At a Glance

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Name: Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Area: 2.34 million sq. km (about one quarter the size of Canada); vast central basin is a low-lying plateau, mountains in the east; largely dense tropical rainforest. 

Location: Central Africa; northeast of Angola. 

Population: Approx. 72 million. 

Life expectancy: 55 years (vs. 81 in Canada) 

Capital: Kinshasa (pop. 8.75 million). 

People: More than 200 ethno-linguistic groups, of which the majority are Bantu.

Economy: One of the world’s very poorest nations; has immense diamond, mineral resources and agricultural potential. 

Religion: 50% Roman Catholic; 42% Protestant/Independent, including 19% Evangelical. 

Languages: 215, including French (official), Lingala (trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili); Kikongo, Tshiluba; and many tribal languages.

Languages with Scriptures: 30 have Bibles, 20 have New Testaments, 56 have Scripture portions.

Literacy: 67%. 

Sources: Operation World, 7th Edition; World Factbook; Ethnologue

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