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Benin Facts





Where is Benin?
The Republic of Benin is located in West Africa. It shares its borders with Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Bight of Benin to the south, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north.
How did Benin get its name?
Benin derives its name from Bight of Benin, a water-body located in the southern region of the country. During the colonial period, Benin was known as Dahomey.

How big is Benin?
Benin covers an area of 43,484 square miles and as of 2009, has an estimated population of 8,791,832. Its geographic coordinates are 6 13N, 0 4E.

What is the currency of Benin?
West African CFA franc is the official currency of Benin. Its ISO 4217 code is XOF and is issued by Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Quest (BCEAO). It is generally divided into 100 centimes, although no centime denominations have been issued.

What is the capital of Benin?
Porto-Novo is the capital of Benin. It covers an area of 42.5 square miles and has an estimated population of 223,552. Its geographic coordinates are 6 29N, 2 36E. The capital is located in the southeastern region of the country.

Which is the largest city of Benin?
The largest city of Benin is Cotonou. It is an important cultural and political center. It is situated at an elevation of 51 meters and its geographic coordinates are 6 22N, 2 26E. As of 2006, its estimated population was 761,137. What is the official language of Benin?

French is the official language of Benin. Other languages spoken in the country are Beninese languages, including Yoruba.


What is the religion of Benin?
About 42.8% of the population of Benin is Christian, followed by Muslim: 24.4%, Vodun: 17.3%, indigenous religions: 6%, other religious groups: 1.9%. 6.5% of the population has no religious affiliations.

What is the literacy rate of Benin?
Literacy rate of Benin is very low. As of 2002, the total literacy rate of Benin was 34.7%. Literacy rate of males was 47.9%, while it was 23.3% for females.

Who is the political leader of Benin?
Yayi Boni is the current President of Benin. He was sworn in as the president on April 6, 2006. Pascal Koupaki is the current Prime Minister of Benin. He took office on May 28, 2011.

When is the National Day of Benin celebrated?
August 1 is celebrated as the National Day of Benin. Benin achieved independence from France on August 1, 1960.

What is the economy of Benin like?
Economy of Benin is an underdeveloped economy. It is heavily dependent upon subsistence agriculture and cotton. The GDP of the country in 2008 was $6.94 billion, while its GDP per capita was $1,500. Services sector accounts for 52.3% of the GDP, followed by agriculture: 33.2%, and industry: 14.5%. 37.4% of the population lives below poverty line. Major industries are textiles, processed food, construction materials, and cement. Major trade flows are with China, India, Niger, Togo, Nigeria, Belgium, France, Thailand, Malaysia, and United States.

FAQs and Answers on History and Geography

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