SWAPO since, though the party has dropped much of its Marxist ideology.



total: 824,292 sq km
land: 823,290 sq km
water: 1,002 sq km


desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic

Natural resources

diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish; note - suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore

People and Society


2,777,232 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Ovambo 50%, Kavangos 9%, Herero 7%, Damara 7%, mixed European and African ancestry 6.5%, European 6%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, San 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%


Oshiwambo languages 49.7%, Nama/Damara 11%, Kavango languages 10.4%, Afrikaans 9.4% (also a common language), Herero languages 9.2%, Zambezi languages 4.9%, English (official) 2.3%, other African languages 1.5%, other European languages 0.7%, other 1% (2016 est.)


Christian 97.5%, other 0.6% (includes Muslim, Baha'i, Jewish, Buddhist), unaffiliated 1.9% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.8% (2023 est.)


Government type

presidential republic


name: Windhoek

Executive branch

chief of state: President Hage GEINGOB (since 21 March 2015); Vice President Nangola MBUMBA (since 8 February 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Hage GEINGOB (since 21 March 2015); Vice President Nangola MBUMBA (since 8 February 2018); Prime Minister Saara KUUGONGELWA-AMADHILA (since 21 March 2015)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
National Council (42 seats); members indirectly elected 3 each by the 14 regional councils to serve 5-year terms); note - the Council primarily reviews legislation passed and referred by the National Assembly
National Assembly (104 seats; 96 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed list, proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 8 nonvoting members appointed by the president)


Economic overview

upper middle-income, export-driven Sub-Saharan economy; natural resource rich; Walvis Bay port expansion for trade; high potential for renewable power generation and energy independence; major nature-based tourist locale; natural resource rich; shortage of skilled labor

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$23.12 billion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$9,100 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

beef, milk, grapes, millet, maize, mutton, pork, chickens, goats, wheat


mining, tourism, fishing, agriculture


$3.955 billion (2021 est.)

Exports - partners

China 29%, South Africa 20%, Botswana 8%, Belgium 6%, Zambia 4% (2020)

Exports - commodities

copper, gold, diamonds, uranium, fish (2020)


$6.055 billion (2021 est.)

Imports - partners

South Africa 40%, Zambia 20%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 6%, China 5%, Bulgaria 3% (2020)

Imports - commodities

copper, refined petroleum, delivery trucks, cobalt, cars (2020)

Exchange rates

Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar -
14.779 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023