Map Swaziland
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Swaziland


Background: Autonomy for the Swazis of southern Africa was guaranteed by the British in the late 19th century; independence was granted in 1968. Student and labor unrest during the 1990s pressured King MSWATI III, the world's last absolute monarch, to grudgingly allow political reform and greater democracy, although he has backslid on these promises in recent years. A constitution came into effect in 2006, but the legal status of political parties remains unclear. The African United Democratic Party tried unsuccessfully to register as an official political party in mid 2006. Talks over the constitution broke down between the government and progressive groups in 2007. Swaziland recently surpassed Botswana as the country with the world's highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.
Location: Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa
Area land: 17,204 sq km
Area water: 160 sq km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Swaziland
Country name conventional short form: Swaziland
Country name former: Kingdom of Swaziland
Population: 1,370,424
Age structure: 0-14 years: 37.8% (male 261,762/female 255,828); 15-64 years: 58.6% (male 399,746/female 403,681); 65 years and over: 3.6% (male 20,472/female 28,935) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.204% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 26.63 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 14.6 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: 1.02 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female; total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 63.09 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 67.14 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 58.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 48.66 years; male: 48.93 years; female: 48.39 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 3.11 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 25.9% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 180,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 7,000 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Swazi(s); adjective: Swazi;
Ethnic groups: African 97%, European 3%;
Religions: Zionist 40% (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship), Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 10%, other (includes Anglican, Bahai, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish) 30%;
Languages: English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 81.6%; male: 82.6%; female: 80.8% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $6.055 billion (2010 est.); $5.937 billion (2009 est.); $5.913 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $3.165 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 2% (2010 est.); 0.4% (2009 est.); 2.4% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,500 (2010 est.); $4,400 (2009 est.); $4,500 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 8.6%; industry: 42%; services: 49.4% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 69% (2006);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.6%; highest 10%: 40.7% (2001);
Labor force: 457,900 (2007);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA%; industry: NA%; services: NA%;
Unemployment rate: 40% (2006 est.);
Budget: revenues: $961.7 million; expenditures: $1.379 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel;
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 441 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 1.266 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008);
Electricity - imports: 770 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


Times of Swaziland

(Independent), Mbabane

Swaziland in the News

Sedition Trial

Swazi opposition leader Mario Masuku faces sedition charges. Sarah Coleman reviews the Swazi and South African presses.

Draconian Decree

World Press Review - King Mswati III of Swaziland has imposed what amounts to a state of emergency. WPR correspondent Busani Bafana.