Benin
Republic of Benin

Capital
Porto-Novo

Area
43,483 sq mi
112,620 sq km


Population
7,041,490 est 2003

Largest city
Cotonou
pop. 734,600


Languages
French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)

Peoples
African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba), Europeans 5,500

Religion
Indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Islam 20%

Life Expectancy
total population: 50.81 years
male: 50.25 years
female: 51.39 years (2004 est.)


Literacy
total population: 40.9%
male: 56.2%
female: 26.5% (2000)


Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Government
Republic under multiparty democratic rule


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