Predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest
Semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
Nationality: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
Population: 2,155,784 (July 2014 est.) Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS
Languages: Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English (official) 2.1%, other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6%, (2001 census)
Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. However, economic growth was negative in 2009, with the industrial sector shrinking by 30%, after the global crisis reduced demand for Botswana's diamonds. Although the economy recovered in 2010, GDP growth has again slowed. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country.