Benin Physical Map

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Physical Map: Defined
In addition to country borders, major cities and significant bodies of water, Physical Maps indicate the location of landforms like deserts, mountains and plains. This type of map also displays major cities and regions. Physical Maps are commonly used to see elevation and land contours as well as major rivers and lakes.

page last updated on September 26, 2011

Introduction :: Benin
Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent. YAYI has attempted to stem corruption and has strongly promoted accelerating Benin's economic growth.
Geography :: Benin
Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo
Geographic coordinates:
9 30 N, 2 15 E
Map references:
total: 112,622 sq km
country comparison to the world: 102
land: 110,622 sq km
water: 2,000 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries:
total: 1,989 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km, Togo 644 km
121 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m
Natural resources:
small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
Land use:
arable land: 23.53%
permanent crops: 2.37%
other: 74.1% (2005)
Irrigated land:
120 sq km (2008)
Total renewable water resources:
25.8 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.13 cu km/yr (32%/23%/45%)
per capita: 15 cu m/yr (2001)
Natural hazards:
hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
Environment - current issues:
inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands
People :: Benin
9,325,032 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.7% (male 2,126,973/female 2,042,340)
15-64 years: 52.6% (male 2,443,370/female 2,461,421)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 101,640/female 149,288) (2011 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.4 years
male: 17 years
female: 17.9 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.911% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
Birth rate:
38.11 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
Death rate:
9 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
urban population: 42% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities - population:
COTONOU (seat of government) 815,000; PORTO-NOVO (capital) 276,000 (2009)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 61.56 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 31
male: 64.89 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 58.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 59.84 years
country comparison to the world: 186
male: 58.61 years
female: 61.14 years (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.31 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
60,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
2,700 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2009)
Drinking water source:
urban: 84% of population
rural: 69% of population
total: 75% of population
urban: 16% of population
rural: 31% of population
total: 25% of population (2008)
Sanitation facility access:
urban: 24% of population
rural: 4% of population
total: 12% of population
urban: 76% of population
rural: 96% of population
total: 88% of population (2008)
noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
adjective: Beninese
Ethnic groups:
Fon and related 39.2%, Adja and related 15.2%, Yoruba and related 12.3%, Bariba and related 9.2%, Peulh and related 7%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4%, Dendi and related 2.5%, other 1.6% (includes Europeans), unspecified 2.9% (2002 census)
Christian 42.8% (Catholic 27.1%, Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other Protestant 2.2%, other 5.3%), Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other 15.5% (2002 census)
French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 34.7%
male: 47.9%
female: 23.3% (2002 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 9 years
male: 11 years
female: 8 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
3.5% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 116

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