Research Africa > East of Africa > Burundi > Brundi at a glance
Location: Central Africa. Bordering nations--Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda.
Area: 27,830 sq. km. (10,747 sq. mi.); about the size of Maryland.
Cities: Capital--Bujumbura (pop. 300,000). Other cities--Cibitoke, Rumonge, Nyanza-Lac, Muyinga, Ngozi, Bubanza, Gitega.
Climate: 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 (73 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit) but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m (5,600 ft.); average annual rainfall is about 150 cm (59 in.); two wet seasons (February to May and September to November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to January).
Terrain: Hilly, rising from 780 meters (2,600 ft.) at the shore of Lake Tanganyika to mountains more than 2,700 meters (9,000 ft.) above sea level.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Burundian(s).
Population (2008): 8,691,005.
Annual population growth rate (2008): 3.443%.
Ethnic groups: Hutu (Bantu) 85%; Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%; Twa (Pygmy) 1.0%.
Religions: Christian 80% (Roman Catholic 65%-70%, Protestant 10%-15%, indigenous beliefs, Muslim less than 5%.
Languages: Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area), English.
Education: Years compulsory--6. Attendance--84.05% male, 62.8% female. Literacy--59.3% of total population over the age of 15 can read and write.
Health (2007): Life expectancy--total population 51.71 years; male 50.86 years; female 52.6 years. Infant mortality rate--60.77/1,000.
Independence: July 1, 1962 (from Belgium).
Constitution: A transitional constitution was adopted October 18, 2001. The parliament adopted a post-transition constitution on September 17, 2004, which was approved in a nationwide referendum held February 28, 2005.
Branches: Executive--President, First Vice President in charge of political and administrative affairs, Second Vice President in charge of social and economic affairs, 21-member Council of Ministers. Legislative--Bicameral parliament. A 100-member directly elected National Assembly plus additional deputies appointed as necessary to ensure an ethnic and gender composition of 60% Hutu, 40% Tutsi, 30% female, and 3 Batwa members. A 54-member Senate (3 seats reserved for former presidents; 3 seats reserved for the ethnic Twa minority; 2 Senators, one Hutu and one Tutsi, from each of the 16 provinces plus the city of Bujumbura appointed by an electoral college comprised of members of locally elected communal councils. Women must comprise 30% of the Senate.) Judicial--constitutional and subsidiary courts.
Administrative subdivisions: 17 provinces including Bujumbura, 129 communes.
Political parties: Multi-party system consisting of 44 registered political parties, of which CNDD- FDD (the National Council for the Defense of Democracy), FNL (the National Forces for Liberation), FRODEBU (the Front for Democracy in Burundi), and UPRONA (the National Unity and Progress Party) are national, mainstream parties. Other opposition parties include MSD (Movement for Solidarity and Democracy), CNDD (Council for the Defense of Democracy), PARENA (the Party for National Redress), and FRODEBU Nyakuri (a splinter of the mainstream FRODEBU that won important swing votes in the National Assembly in the 2010 elections).
Suffrage: Universal adult.
GDP (2009): $1.248 billion.
Real growth rate (2009): 3.4%.
Per capita GDP (2009): $ 151.
Population below poverty line (2009): 70%.
Inflation rate (2009): 10.5%.
Central government budget (2010): Revenues--$588.5 million (internal and foreign grants); expenditures--$699.2 million, including capital expenditures.
Natural resources: Nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone.
Primary sector (2009 est.; 46% of GDP, of which agriculture is 45% of GDP): Coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca), beef, milk, hides. Arable land (2009 est.)--35.57%.
Secondary sector (2009 est.; 19% of GDP): Types--beverage production, coffee and tea processing, cigarette production, sugar refining, pharmaceuticals, light food processing, chemicals (insecticides), public works construction, consumer goods, assembly of imported components, light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap.
Services (2009 est.): 35% of GDP.
Mining: Commercial quantities of alluvial gold, nickel, phosphates, rare earth, vanadium and other; peat mining.
Trade (2009): Exports--$63.9 million f.o.b.: coffee (50% of export earnings), tea, sugar, cotton fabrics, hides. Major markets--U.K., Germany, Benelux, Switzerland. Imports--$402.3 million f.o.b.: food, beverages, tobacco, chemicals, road vehicles, petroleum products. Major suppliers--Benelux, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan.
Debt: In 2009, the country’s debt was erased through the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Heavily Indebted Poor Countries mechanism.