Africa Stats


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Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. More than 200,000 Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen years. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced or became refugees in neighboring countries. An internationally brokered power-sharing agreement between the Tutsi-dominated government and the Hutu rebels in 2003 paved the way for a transition process that led to an integrated defense force, established a new constitution in 2005, and elected a majority Hutu government in 2005. The new government, led by President Pierre NKURUNZIZA, signed a South African brokered ceasefire with the country's last rebel group in September of 2006 but still faces many challenges.
Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates
3 30 S, 30 00 E
Map references
27,830 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries
974 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; two wet seasons (February to May and September to November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to January)
hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains
Elevation extremes
Lake Tanganyika 772 m
Natural resources
nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone
Land use
Irrigated land
230 sq km (2008)
Total renewable water resources
3.6 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
0.29 cu km/yr (17%/6%/77%)
Natural hazards
flooding; landslides; drought
Environment - current issues
soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
Environment - international agreements
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
Geography - note
landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile
People and Society
Ethnic groups
Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%
10,216,190 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure
46% (male 2,360,214/female 2,335,541)
Median age
16.9 years
Population growth rate
3.462% (2011 est.)
Birth rate
41.01 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate
9.61 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate
3.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
11% of total population (2010)
Major cities - population
BUJUMBURA (capital) 455,000 (2009)
Sex ratio
1.03 male(s)/female
Maternal mortality rate
970 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
Infant mortality rate
61.82 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
58.78 years
Total fertility rate
6.16 children born/woman (2011 est.)
Health expenditures
13.1% of GDP (2009)
Physicians density
0.03 physicians/1,000 population (2004)
Hospital bed density
0.73 beds/1,000 population (2006)
Drinking water source
Sanitation facility access
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
3.3% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
180,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
15,000 (2009 est.)
Major infectious diseases
very high
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
38.9% (2000)
Education expenditures
8.3% of GDP (2009)
age 15 and over can read and write
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
10 years
Country name
Republic of Burundi
Government type
Administrative divisions
17 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi
1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
National holiday
Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
ratified by popular referendum 28 February 2005
Legal system
mixed legal system of Belgian civil law and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
President Pierre NKURUNZIZA - Hutu (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Therence SINUNGURUZA - Tutsi (since 29 August 2010); Second Vice President Gervais RUFYIKIRI - Hutu (since 29 August 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament or Parlement, consists of a Senate (54 seats; 34 members elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms, with remaining seats assigned to ethnic groups and former chiefs of state) and a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (minimum 100 seats, 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi with at least 30% being women; additional seats appointed by a National Independent Electoral Commission to ensure ethnic representation; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court; High Court of Justice (composed of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court)
Political parties and leaders
Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Leonce NGENDAKUMANA]; National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Front for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD-FDD [Jeremie NGENDAKUMANA]; Unity for National Progress or UPRONA [Bonaventure NIYOYANKANA]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Forum for the Strengthening of Civil Society or FORSC [Pacifique NININAHAZWE] (civil society umbrella organization); Observatoire de lutte contre la corruption et les malversations economiques or OLUCOME [Gabriel RUFYIRI] (anti-corruption pressure group)
International organization participation
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador Angele NIYUHIRE
Diplomatic representation from the US
Ambassador Pamela J. H. SLUTZ
Flag description
divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and fly side) with a white disk superimposed at the center bearing three red six-pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below); green symbolizes hope and optimism, white purity and peace, and red the blood shed in the struggle for independence; the three stars in the disk represent the three major ethnic groups: Hutu, Twa, Tutsi, as well as the three elements in the national motto: unity, work, progress
National symbol(s)
National anthem
"Burundi Bwacu" (Our Beloved Burundi)
Economy - overview
Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly agricultural which accounts for just over 30% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings, though exports are a relatively small share of GDP. Burundi's export earnings - and its ability to pay for imports - rests primarily on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices. The Tutsi minority, 14% of the population, dominates the coffee trade. An ethnic-based war that lasted for over a decade resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000 refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally. Only one in two children go to school, and approximately one in 15 adults has HIV/AIDS. Food, medicine, and electricity remain in short supply. Less than 2% of the population has electricity in its homes. Burundi's GDP grew around 4% annually in 2006-10. Political stability and the end of the civil war have improved aid flows and economic activity has increased, but underlying weaknesses - a high poverty rate, poor education rates, a weak legal system, a poor transportation network, overburdened utilities, and low administrative capacity - risk undermining planned economic reforms. The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept up with inflation. Burundi will continue to remain heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors; the delay of funds after a corruption scandal cut off bilateral aid in 2007 reduced government's revenues and its ability to pay salaries. Burundi joined the East African Community, which should boost Burundi's regional trade ties, and received $700 million in debt relief in 2009. Government corruption is also hindering the development of a healthy private sector as companies seek to navigate an environment with ever-changing rules.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
$3.397 billion (2010 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$1.489 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
3.9% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$300 (2010 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
Labor force
4.245 million (2007)
Labor force - by occupation
Unemployment rate
Population below poverty line
68% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
Distribution of family income - Gini index
42.4 (1998)
Investment (gross fixed)
31.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
$424.4 million
Taxes and other revenues
28.5% of GDP (2010 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-6.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
6.4% (2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate
11.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
12.4% (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$309.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of broad money
$628.4 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$437.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
Agriculture - products
coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk, hides
light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing
Industrial production growth rate
7% (2010 est.)
Electricity - production
208 million kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - consumption
273.4 million kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - imports
80 million kWh; note - supplied by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2008 est.)
Oil - production
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil - consumption
3,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil - exports
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - imports
2,450 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
Natural gas - production
0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Current account balance
-$158.1 million (2010 est.)
$87.2 million (2010 est.)
Exports - commodities
coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Exports - partners
Germany 27.5%, Pakistan 10.3%, Belgium 5.7%, Rwanda 5%, US 4.2%, China 4.1% (2010)
$506.7 million (2010 est.)
Imports - commodities
capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Imports - partners
Saudi Arabia 15.8%, Uganda 7.8%, Belgium 7.6%, China 7.5%, Kenya 6.9%, Zambia 6.4%, France 4.2% (2010)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$332.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Debt - external
$1.2 billion (2003)
Exchange rates
Burundi francs (BIF) per US dollar -
Telephones - main lines in use
32,600 (2010)
Telephones - mobile cellular
1.15 million (2010)
Telephone system
sparse system of open-wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relays
Broadcast media
state-controlled La Radiodiffusion et Television Nationale de Burundi (RTNB) operates the lone TV broadcast station and the only national radio network; about 10 privately-owned radio broadcast stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available in Bujumbura (2007)
Internet country code
Internet hosts
201 (2010)
Internet users
157,800 (2009)
8 (2010)
Airports - with paved runways
Airports - with unpaved runways
1 (2010)
12,322 km
(mainly on Lake Tanganyika between Bujumbura, Burundi's principal port, and lake ports in Tanzania, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) (2010)
Ports and terminals
Military branches
National Defense Forces (Forces de Defense Nationale, FDN): Army (includes naval detachment, Air Wing, and Coast Guard), National Gendarmerie (2011)
Military service age and obligation
military service is voluntary; the armed forces law of 31 December 2004 does not specify a minimum age for enlistment, but the government claims that no one younger than 18 is being recruited; mandatory retirement age 45 (enlisted), 50 (NCOs), and 55 (officers) (2011)
Manpower available for military service
Manpower fit for military service
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Military expenditures
5.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international
Burundi and Rwanda dispute two sq km (0.8 sq mi) of Sabanerwa, a farmed area in the Rukurazi Valley where the Akanyaru/Kanyaru River shifted its course southward after heavy rains in 1965; cross-border conflicts among Tutsi, Hutu, other ethnic groups, associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces persist in the Great Lakes region
Refugees and internally displaced persons
9,849 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Trafficking in persons
Burundi is a source country for children and possibly women subjected to forced begging and labor and sex trafficking; male tourists from the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, exploit Burundian girls in prostitution; Burundian girls are forced into prostitution in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda