Countries of the World:
Resources about Benin including maps, facts about the land, people, history,
government, political conditions, and economy.
Economy of Benin
GDP (2009): $6.4 billion.
GDP growth rate (2009): 3.2%.
Per capita GDP (2009): $1,500.
Inflation rate (2009): 4%.
Natural resources: Small offshore oil deposits, unexploited
deposits of high quality marble limestone, and timber.
Agricultural: Products--corn, sorghum, cassava, tapioca, yams,
beans, rice, cotton, palm oil, cocoa, peanuts, poultry, and
livestock. Arable land--13%. Permanent crops 4%, permanent
pastures 4%, forests and woodland 31%.
Business and industry: Textiles, cigarettes, food and
beverages, construction materials, petroleum.
Trade: Exports--$1.024 billion: cotton, cashews, shea butter,
textiles, palm products, seafood. Imports--$1.54 billion:
foodstuffs, tobacco, petroleum products, energy, and capital
goods. Major trade partners--Nigeria, France, China, Italy,
Brazil, Libya, Indonesia, U.K., Cote d'Ivoire.
Geography of Benin
Area: 116,622 sq. km. (43,483 sq. mi.).
Cities: Capital--Porto-Novo (pop. 295,000). Political and
economic capital--Cotonou (pop. 2 million).
Terrain: Mostly flat plains of 200 meters average elevation,
but the Atacora Mountains extend along the northwest border,
with the highest point being Mont Sokbaro 658 meters.
Climate: Tropical, average temperatures between 24o and 31oC.
Humid in south; semiarid in north.
Government of Benin
Type: Republic under multiparty democratic rule.
Independence: August 1, 1960.
Constitution: December 11, 1990.
Branches: Executive--President, elected by popular vote for
5-year term, renewable once, appoints the Cabinet.
Legislative--Unicameral, 83-seat National Assembly directly
elected by popular vote for 4-year term. Judicial--
Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, High Court of Justice.
Subdivisions: Twelve departments: Borgou, Alibori, Atakora,
Donga, Zou, Collines, Mono, Couffo, Oueme, Plateau,
Atlantique, and Littoral.
Political parties (partial listing of major parties): La
Renaissance du Benin (RB), Party of Democratic Renewal
(PRD), Social-Democrat Party (PSD), African Movement for
Development and Progress (MADEP), Action Front for
Democratic Renewal (FARD-ALAFIA), African Congress for
Renewal (CAR-DUNYA), Impulse for Progress and Democracy
(IPD), Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), National
Union for Democracy and Progress (UNDP), National Party
Together (PNE), Key Force (FC), Hope Force (FE) Union for
the Relief (UPR), Rally for Progress and Renewal (RPR),
Movement for the People Alternative (MAP), Communist Party
of Benin (PCB).
Map of Benin
This Map of Benin shows the borders of the country, as well as
rivers, and cities including Porto-Novo the capital of Benin.
(Maps from the U.S. State Department)
Official Name of Benin
The Official Name of Benin is the Republic of Benin. (Facts
from the U.S. State Department)
People of Benin
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Beninese (singular and
Population (2010): 9.05 million.
Annual population growth rate (2010 est.): 2.9%.
Ethnic groups: African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important
being Xwla, Fon, Adja, Yoruba, and Bariba),
Religions: Indigenous beliefs (animist) 35%, Christian 35%,
Muslim 20%, others 10%,
Languages: French (official), Fon, Mina, Goun, and Yoruba in
the south; Nagot, Bariba, and Dendi in the north.
Education (2008): Literacy--total population 44%; men 48%,
Health (2010): Infant mortality rate--61/1,000. Life
Work force: The labor market is characterized by an increased
reliance on informal employment, family helpers, and the use
of apprentices. Training and job opportunities are not well
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