Burkina Faso

Map Burkina Faso
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Burkina Faso


Background: Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries.
Location: Western Africa, north of Ghana
Area land: 273,800 sq km
Area water: 400 sq km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Country name conventional long form: none
Country name conventional short form: Burkina Faso
Country name former: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta
Population: 16,751,455
Age structure: 0-14 years: 45.8% (male 3,849,350/female 3,828,483); 15-64 years: 51.7% (male 4,320,779/female 4,334,197); 65 years and over: 2.5% (male 162,157/female 256,489) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 3.085% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 43.59 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 12.74 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female; total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 81.4 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 88.88 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 73.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 53.7 years; male: 51.75 years; female: 55.71 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 6.14 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.2% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 110,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 7,100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural); adjective: Burkinabe;
Ethnic groups: Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani);
Religions: Muslim 50%, indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) 10%;
Languages: French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 21.8%; male: 29.4%; female: 15.2% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $20.06 billion (2010 est.); $19.07 billion (2009 est.); $18.48 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $8.672 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 5.2% (2010 est.); 3.2% (2009 est.); 5.2% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,200 (2010 est.); $1,200 (2009 est.); $1,200 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 30.1%; industry: 20.7%; services: 49.2% (2009 est.);
Population below poverty line: 46.4% (2004);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.8%; highest 10%: 32.2% (2004);
Labor force: 6.668 million;
note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2007)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 90%; industry and services: 10% (2000 est.);
Unemployment rate: 77% (2004);
Budget: revenues: $1.87 billion; expenditures: $2.343 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold;
Industrial production growth rate: 5.5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 611.6 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 568.8 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


Agence d'Information du Burkina

(Government press service), Ouagadougou

L'Observateur Paagla


Sidwaya Quotidien

(independent), Ouagadougou

Burkina Faso in the News

Burkina Faso: Innovation and Education Needed to Head Off Water War

Burkina Faso's local water squabbles are in the world's spotlight, unusual attention in a region where year-round malnutrition rarely warrants a report in the international media.

Untold Africa on Film

Most directors feel there is a need to establish more film festivals across Africa in order to create a forum to showcase their work, and sensitize audiences on the need to appreciate documentaries as a form of educative entertainment.