Ivory Coast

Map Ivory Coast
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Ivory Coast


Background: Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Rebel forces claimed the northern half of the country, and in January 2003 were granted ministerial positions in a unity government under the auspices of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord. President GBAGBO and rebel forces resumed implementation of the peace accord in December 2003 after a three-month stalemate, but issues that sparked the civil war, such as land reform and grounds for citizenship, remained unresolved. In March 2007 President GBAGBO and former New Force rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. As a result of the agreement, SORO joined GBAGBO's government as Prime Minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the zone of confidence separating North from South, integrate rebel forces into the national armed forces, and hold elections. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of rebel forces have been problematic as rebels seek to enter the armed forces. Citizen identification and voter registration pose election difficulties, and balloting planned for November 2009 was postponed with no future date set. Several thousand UN troops and several hundred French remain in Cote d'Ivoire to help the parties implement their commitments and to support the peace process.
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia
Area land: 318,003 sq km
Area water: 4,460 sq km
Coastline: 515 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
Country name conventional short form: Cote d'Ivoire
Country name former: Ivory Coast
Population: 21,504,162
Age structure: 0-14 years: 39.8% (male 4,312,133/female 4,240,500); 15-64 years: 57.2% (male 6,262,802/female 6,039,458); 65 years and over: 3% (male 320,396/female 328,873) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 2.078% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 30.95 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 10.16 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population NA (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female; total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 64.78 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 71.54 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 57.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 56.78 years; male: 55.79 years; female: 57.81 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 3.92 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 3.4% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 450,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 36,000 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Ivoirian(s); adjective: Ivoirian;
Ethnic groups: Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes 130,000 Lebanese and 14,000 French) (1998);
Religions: Muslim 38.6%, Christian 32.8%, indigenous 11.9%, none 16.7% (2008 est.);

note: the majority of foreigners (migratory workers) are Muslim (70%) and Christian (20%)

Languages: French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 48.7%; male: 60.8%; female: 38.6% (2000 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $37.8 billion (2010 est.); $36.48 billion (2009 est.); $35.01 billion (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $22.38 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 3.6% (2010 est.); 4.2% (2009 est.); 2.3% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,800 (2010 est.); $1,800 (2009 est.); $1,700 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 28.2%; industry: 21.3%; services: 50.6% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 42% (2006 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%; highest 10%: 34% (2002);
Labor force: 7.617 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 68%; industry and services: NA (2007 est.);
Unemployment rate: NA;
note: unemployment may have climbed to 40-50% as a result of the civil war

Budget: revenues: $4.755 billion; expenditures: $5.158 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: foodstuffs, beverages; wood products, oil refining, truck and bus assembly, textiles, fertilizer, building materials, electricity, ship construction and repair;
Industrial production growth rate: 4.5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 5.275 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 3.231 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 772 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.

Ivory Coast in the News

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Displaying 1 to 4 of 15 items.

Blood Diamonds

Nine years after the Kimberley Process was formed to stop the trade in conflict diamonds and ensure that diamond purchases were not funding violence, the KP has refused to evolve and address the clear links between diamonds, violence and tyranny.

Repression of the Press in Cote d'Ivoire

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara came into office promising to uphold democracy, but members of the press find themselves under threat.

Ivory Coast's Election Quagmire

In resolving Ivory Coast's disputed election runoff, recognizing the rightful president is merely the first step in edifying a governance model that evenly represents the country's diverse and divided population.

The Coke Coast: Cocaine and Failed States in Africa

The drug trade is fast turning large parts of West Africa into areas that are all but ungovernable, with major implications for international security.