Facts about Angola

World Facts Index

AngolaAngola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but UNITA renewed fighting after being beaten by the MPLA at the polls. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. President DOS SANTOS held legislative elections in September 2008 and, despite promising to hold presidential elections in 2009, has since made a presidential poll contingent on the drafting of a new constitution.

Geography of Angola

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo
12 30 S, 18 30 E
Map references:
total: 1,246,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 1,246,700 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 5,198 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km
1,600 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 NM
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)
narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium
Natural hazards:
locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau
Environment - current issues:
overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water
Geography - note:
the province of Cabinda is an exclave, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo

More Geography

Population of Angola

13,068,161 (July 2010 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 43.7% (male 2,706,276/female 2,654,338)
15-64 years: 53.5% (male 3,339,114/female 3,225,121)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 149,414/female 189,333)
Median age:
total: 17.9 years
male: 17.9 years
female: 17.9 years
Growth rate:
1.93% (2004 est.), 2.45% (2006 est.), 2.136% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
44.51 births/1,000
Death rate:
24.81 deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate:
2.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population
Infant mortality:
total: 184.44 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 196.55 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 171.72 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 37.63 years
male: 36.73 years
female: 38.57 years
Total fertility rate:
6.27 children born/woman
noun: Angolan(s)
adjective: Angolan
Ethnic groups:
Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and Native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%
indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15%
Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.4%
male: 82.9%
female: 54.2%


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Angola
former: People's Republic of Angola
local long form: Republica de Angola
Government type:
republic, nominally a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system
Administrative divisions:
18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire
11 November 1975 (from Portugal)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 11 November (1975)
11 November 1975; revised 7 January 1978, 11 August 1980, 6 March 1991, and 26 August 1992; note - new constitution has not yet been approved
Legal system:
based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; recently modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979); Paulo KASSOMA was named prime minister by MPLA on 26 September 2008
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by universal ballot for a five-year term (eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term) under the 1992 constitution; President DOS SANTOS originally elected (in 1979) without opposition under a one-party system and stood for reelection in Angola's first multiparty elections 29-30 September 1992 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS 49.6%, Jonas SAVIMBI 40.1%, making a run-off election necessary; the run-off was not held because SAVIMBI's National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) repudiated the results of the first election; the civil war resumed leaving DOS SANTOS in his current position as the president
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (220 seats; members elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Tribunal da Relacao (judges are appointed by the president)


Angola's high growth rate is driven by its oil sector, with record oil prices and rising petroleum production. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from 2004 to 2007. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. Remnants of the conflict such as widespread land mines still mar the countryside even though an apparently durable peace was established after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food must still be imported. In 2005, the government started using a $2 billion line of credit, since increased to $7 billion, from China to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure, and several large-scale projects were completed in 2006. Angola also has large credit lines from Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU. The central bank in 2003 implemented an exchange rate stabilization program using foreign exchange reserves to buy kwanzas out of circulation. This policy became more sustainable in 2005 because of strong oil export earnings; it has significantly reduced inflation. Since 2005, the government has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure. Although consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to under 13% in 2008, the stabilization policy proved unsustainable and Angola abandoned its currency peg in 2009. Angola became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and in late 2007 was assigned a production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day (bbl), somewhat less than the 2-2.5 million bbl Angola's government had wanted. In November 2009 the IMF announced its approval of Luanda's request for a Stand-By Arrangement; the loan of $1.4 billion aims to rebuild Angola's international reserves. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, is a major challenge.

$106.2 billion (2009 est.)
GDP growth rate:
GDP per capita:
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 9.6%
industry: 65.8%
services: 24.6%
Population below poverty line:
Inflation rate:
Labor force:
6.393 million
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 85%
industry and services:
extensive unemployment and underemployment affecting more than half the population
revenues: $10.98 billion
expenditures: $9.7 billion; including capital expenditures of $963 million
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 36.4%
hydro: 63.6%
other: 0%
petroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite, uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing; food processing; brewing; tobacco products; sugar; textiles
bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish
crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, gas, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton
Export partners:
US 32.6%, China 32.5%, France 6%, Taiwan 5.7%, South Africa 4.6% 
machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles, military goods
Import partners:
Portugal 18%, US 10%, South Korea 10%, China 9.7%, Brazil 8.1%, South Africa 6%, France 5.8%, UK 4.3% 
kwanza (AOA)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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