More Facts & Figures
National name: Republique du Benin
Ethnicity/race: African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba), Europeans 5,500
Religions: Christian 42.8%, Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other 15.5% (2002)
National Holiday: National Day, August 1
Literacy rate: 34.7% (2011)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $14.79 billion; per capita $1,500. Real growth rate: 3.8%. Inflation: 3.3%. Unemployment: 2.1% (2011) Arable land: 25.53%. Agriculture: cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts;livestock. Labor force: 3.662 million; Industries: textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement. Natural resources: small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber. Exports: $1.459 billion f.o.b. (2011 est.): cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood. Imports: $2.23 billion (2011 est.): foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products. Major trading partners: India, China, U.S., France, Thailand, Niger, Namibia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Netherlands (2009).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 133,400 (2011); mobile cellular: 7.075 million (2011). Broadcast media; state-run Office de Radiodiffusion et de Television du Benin (ORTB) operates a TV station with multiple channels giving it a wide broadcast reach; several privately-owned TV stations broadcast from Cotonou; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio, under ORTB control, includes a national station supplemented by a number of regional stations; substantial number of privately-owned radio broadcast stations; transmissions of a few international broadcasters are available on FM in Cotonou (2007). Internet hosts: 7,464 (2011). Internet users: 200,100 (2011).
Transportation: Railways: total: 438 km (2010). Highways: total: 16,000 km; paved: 1,400 km; unpaved: 14,600 km (2011.). Waterways: 150 km (on River Niger along northern border) (2004). Ports and harbors: Cotonou. Airports: 45 (2011 est.).
International disputes: Talks continue between Benin and Togo on funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River; Benin retains a border dispute with Burkina Faso around the town of Koualou; location of Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint is unresolved.