Useful country information
Land area: 99,486 sq mi (257,669 sq km); total area: 103,346 sq mi (267,667 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 1,672,597 (growth rate: 1.94%); birth rate: 34.64/1000; infant mortality rate: 47.03/1000; life expectancy: 52.06
Capital and largest city (2014 est.): Libreville, 695,000
Monetary unit: CFA Franc
National name: Rpublique Gabonaise
Languages: French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Ethnicity/race: 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
Religions: Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%
National Holiday: Independence Day, August 17
Literacy rate: 82.3% (2012 est.)
Only two autocratic presidents have ruled Gabon since independence from France in 1960. Gabon's former President, El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - had dominated Gabon's political scene for four decades (1967-2009).
Following President BONGO's death in 2009, new elections brought Ali BONGO Ondimba, son of the former president, to power.
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