macrohistory & world report


Map of Burundi

Burundi (capital Bujumbura) and neighboring states
in central Africa

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly agricultural; agriculture accounts for just over 30% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings, though exports are a relatively small share of GDP. Burundi's export earnings - and its ability to pay for imports - rests primarily on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices. An ethnic-based war that lasted for over a decade resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000 refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally. Only one in two children go to school, and approximately one in 15 adults has HIV/AIDS. Food, medicine, and electricity remain in short supply. Less than 2% of the population has electricity in its homes... Burundi will remain heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors - foreign aid represents 42% of Burundi's national income, the second highest rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Burundi joined the East African Community in 2009. Government corruption is hindering the development of a healthy private sector as companies seek to navigate an environment with ever changing rules."

Economic growth rate
2011: 4.2%
2010: 3.9%
2009: 3.1%

Labor force in agriculture
2002: 93.6%

Light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing

Export commodities
Coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides

Exports in small amounts: coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides.

Export/import ratio
2011: exports $106.7 million, imports $542 million

Export partners
2010: Germany 27.5%, Pakistan 10.3%, Belgium 5.7%, Rwanda 5%, US 4.2%, China 4.1%

Health expenditures
2009: 13.1% of GDP


Living in an urban area
2010: 11%

UrbanizationEthnic groups
Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000

Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%

Net migration rate
2012: Net loss of 0.18 persons per 1,000 population per year

In early 2005 only one in two children were going to school. In August 2005 the new chief of state, Pierre Nkurunziza, a born again Christian, abolished fees for schooling. Many Burundians had not been able to afford those fees. Parents were eager to have their children educated, and now schools are overwhelmed by the numbers of children.

Literacy (age 15 and over and can read and write
2000: males 67.3%, females 52.2%


Central Africa, landlocked, smaller than Maryland, hilly, mountainous with some plains.


In November 2003, after ten years of conflict in Burundi, the Force for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) opted for peace and elections, and in early 2005 their candidates won elections to both houses of Parliament: the Senate and National Assembly.


Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions.

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