macrohistory & world report

Republic of the Congo

Map of Republic of Congo

Republic of Congo (capital Brazzaville) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "The economy is a mixture of subsistence hunting and agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, that entered production in late 2013 may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF, including recently concluded Article IV consultations. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices during the global crisis reduced oil revenue by about 30%, but the subsequent recovery of oil prices boosted the economy's GDP from 2009-13. Officially the country became a net external creditor as of 2011, with external debt representing only about 16% of GDP and debt servicing less than 3% of government revenue."

Economic growth rate
2011: 5%

Oil production
2010: ranks 37th

Exports commodities
Petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds

Export partners
2010: US 31.1%, China 29%, France 6.8%, India 6.1%, Spain 4.4%

Export/import ratio
2011: exports $13.25 billion, imports $3.727 billion

Health expenditures
2009: 3% of GDEP


Living in an urban area:
2010: 62%

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 0.35 persons per 1,000 population per year.

Literacy, Age 15 and Older
2003: males 89.6%, females 78.4%

Ethnic groups
Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%

Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%


Western Africa, northwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and southeast of Gabon, with 169 kilometers of coastline along the South Atlantic Ocean. Slightly smaller than Montana (342,000 square kilometers). Tropical.


Parliamentary republic. President is elected by popular vote and serves seven-year terms. Bicameral legislature. Capital: Brazzaville.

Recent History

Independence from France on August 15, 1960. Marxist led until 1990. Democratically elected government in 1992. Civil War in 1997. Constitution approved by referendum in 2002. Peace accord within the country in 2003.

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