Sandra Appiah March 03, 2011

 Countless slaves were shipped to the New World from this West African state during the 18th and 19th centuries. After independence from France in 1960, the country—then called Dahomey—was plagued by many coups; in 1975 a Marxist military government renamed the nation Benin. About 42 African ethnic groups live in Benin, with most people living in the south. In 1989 the government renounced Marxism—since then it has held numerous free elections. The agricultural economy is based largely on cotton.


Fast Facts

Population: 8,439,000
Capital: Porto-Novo; 238,000
Area: 112,622 square kilometers (43,484 square miles)
Language: French, Fon, Yoruba, tribal langauges
Religion: Indigenous beliefs, Christian, Muslim
Currency: CFA franc
Life Expectancy: 51
GDP per Capita: U.S. $1,100
Literacy Percent: 41


Industry: Textiles, food processing, chemical production, construction materials
Agriculture: Cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams; livestock
Exports: Cotton, crude oil, palm products, cacao

Source: The National Geographic
CIA- The World Factbook

Last Edited by: Updated: February 25, 2014


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