Burkina Faso

République Démocratique du Burkina Faso (Democratic Republic of Burkina Faso)
Reference work entry


  • Capital: Ouagadougou

  • Population estimate, 2015: 18.11 m.

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 1,591

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.402/183

  • Internet domain extension: .bf

Civil Aviation

The international airports are Ouagadougou (which handled 485,815 passengers in 2012) and Bobo-Dioulasso. The national carrier is Air Burkina, which in 2010 flew to Abidjan, Accra, Bamako, Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Libreville, Lomé, Marseille, N’Djaména, Niamey and Paris in addition to operating on domestic routes. In 2013 Air Burkina carried 129,000 passengers (122,000 on international flights).


A tropical climate with a wet season from May to Nov. and a dry season from Dec. to April. Rainfall decreases from south to north. Ouagadougou, Jan. 76 °F (24.4 °C), July 83 °F (28.3 °C). Annual rainfall 36″ (894 mm).

Constitution and Government

At a referendum in June 1991 a new constitution was approved; there is an executive presidency and a multi-party system. Parliament consists of the 127-member National Assembly, elected by universal suffrage. The Chamber of Representatives, a consultative body representing social, religious, professional and political organizations, was abolished in 2002.


The unit of currency is the franc CFA (XOF) with a parity of 655.957 francs CFA to one euro.


There are three military regions. Defence expenditure totalled US$153 m. in 2013 (US$9 per capita), representing 1.3% of GDP.


Agriculture contributed 31.8% of GDP in 2009; followed by public administration, defence and services, 15.6%; manufacturing, 11.1%; trade and hotels, 11.1%; and construction, 6.7%.


The labour force in 2013 was 7,695,400 (5,625,600 in 2003). 85.1% of the population aged 15–64 was economically active in 2013.


There were five dailies (two government-owned) with a combined circulation of 36,000 in 2008. The leading newspaper in terms of circulation is Le Pays.


The railway from Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire to Kaya (600 km of metre gauge within Burkina Faso) is operated by the mixed public-private company Sitarail, a concessionaire to both governments.


According to estimates by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, in 2010 the population was 61.6% Muslim (nearly all Sunnis) with 22.5% Christian (mainly Catholic) and 15.4% folk religionists. In Feb. 2016 the Roman Catholic church had one cardinal.


The road system comprised 92,495 km in 2004 (including 15,271 km of main roads). There were 97,100 passenger cars (seven per 1,000 inhabitants), 55,700 lorries and vans, and 356,400 motorcycles and mopeds in use in 2007.

Social Statistics

2008 births (estimates), 719,000; deaths, 198,000. Estimated birth rate in 2008 was 47.2 per 1,000 population; estimated death rate, 13.0. Burkina Faso has one of the youngest populations of any country, with 73% of the population under the age of 30% and 45% under 15. Annual population growth rate, 2000–08, 3.3%. Expectation of life at birth, 2013, 56.9 years for females and 55.7 for males. Infant mortality, 2010 (per 1,000 live births), 93. Fertility rate, 2008, 5.9 children per woman.


In 2011 there were 141,500 landline telephone subscriptions (equivalent to 8.3 per 1,000 inhabitants) and 7,628,100 mobile phone subscriptions (or 452.7 per 1,000 inhabitants). Fixed internet subscriptions totalled 28,700 in 2010 (1.7 per 1,000 inhabitants). In June 2012 there were 116,000 Facebook users.

Territory and Population

Burkina Faso is bounded in the north and west by Mali, east by Niger and south by Benin, Togo, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Area: 270,764 km2; 2006 census population, 14,017,262, giving a density of 51.8 per km2. In 2011 the population was 26.5% urban. The largest cities in 2006 were Ouagadougou, the capital (1,475,223), Bobo-Dioulasso (489,967), Koudougou (88,184), Banfora (75,917), Ouahigouya (73,153) and Pouytenga (60,618). French is the official language.


In 2009, 269,000 foreign tourists stayed in hotels or similar accommodation.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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