Democratic Republic of The Congo
Republique Democratique du Congo

Capital
Kinshasa

Area
905,563 sq mi
2,345,410 sq km


Population
56,625,039 est 2003

Largest city
Kinshasa
pop. 6,541,300


Languages
French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba

Peoples
Over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population

Religion
Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Islam 10%, other syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs 10%

Life Expectancy
total population: 49.14 years
male: 47.06 years
female: 51.28 years (2004 est.)


Literacy
total population: 65.5%
male: 76.2%
female: 55.1% (2003 est.)


Suffrage
18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Government
Dictatorship; presumably undergoing a transition to representative government


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