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Mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains


Tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north


Nationality: Beninese (singular and plural)  
Population: 10,160,556 (July 2014 est.) Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS
Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)


Catholic 27.1%, Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, Protestant 10.4% (Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other Protestant 2.2%), other Christian 5.3%, other 15.5% (2002 census)


The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output had averaged almost 4% before the global recession and it has returned to roughly that level in 2011-12. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In order to raise growth, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism and facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products.

Living Conditions

Compared to the rest of the world, living standards in Benin are low. Outside of cities, many houses do not have safe drinking water or proper toilets. Medical problems like malaria, measles, and malnutrition kill many infants. Many young children and pregnant women are malnourished. These are serious health problems. However, Benin is improving the health and living conditions of its people. The constitution of 1990 helps and protects children.



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