Democratic Republic of Congo

President: Joseph Kabila (2001)
Prime Minister: Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon (2012)
Land area: 875,520 sq mi (2,267,599 sq km); total area: 905,568 sq mi (2,345,410 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 77,433,744 (growth rate: 2.5%); birth rate: 35.62/1000; infant mortality rate: 73.15/1000; life expectancy: 56.54

Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Kinshasa, 8.798 million
Other large cities: Lubumbashi, 1.556 million; Mbuji-Mayi, 1.504 million; Kananga 888,000; Kisangani 820,000
Monetary unit: Congolese franc
National Name: Republique Democratique du Congo
Languages: French (official), Lingala, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba
Ethnicity/race: With over 200 African ethnic groups, the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes—Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic)—make up about 45% of the population
National Holiday: Independence Day, June 30
Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Islam 10%; other syncretic and indigenous 10%
Literacy rate: 66.8% (2010 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $29.39 billion; per capita $400. Real growth rate: 6.2%. Inflation: 7.1% (2013 est.). Unemployment: n.a. Arable land: 2.9%. Agriculture: coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products. Labor force: 35.18 million (2013) Industries: mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair. Natural resources: cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber. Exports: $9.936 billion (2013 est.): diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee. Imports: $8.924 billion (2013 est.): foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels. Major trading partners: Belgium, China, South Africa, France, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe (2012).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 58,200 (2012); mobile cellular: 19.487 million (2012). Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 2 (2001). Television broadcast stations: 4 (2001). Internet hosts: 2,515 (2012). Internet users: 290,000 (2008).
Transportation: Railways: total: 4,007 km (2008). Highways: total: 153,497 km; paved: 2,794 km; unpaved: 150,703 km (2004). Waterways: 15,000 km (navigation on the Congo curtailed by fighting) (2011). Ports and harbors: Banana, Boma, Bukavu, Bumba, Goma, Kalemie, Kindu, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka. Airports: 198 (2013 est.).
Fun Facts

  • The largest city and the capital are one and the same, Kinshasa
  • Has one of the most biologically diverse areas, the Virunga National Park
  • Has an active volcano called Nyiragongo, soaring above the city of Goma
  • The land it is on was populated as early as 90,000 years ago
  • Over 200 ethnic groups with nearly 250 languages spoken