Page last modified 21 August 2023

 


65) Congo (Democratic Republic)

Community

Area 2,344,858 square kilometres (land area 2,267,048 square kilometres)

Population,


30,000,000 (1885)

8,000,000 (1905)*

10,400,000 (1945)

13,570,000 (1950)

15,250,000 (1960) +12.4%

20,000,000 (1970) +31,1%

26,400,000 (1980) +32.0%

34,600,000 (1990) +31.1%

47,100,000 (2000) +36.1%

64,500,000 (2010) +36,9%

89,561,000 (2020) +38.9%


*Major population decline after misrule by King Leopold of Belgium

Religion, %

 

Animist

Christian

African

Christian

Protestant

Christian

R C

Muslim

1970

 

15.0

25.0

42.0

0.1

1990

6.0

17.0

28.0

48.0

 

2010

10.0

10.0

20.0

50.0

10.0

Birth and death rates Below replacement rate = 2.1

 

Fertility Rate

Birth

Rate

Infant

Mortality

Death

Rate

% Aged

Under 15

% Aged

Over

65

% Urban

1952

 

47.0 (+21.0)

182.0

26.0

43.7

3.8

7.5

1962

6.0

47.0 (+24.6)

 

22.4

43.5

2.9

22.7

1972

6.3

47.0 (+27.1)

145.0

19.9

44.2

2.9

25.1

1980

6.6

48.0 (+29.4)

126.0

18.6

44.6

2.9

27.1

1990

7.1

50.0 (+33.3)

118.0

16.7

45.1

2.9

30.6

2000

6.9

49.0 (+33.0)

107.0

16.0

45.5

3.0

35.1

2010

6.5

43.0 (+31.4)

84.5

11.6

46.1

3.0

39.9

2015

6.2

42.8 (+32.7)

74.0

10.1

46.3

3.0

42.5

2017

6.0

41.7 (+32.0)

70.0

9.7

 

 

 

2018

 

 

68.2

 

46.2

3.0

44.4

Life expectancy,


38.8 (1950); 37.6 (M), 40.0 (F)

41.0 (1960); 39.6 (M), 42.5 (F)

43.8 (1970); 42.4 (M), 45.3 (F)

46.3 (1980); 44.9 (M), 47.8 (F)

49.0 (1990); 47.6 (M), 50.5 (F)

50.0 (2000); 48.6 (M), 51.5 (F)

56.7 (2010); 55.5 (M), 58.3 (F)

60.8 (2020); 59.2 (M), 62.3 (F)


Population of principal cities, 1,000s

 

Kinshasa1

(Leopoldville)

Kisangani2

(Stanleyville)

Lubumbashi

(Elizabethville)

Mbuji Mayi

(Bakwanga)

1889

5

 

 

 

1926

19

 

 

 

1938

36

 

17

 

1946

125

 

 

 

1950

209

 

103

 

1960

417

155

190

 

1970

1,323

 

266

 

1974

2,008

 

 

 

1984

2,654

283

543

423

1994

4,655

418

851

806

2004

7,274

683

1,283

1,214

2009

7,843

812

 

 

2011

8,401

 

1,543

1,488

2015

 

1,602

1,794

3,368

2017

11,885

 

 

 

1Kinshasa was a settlement of the Humbu nation long before the explorer H M Stanley reached it in 1887.It became the capital city in 1926, replacing Boma.

2The Kisangani region was explored by H M Stanley in 1877, and a trading post was established at Kisangani in 1882; however this post was frequently attacked by Arab slave traders.The present city was founded in 1898.

Wealth The Congo has considerable mineral resources, but decades of civil war, corruption, and under-development have impoverished the country.

Wealth; Gross Domestic Product (nominal values)

 

GDP,

US$ million

Total GDP,

% of USA

GDP per capita,

US$

GDP per capita

% of USA

1948

380

0.17

35

2.30

1960

3,359

0.62

220

7.32

1965

4,043

0.54

233

6.09

1970

4,877

0.47

244

4.65

1975

10,237

0.63

447

5.72

1980

15,470

0.55

560

4.45

1985

7,200

0.17

222

1.22

1990

8,550

0.15

245

1.02

1995

6,740

0.09

126

0.42

2000

7,500

0.08

405

1.11

2005

11,964

0.09

218

0.49

2010

20,523

0.14

318

0.66

2015

36,200

0.20

475

0.85

2016

35,000

0.19

445

0.77

GDP by primary sector

 

Agriculture

% GDP

Agriculture

% employed

Industry

% GDP

Industry

% employed

Services

% GDP

Services

% employed

1960

 

83.0

 

9.0

 

8.0

1970

 

79.0

 

 

 

 

1980

83.0

75.0

4.4

13.0

 

12.0

1990

 

71.0

 

16.0

 

18.0

2000

60.0

 

10.0

 

30.0

 

2010

37.5

 

27.6

 

35.0

 

2016

21.1

 

37.2

 

46.3

 

Communications

Language Official = French.Kikongo, Kiswahili, Lingala, and Tshiluba also spoken

66.0% Bantu (1970)

Literacy


31.0% (1960)

40.,0% (1970)

55.0% (1980); 73.6% (M), 36.7% (F)

62.0% (1985); 79.0% (M), 45.0% (F)

65.3% (2003); 79.8% (M), 51.9% (F)

77.0% (2016); 88.5% (M), 66.5% (F)


Physical communications � roads and railways, First railway opened 1898; developed to assist exploitation of the copper deposits in the Katanga region. Civil war in 1996-7 took much track out of use.

 

Roads (km)

Surfaced (km)

Motor vehicles

Cars

Commercial Vehicles

Railways

(km)

%

electric

1945

90,586

 

 

35,000

21,850

5,000

 

1958

145,213

 

 

 

 

5,175

 

1962

147,000

 

 

40,000

25,000

 

 

1964

 

 

74,700

 

 

 

 

1975

150,000

 

 

96,000

36,500

 

 

1986

 

2,500

175,200

90,000

87,000

5,100

16.8

2003

 

 

 

149,000

135,000

 

 

2004

153,497

2,794

 

 

 

4,500

19.1

2008

 

 

1,622,000

 

 

4,007

21.4

2013

 

 

1,760,000

 

 

4,007

21.4

Electronic communications, TV broadcasts began 1966

 

Telephones (landlines)

Mobile Telephones

Radios

Televisions

PCs

Internet Users

1943

2,466

 

 

 

 

 

1950

 

 

6,000

 

 

 

1960

 

 

35,000

 

 

 

1980

26,600

 

 

 

 

 

1983

 

 

500,000

12,000

 

 

1987

 

 

3,400,000

 

 

 

1990

34,000

 

7,735,000

2,020,000

 

 

1995

 

8,500

14,100,000

5,050,000

 

 

1997

 

 

 

6,480,000

 

 

1998

 

 

 

 

 

100

2000

 

15,000

18,700,000

 

 

2,000

2005

 

2,746,500

 

 

 

140,000

2010

42,000

11,355,000

 

 

 

700,000

2013

 

 

 

 

 

1,240,000

2016

30,000

37,753,000

 

 

 

3,016,000

2017

 

 

 

 

 

5,107,000

Tourism: Visitors to the Congo (Democratic Republic),


63,000 (1971)

40,948 (1975)

36,167 (1987)

33,000 (1990)

35,000 (1995)

103,000 (2000)

61,000 (2005)

81,000 (2010)

191,000 (2013)