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People have inhabited the region that includes the Central African Republic since the migration of the Ubangian people beginning around 1000 BC. The Bantu people also immigrated into the region. Muslim traders began arriving in the region in the nineteenth century, leading to the start of the slave trade there around 1850. The Europeans arrived during the Scramble for Africa in the late nineteenth century, and the French established the French Congo, which included the area of the Central African Republic, and built a colony in the land. The colony called Ubangi-Shari within the French Community became autonomous in 1958, taking the name Central African Republic, and gaining independence in 1960.
Today, the population of the Central African Republic is estimated at 4,422,000, which is divided into various ethnic groups including Baya, who make up about one-third of the total, Banda, at about 27 percent, Mandjia with 13 percent, Sara at 10 percent, and Mboum, M'Baka, Yakoma and others making a total of 80 ethnic groups. The official languages of the Central African Republic are French and the native Sango. Christianity is the predominant religion with about 80 percent of the total population, followed by Islam which makes up about 10 percent.
Last Updated On : March 14, 2013
Facts of Central African Republic
Country Central African Republic
Latitude and Longitude5.7735° N, 19.5969° E
Population5,057,208 (July 2012 est.)
Area 622,984 sq km (240,534 sq miles)
LanguagesFrench (official), Sangho
Time Zone WAT (UTC+1)
International AirportBangui M'poko International Airport
National HolidayRepublic Day, 1 December (1958)
National anthemLe Renaissance