the Democratic Republic of Congo - HowStuffWorks

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Country (long form) Democratic Republic of the Congo
Capital Kinshasa
Total Area 905,567.86 sq mi
2,345,410.00 sq km
(slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US)
Population 53,624,718 (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 181,922,656
Languages French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Literacy 77.3% total, 86.6% male, 67.7% female (1995 est.)
Religions Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs 10%
Life Expectancy 46.96 male, 50.98 female (2001 est.)
Government Type dictatorship; presumably undergoing a transition to representative government
Currency Congolese franc (CF)
GDP (per capita) $600 (2000 est.)
Industry mining (diamonds, copper, zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement
Agriculture coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
Arable Land 3%
Natural Resources cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower, timber
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History of Congo (Kinshasa)

Pygmies who roamed the area during the Stone Age are believed to be the original inhabitants of what is now the Congo.

Geography of Zaire

Zaire, the former name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country in central Africa.