Quick Facts

  • Independence: 1960 (from France)
  • Area: 112,622 sq km (slightly smaller than Pennsylvania)
  • Capital city: Porto-Novo (pop. 268,000)
  • Population: 10,448,647
  • Nationality: Beninese
  • Ethnic groups: Fon and related 39.2%, Adja and related 15.2%, Yoruba and related 12.3%, Bariba and related 9.2%, Fulani and related 7%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4%, Dendi 2.5%, other and unspecified 4.5%
  • Official language: French
  • Divided into 12 departments
  • Economy: based on agriculture
  • Major religion: Christianity/Islam; other indigenous beliefs
  • Climate: tropical; hot and humid in the south; semiarid in the north
  • Terrain: primarily flat
  • Literacy rate: 38.4%
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • President Thomas Yayi Boni (since 2006)
  • Type of government: republic

Healthcare Statistics

  • Maternal mortality rate: 405/100,000
  • Infant mortality rate: 55.68/1,000
  • Life expectancy: 61.47 years
  • Total fertility rate: 4.95 children/woman
  • Health expenditures: 4.6% GDP
  • Physician density: 0.06/1,000
  • Hospital bed density: 0.5/1,000
  • Children under age 5 underweight: 20.2%
  • HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 1.14%
  • Infectious disease risk: very high
  • Infectious diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, malaria, yellow fever, rabies, meningococcal meningitis
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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Area Agencies

Field Stories

If you are like me, it’s often hard to spend a week or two away from the gym. What’s gained is lost quickly, and it’s so nice to keep a weekly routine. I’ve gotten around this by doing a few morning exercises to keep the muscles toned and adrenaline pumping.   Often it’s fun to incorporate […]


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