Cape Verde

President: Jorge Carlos Fonseca (2011)
Prime Minister: José Maria Neves (2001)
Total area: 1,556 sq mi (4,030 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 538,535 (growth rate: 1.39%); birth rate: 20.72/1000; infant mortality rate: 24.28/1000; life expectancy: 71.57

Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Praia, 132,000
Other large city: Mindelo, 66,100
Monetary unit: Cape Verdean escudo
National name: República de Cabo Verde
Languages: Portuguese (official), Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
Ethnicity/race: Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%
National Holiday: Independence Day, July 5
Religion: Roman Catholic 77.3%, Protestant 3.7% (includes Church of the Nazarene 1.7%, Adventist 1.5%, Universal Kingdom of God .4%, and God and Love .1%), other Christian 4.3% (includes Christian Rationalism 1.9%, Jehovah’s Witness 1%, Assembly of God .9%, and New Apostolic .5%), Muslim 1.8%, other 1.3%, none 10.8%, unspecified 0.7% (2010 est.)
Literacy rate: 84.9% (2011 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $2.222 billion; per capita $4,400. Real growth rate: 1.5%. Inflation: 1.9%. Unemployment: 21% (2000 est.). Arable land: 11.66%. Agriculture: bananas, corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, coffee, peanuts; fish. Labor force: 196,100 Industries: food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments, salt mining, ship repair. Natural resources: salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, clay, gypsum. Exports: $159.9 million f.o.b. (2011 est.): fuel, shoes, garments, fish, hides. Imports: $796.3 million (2013 est.): foodstuffs, industrial products, transport equipment, fuels. Major trading partners: Portugal, U.S., Netherlands, China, Spain, (2012).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 70,200 (2012); mobile cellular: 425,300 (2012). Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 15 (and 17 repeaters), shortwave 0 (2002). Broadcast media: state-run TV and radio broadcast network plus a growing number of private broadcasters; Portuguese public TV and radio services for Africa are available; transmissions of a few international broadcasters are available (2007). Internet hosts: 38 (2012). Internet users: 150,000 (2009).
Transportation: Railways: total: 0 km. Highways: total: 1,350 km; paved: 932 km; unpaved: 418 km (2013). Waterways: none. Ports and harbors: Porto Grande. Airports: 9 (2013 est.).

Fun Facts

  • Cape Verde, only slightly larger than Rhode Island
  • Sugar cane liquor is a very popular drink there
  • Corn is a staple food and Cachupa the national dish
  • One of the most stable governments in Africa
  • Was a joint country with Guinea-Bissau until 1980
  • Pico do Fogo is the highest peak
  • Home of the long-eared bat