Congo, Republic of the

République du Congo
Reference work entry


  • Capital: Brazzaville

  • Population estimate, 2015: 4.62 m.

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 6,012

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.591/136

  • Internet domain extension: .cg

Civil Aviation

The principal airports are at Brazzaville (Maya Maya) and Pointe-Noire. In 2012 Brazzaville handled 957,472 passengers (675,193 on domestic flights) and 26,418 tonnes of freight.


An equatorial climate, with moderate rainfall and a small range of temperature. There is a long dry season from May to Oct. in the southwest plateaux, but the Congo Basin in the northeast is more humid, with rainfall approaching 100″ (2,500 mm). Brazzaville, Jan. 78 °F (25.6 °C), July 73 °F (22.8 °C). Annual rainfall 59″ (1,473 mm).

Constitution and Government

A new constitution was approved in a referendum held in Jan. 2002. Under the new constitution the president’s term of office is increased from 5 to 7 years. The constitution provides for a new two-chamber assembly consisting of a house of representatives and a senate. The president may also appoint and dismiss ministers. 84.3% of voters were in favour of the draft constitution and 11.3% against. Turnout was 78%, despite calls from opposition parties for a boycott. The new constitution came into force in Aug. 2002. There is a 139-seat National Assembly, with members elected for a 5-year term in single-seat constituencies, and a 72-seat Senate, with members elected for a 6-year term (one third of members every 2 years).


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


In 2012 military expenditure totalled an estimated US$325 m. (approximately US$74 per capita), representing around 2.5% of GDP.


Agriculture produced 3.4% of GDP in 2011, industry 76.6% and services 20.0%.


In 2010 the estimated economically active population was 1,637,000 (56% males), up from 1,256,000 in 2000. More than 50% of the labour force in 2010 were engaged in agriculture. The Republic of the Congo had 31,000 people living in slavery according to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2013 Global Slavery Index.


In 2008 there were five daily newspapers with a combined circulation of 8,000.


A railway connects Brazzaville with Pointe-Noire via Loubomo and Bilinga, and a branch links Mont-Belo with Mbinda on the Gabon border. Total length in 2005 was 797 km (1,067 mm gauge). In 2006 passenger-km totalled 167 m. and freight tonne-km 264 m.


In 2010 there were an estimated 2.08 m. Protestants, 1.22 m. Roman Catholics, 0.18 m. other Christians and 0.11 m. folk religionists according to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. A further 0.36 m. people had no religious affiliation.


In 2004 there were 17,289 km of roads, of which 5.0% were surfaced. Passenger cars in use in 2007 numbered 56,000 (15 per 1,000 inhabitants). There were 214 deaths in road accidents in 2007.


The only seaport is Pointe-Noire. There are some 5,000 km of navigable rivers, and river transport is an important service for timber and other freight as well as passengers.

Social Statistics

2008 estimates: births, 125,000; deaths, 46,000. Rates, 2008 estimates (per 1,000 population): births, 34.5; deaths, 12.9. Infant mortality, 2010 (per 1,000 live births), 61. Expectation of life in 2013 was 57.4 years for males and 60.2 for females. Annual population growth rate, 2000–08, 2.2%. Fertility rate, 2008, 4.4 children per woman.


There were 9,800 fixed telephone lines in 2010 (2.4 per 1,000 inhabitants). Mobile phone subscribers numbered 3.80 m. in 2010. There were 56.0 internet users per 1,000 inhabitants in 2011.

Territory and Population

The Republic of the Congo, sometimes referred to as Congo (Brazzaville), is bounded by Cameroon and the Central African Republic in the north, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the east and south, Angola and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest and Gabon to the west, and covers 342,000 km2. At the census of 2007 the population was 3,697,490 (1,876,133 females); density, 11 per km2. In 2011, 62.5% of the population were urban. Census population of major cities in 2007: Brazzaville, the capital, 1,373,382; Pointe-Noire, 715,334; Loubomo (Dolisie), 83,798; N’Kayi, 71,620; Impfondo, 33,911; Ouesso, 28,179. Main ethnic groups are: Kongo (48%), Sangha (20%), Teke (17%) and M’Bochi (12%). French is the official language. Kongo languages are widely spoken. Monokutuba and Lingala serve as lingua francas.


In 2009, 85,000 non-resident tourists stayed in hotels and similar accommodation (up from 63,000 in 2008 and 54,000 in 2007).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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