Background on DRC

Demography

Population: 71 million (July 2011 est.)
Languages: French (official), Lingala, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba
Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other 10%
Ethnic groups: Over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the 4 largest tribes—Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu) and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up 45% of the population
Life expectancy: 53.98 years
Median age: 16.3 years
Literacy (age 15+ can read and write): 67.2%

Geography

Capital: Kinshasa
Area: 2,345,410 sq. km; slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US
Natural resources: cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, hydropower, timber

Economy

GDP: $23.12 billion (2010 est.), Country comparison to the world: 119
GDP per capita: $300 (2010 est.), Country comparison to the world: 226
Largest sectors: agriculture (48% of GDP), industry (22% of GDP), services (29% of GDP)

Communications

Telephones – main lines in use: 40,000 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 10 million (2009)
Internet users: 290,000 (2008)

Transportation

Roadways:
total: 153,497 km, country comparison to the world: 32
paved: 2,794 km
Railways:
total: 4,007 km, country comparison to the world: 43
Waterways:
total: 15,000 km, country comparison to the world: 8

Useful Resources:

International Crisis Group Report: “Congo: The Electoral Process Seen From the East”, 5 Sept 2011

International Crisis Group Report: “Congo: The Electoral Dilemma”, 5 May 2011

Fact Sheet on USAID Programs in DRC

CIA World Factbook Report on DRC