macrohistory & world report

Burkina Faso

Map of Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso (capital Ouagadougou) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of October 2014: "Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s... Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that depends on adequate rainfall. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture and cotton is the main cash crop. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. Cotton and gold are key exports."

Per capita GDP
2013: $1,100

Economic growth rate
2013: 6.5%
2012: 9.0%
2011: 4.9%
2010: 7.9%
2009: 3.2%

Unemployment rate
2004: 77%

Export commodities
gold, cotton, livestock

Export partners
2009: China 17.3%, Belgium 11.6%, Singapore 9.3%, Indonesia 7.6%, Turkey 6.4%, Thailand 4.8%, Japan 4.2%


2011: exports $1.591 billion, imports $2.25 billion

Health expenditures
2009: 6.4% of GDP


July 2014: 18,365,123

Infant mortality rate, deaths per 1,000 live births:
2014: 76.8, 9th among 224 countries

Life expectancy (at birth):
2014: 54.78 years

total: 76.8 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 9

birth / death per 1,000 population
42.42 / 11.96

Population 65 and older:
2014: 2.5%

Living in an urban area
2010: 26%
2008: 20%

Density estimated for 2005: 50 persons per square kilometer.

Ethnic groups
Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)

2006: Muslim 60.5%, Catholic 19%, animist 15.3%, Protestant 4.2%, other 0.6%, none 0.4%

Literacy (age 15 and older)
2007: male 36.7%, female 21.6
2003: male 29.4%, female 15.2%


This is a landlocked country, slightly larger than Colorado, in tropical western Africa, just north of Ghana and west of Nigeria. 


Burkino Faso is a parliamentary republic. The president is elected by popular vote for five-year terms. Unicameral legislature: the National Assembly, its members elected by populr vote for five-year terms.

Capital: Ouagadougou

Recent History

2014, Oct 31: President Blaise Compaore resigns following violent protests. The country is being described as having been an ally of the US, for the US an important strategic place for counter-terrorism because of its location. The government of Burkina Faso has been allowing American spy planes and drones to operate from its airfields.

1987: President Compaore has been in office since 15 October 1987, following a coup that ousted then-President Thomas Sankara. He began his rule as part of a triumvirate. In September 1989 the other two, Henri Zongo and Jean-Baptiste Boukary Lingani, were arrested, charged with plotting to overthrow the government and executed.

During the 1970s and 80's were military coups.

In 1960, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) acquired complete independence from France.

The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.