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People and Society






El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - dominated the country's political scene for four decades (1967-2009) following independence from France in 1960. President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, allegations of electoral fraud during local elections in 2002-03 and the presidential elections in 2005 exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. Following President BONGO's death in 2009, new elections in brought Ali Ben BONGO, son of the former president, to power. Despite constrained political conditions, Gabon's small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make it one of the more prosperous and stable African countries.


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People And Society

Noun Gabonese (singular and plural)
Adjective Gabonese

Ethnic groups
Bantu tribes, including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba); other Africans and Europeans, 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality

French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi

Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%

Population World Ranking: 153
1,608,321 (July 2012 est.)
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
42.2% (male 333,746/female 330,959)
15-64 years
54% (male 424,392/female 426,478)
65 years and over
3.9% (male 25,687/female 35,403) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 18.6 years
Male 18.4 years
Female 18.9 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 53
1.977% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 27
35 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 20
13.07 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 167
-2.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 86% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
LIBREVILLE (capital) 619,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.73 male(s)/female
Total population
0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 49
230 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 46
Total 49 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 56.68 deaths/1,000 live births
41.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 209
Total population 52.29 years
Male 51.65 years
Female 52.93 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 30
4.56 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 108
6% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.29 physicians/1,000 population (2004)

Hospital bed density
1.25 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 14
5.2% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 59
46,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 52
2,400 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk Very high
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease Malaria and chikungunya
Water contact disease Schistosomiasis
Animal contact disease Rabies (2009)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 68
8.8% (2001)

Education expenditures

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 88.4%
Male 91.9%
Female 84.9% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 13 years
Male 12 years
Female 12 years (2002)


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  Gabon (Libreville):

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