Benin - HowStuffWorks

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Country (long form) Republic of Benin
Capital Porto-Novo is the official capital; Cotonou is the seat of government
Total Area 43,482.83 sq mi
112,620.00 sq km
(slightly smaller than Pennsylvania)
Population 6,590,782 (July 2001 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Estimated Population in 2050 18,057,345
Languages French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Literacy 37.5% total, 52.2% male, 23.6% female (2000)
Religions indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20%
Life Expectancy 49.02 male, 50.88 female (2001 est.)
Government Type republic under multiparty democratic rule
Currency 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes
GDP (per capita) $1,030 (2000 est.)
Industry textiles, cigarettes; beverages, food; construction materials, petroleum
Agriculture corn, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, rice, cotton, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, livestock
Arable Land 13%
Natural Resources small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
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Geography of Benin

Benin, or Republic of Benin, a country in western Africa on the north coast of the Gulf of Guinea.

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History of Benin

Beginning sometime after the 12th century, a number of small kingdoms arose in what is now Benin.