Central African Republic Geography and Population

Central African Republic – geography

Central African Republic – geography, CAR lies in the tropical belt; large parts are fairly pristine savanna. To the south, where the rainfall is greatest, there is rainforest.

The population

The majority of the population has immigrated after approximately 1800, when the area was almost empty after the ravages of slave hunters, and most of the many different ethnic groups are also found in neighboring countries. Except for some smaller groups such as the few thousand pygmies, ethnic variation is not significant and a common trade language, Sango, is used.

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Most of the country is very sparsely populated; in the eastern regions, only 1 home per dwelling lives. 3 km2. A large number live in the cities, of which the capital Bangui is by far the largest. Population growth is just over 1.5% per year; it is smaller than many other poor countries and is mainly due to the fact that infant mortality remains high; average life expectancy is one of the lowest in Africa; in recent years it has even fallen and is estimated at approximately 40 years. The decline is not least due to HIV/ AIDS. For culture and traditions of Central African Republic, please check allunitconverters.


continues to employ more than 50% of the population and the contribution to GDP is similar in scope. Only 3% of the area is cultivated; a large part is cultivated as sweat for self-sufficiency. The main crops are the root vegetables cassava and yams as well as corn and millet. In the past, coffee, cotton and tobacco have been important export crops. Cattle breeding is limited by the spread of the tsetse fly, but is nevertheless significant. Traditional hunting and fishing continue to be important for protein supply, especially in the southernmost regions.

The country has significant forest reserves. Utilization began in the 1960’s, and timber export has been a major source of income for some years. Like other industries, forestry is hampered by the fact that the transport network in CAR is very poorly developed. Only a few forest areas can be utilized and transport is expensive.


is of limited importance, but supplies the most important export commodity, diamonds. They are found in river deposits in the western and southwestern parts of the country, and the extraction is carried out by foreign companies. The contribution to export statistics varies greatly from year to year, depending on the smuggling to neighboring countries. At Bakouma in the eastern part of the country there are large uranium deposits, but due to the difficult transport conditions these and other mineral finds are not utilized.


is only slightly developed and employs a few. The majority of the companies are owned by foreign companies. It is especially about the textile and leather industry; In addition, smaller companies are targeting the local market. This sector is also hampered by the modest infrastructure and the country’s location in the middle of the continent without access to the sea. Goods are transported by ship on the Oubangui and Congo rivers to Brazzaville, where they are transhipped to the Pointe-Noire railway. Often, Oubangui is inaccessible between April and June.

The industrial sector is complemented by a large informal sector, which estimates half of the turnover through a large number of small industrial and craft companies.

Apart from the fuel in households covered 4/5 of the country’s energy needs on imported oil. Imports often fail and most of the industry is located in Bangui, where there is a smaller hydroelectric plant. The potential for hydropower is substantially greater and development in this sector is given high priority. This also applies to an extension of the very sparse road network, including the building of a trans-African highway from Lagos in V to Mombasa in the island, across the Central African Republic.


The country’s economic base is very flimsy. By independence this was recognized and the leaders of the independence movement tried to get CAR connected to one or more of the neighboring states, however unsuccessfully. The trade balance is constantly showing a large deficit, and development assistance, predominantly from France, is a crucial balance of payments balance. Since the 1990’s, the problems have been sharpened; exports have fallen as the state is unable to pay the farmers for their goods, smuggling has taken place, and a sharp devaluation in 1994 further deepened the economic crisis. In addition, there is persistent political instability.


The Central African Republic is very much a natural landscape. Large savannah and rainforest areas are difficult to access, and several are designated as national parks with rich populations of animals and plants. CAR does not attract many tourists, but the large, inaccessible areas are targets for exclusive big game hunting. Well-paying trophy hunters can continue to shoot antelopes, lions and leopards.