Benin - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

The free market economy of Benin has grown consecutively for three years, averaging about 5% annually since 2014, but its close trade links to Nigeria expose Benin to risks from volatile commodity prices. Cotton is a key export commodity; high prices supported export earnings, but prices have fallen. Inflation has subsided and remains just 1% over the past several years. During the first 6 months of President TALON’s administration, electrical supply, which has hampered Benin’s economic growth, increased and blackouts have been reduced. Private foreign direct investment...

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GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Real Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2016 1,333,766,000,000 1,260,700,000,000 NCU Annual
Nominal Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2016 1,386,205,000,000 1,292,700,000,000 NCU Annual
Real Investment 2016 1,389,539,000,000 1,254,700,000,000 NCU Annual
Private Consumption 2016 3,793,272,090,149 3,528,068,223,532 XOF Annual
Investment 2016 1,236,363,030,137 1,292,700,000,000 XOF Annual
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2016 5,083,877,824,381 4,903,800,000,000 XOF Annual
Government Consumption 2015 758.5 434.8 Bil. XOF Annual
Real Gross Domestic Product 2014 121.54 114.97 Index 2005=100 Annual
Price Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Feb 2018 108.77 109.35 2010=100, NSA Monthly
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Unemployment Rate 2017 1 1.1 % of total labor force Annual
Agriculture Employment 2017 1,962,252 1,908,426 # Annual
Labor Force 2016 4,397,297 4,264,500 # Annual
Wage & Salaries 2013 296,200,000,000 267,900,274,960 NCU Annual
Labor Force Employment 1992 55.88 52.07 Ths. Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2016 1,760,507,000,000 1,736,200,000,000 NCU Annual
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2016 1,160,201,000,000 1,084,300,000,000 NCU Annual
Exports of Goods and Services 2016 833,053,774,192 778,832,113,901 XOF Annual
Imports of Goods and Services 2016 1,433,495,284,816 1,410,759,777,180 XOF Annual
Current Account Balance 2016 -808,744,428 -744,456,703 USD Annual
Imports of Goods 2016 2,443,349,372 2,186,415,134 USD Annual
Exports of Goods 2016 1,774,275,792 1,681,882,536 USD Annual
Balance of Goods 2016 -669,073,579 -504,532,598 USD Annual
Government Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Government Revenues 2013 757,100,000,000 654,865,117,983 NCU Annual
Government Budget Balance 2005 -53,769,998,336 -22,379,999,232 current LCU Annual
Markets Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Lending Rate Mar 2017 2.5 2.5 % Monthly
Money Market Rate Feb 2017 5.17 5.01 % p.a., NSA Monthly
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Population 2016 10,872,298 10,575,952 # Annual
Death Rate 2015 9.32 9.47 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Birth Rate 2015 37.43 37.83 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Net Migration 2012 -42,268 # Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a West African kingdom that rose to prominence in about 1600 and over the next two and a half centuries became a regional power, largely based on its slave trade. Coastal areas of Dahomey began to be controlled by the French in the second half of the 19th century; the entire kingdom was conquered by 1894. French Dahomey achieved independence in 1960; it changed its name to the Republic of Benin in 1975.
A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent, who won a second five-year term in March 2011. Patrice TALON, a wealthy businessman, took office in 2016 after campaigning to restore public confidence in the government.

Geography

Location:
Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo
Geographic coordinates:
9 30 N, 2 15 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 112,622 sq km
land: 110,622 sq km
water: 2,000 sq km
country comparison to the world: 103
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries:
total: 2,123 km
border countries (4): Burkina Faso 386 km, Niger 277 km, Nigeria 809 km, Togo 651 km
Coastline:
121 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
Terrain:
mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
Elevation:
mean elevation: 273 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m
Natural resources:
small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
Land use:
agricultural land: 31.3%
arable land 22.9%; permanent crops 3.5%; permanent pasture 4.9%
forest: 40%
other: 28.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
230 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
the population is primarily located in the south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the north remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west
Natural hazards:
hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
Environment - current issues:
inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands

People & Society

Population:
11,038,805
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Nationality:
noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
adjective: Beninese
Ethnic groups:
Fon and related 38.4%, Adja and related 15.1%, Yoruba and related 12%, Bariba and related 9.6%, Fulani and related 8.6%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4.3%, Dendi and related 2.9%, other 0.9%, foreigner 1.9% (2013 est.)
Languages:
French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Religions:
Muslim 27.7%, Roman Catholic 25.5%, Protestant 13.5% (Celestial 6.7%, Methodist 3.4%, other Protestant 3.4%), Vodoun 11.6%, other Christian 9.5%, other traditional religions 2.6%, other 2.6%, none 5.8% (2013 est.)
Demographic profile:
Benin has a youthful age structure – almost 65% of the population is under the age of 25 – which is bolstered by high fertility and population growth rates. Benin’s total fertility has been falling over time but remains high, declining from almost 7 children per women in 1990 to 4.8 in 2016. Benin’s low contraceptive use and high unmet need for contraception contribute to the sustained high fertility rate. Although the majority of Beninese women use skilled health care personnel for antenatal care and delivery, the high rate of maternal mortality indicates the need for more access to high quality obstetric care.
Poverty, unemployment, increased living costs, and dwindling resources increasingly drive the Beninese to migrate. An estimated 4.4 million, more than 40%, of Beninese live abroad. Virtually all Beninese emigrants move to West African countries, particularly Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Of the less than 1% of Beninese emigrants who settle in Europe, the vast majority live in France, Benin’s former colonial ruler.
With about 40% of the population living below the poverty line, many desperate parents resort to sending their children to work in wealthy households as domestic servants (a common practice known as vidomegon), mines, quarries, or agriculture domestically or in Nigeria and other neighboring countries, often under brutal conditions. Unlike in other West African countries, where rural people move to the coast, farmers from Benin’s densely populated southern and northwestern regions move to the historically sparsely populated central region to pursue agriculture. Immigrants from West African countries came to Benin in increasing numbers between 1992 and 2002 because of its political stability and porous borders.
Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.65% (male 2,402,029/female 2,305,622)
15-24 years: 20.44% (male 1,148,204/female 1,108,342)
25-54 years: 30.44% (male 1,699,623/female 1,660,517)
55-64 years: 3.61% (male 174,633/female 223,398)
65 years and over: 2.87% (male 124,708/female 191,729) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 86.1
youth dependency ratio: 80.1
elderly dependency ratio: 6
potential support ratio: 16.6 (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 18.2 years
male: 17.9 years
female: 18.6 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
Population growth rate:
2.71% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
Birth rate:
35 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
Death rate:
7.9 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Population distribution:
the population is primarily located in the south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the north remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west
Urbanization:
urban population: 44.8% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.55% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
PORTO-NOVO (capital) 268,000 (2014); COTONOU (seat of government) 682,000; Abomey-Calavi 757,000 (2015)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth:
20.3 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011/12 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
405 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
Infant mortality rate:
total: 52.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 55.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 62.3 years
male: 60.9 years
female: 63.8 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
Total fertility rate:
4.77 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
17.9% (2014)
Health expenditures:
4.6% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 154
Physicians density:
0.15 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Hospital bed density:
0.5 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 85.2% of population
rural: 72.1% of population
total: 77.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 14.8% of population
rural: 27.9% of population
total: 22.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 35.6% of population
rural: 7.3% of population
total: 19.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 64.4% of population
rural: 92.7% of population
total: 80.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
67,000 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
2,400 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
9.6% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 142
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
18% (2014)
country comparison to the world: 30
Education expenditures:
4.3% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 64
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.4%
male: 49.9%
female: 27.3% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 14 years
female: 11 years (2013)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 2.4%
male: 1.5%
female: 3.1% (2010 est.)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Benin
conventional short form: Benin
local long form: Republique du Benin
local short form: Benin
former: Dahomey
etymology: named for the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies
Government type:
presidential republic
Capital:
name: Porto-Novo (official capital); Cotonou (seat of government)
geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
12 departments; Alibori, Atacora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
Independence:
1 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 1 August (1960)
Constitution:
history: previous 1946, 1958 (preindependence); latest adopted by referendum 2 December 1990, promulgated 11 December 1990
amendments: proposed concurrently by the president of the republic (after a decision in the Council of Ministers) and the National Assembly; consideration of drafts or proposals requires at least three-fourths majority vote of the Assembly membership; passage requires approval in a referendum unless approved by at least four-fifths majority vote of the Assembly membership; constitutional articles affecting territorial sovereignty, the republican form of government, and secularity of Benin cannot be amended (2017)
Legal system:
civil law system modeled largely on the French system and some customary law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Benin
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); prime minister position abolished
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); last held on 6 March and 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: Patrice TALON elected president; percent of vote (first round) - Lionel ZINSOU (FCBE) 28.4%, Patrice TALON (independent) 24.8%, Sebastien AJAVON (independent) 23.0%, Abdoulaye Bio TCHANE (ABT) 8.8%, Pascal KOUPAKI (NC) 5.9%, other 9.1%; percent of vote (second round)- Patrice TALON 65.4%, Lionel ZINSOU 34.6%
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 April 2015 (next to be held in April 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - FCBE 30.2%, UN 14.4%, PRD 10.6%, AND 7.6%, RB-RP 7.1%, other 30.1%; seats by party - FCBE 33, UN 13, PRD 10, AND 5, RB-RP 7, other 15
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of the court president and 3 chamber presidents organized into an administrative division, judicial chamber, and chamber of accounts); Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 7 members including the court president); High Court of Justice (consists of the Constitutional Court members, 6 members appointed by the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court president); note - jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice is limited to cases of high treason by the national president or members of the government while in office
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president and judges appointed by the national president upon the advice of the National Assembly; judges appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court members - 4 appointed by the National Assembly and 3 by the national president; members appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; High Court of Justice "other" members elected by the National Assembly; member tenure NA
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; district courts; village courts; Assize courts
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for a Triumphant Benin or ABT [Abdoulaye BIO TCHANE]
African Movement for Development and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]
Benin Renaissance or RB [Lehady SOGLO]
Cowrie Force for an Emerging Benin or FCBE [Yayi BONI]
Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]
New Consciousness Rally or NC [Pascal KOUPAKI]
Patriotic Awakening or RP [Janvier YAHOUEDEOU]
Social Democrat Party or PSD [Emmanuel GOLOU]
Sun Alliance or AS [Sacca LAFIA]
Union Makes the Nation or UN [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI] (includes PRD, MADEP)
United Democratic Forces or FDU [Mathurin NAGO]
note: approximately 20 additional minor parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
economic groups; environmentalists; political groups; teachers' unions and other educational groups
International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hector POSSET (since 18 January 2017)
chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Lucy TAMLYN (since 8 November 2015)
embassy: Caporal Bernard Anani, 01 BP 2012, Cotonou
mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou
telephone: [229] 21-30-06-50
FAX: [229] 21-30-03-84
Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a vertical green band on the hoist side; green symbolizes hope and revival, yellow wealth, and red courage
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
National symbol(s):
leopard; national colors: green, yellow, red
National anthem:
name: "L'Aube Nouvelle" (The Dawn of a New Day)
lyrics/music: Gilbert Jean DAGNON
note: adopted 1960

Economy

Economy - overview:
The free market economy of Benin has grown consecutively for three years, averaging about 5% annually since 2014, but its close trade links to Nigeria expose Benin to risks from volatile commodity prices. Cotton is a key export commodity; high prices supported export earnings, but prices have fallen. Inflation has subsided and remains just 1% over the past several years.
During the first 6 months of President TALON’s administration, electrical supply, which has hampered Benin’s economic growth, increased and blackouts have been reduced. Private foreign direct investment is small, and foreign aid accounts for the majority of investment in infrastructure projects.
Benin’s 2001 privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture. Benin has appealed for international assistance to mitigate piracy against commercial shipping in its territory. Pilferage has significantly dropped as the Port of Cotonou is still making progress towards implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code in an effort to remain competitive. Projects included in Benin's $307 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact (2006-11) were designed to increase investment and private sector activity by improving key institutional and physical infrastructure. The four projects focused on access to land, access to financial services, access to justice, and access to markets (including modernization of the port). The Port of Cotonou is the largest component of Benin’s economy with revenues projected to account for more than 40% of Benin’s national budget.
Realizing its economic potential requires further efforts to infrastructure upgrades, stemming corruption, and expanding access to foreign markets in Nigeria and neighboring landlocked countries. In September 2015, Benin signed a MCC second Compact for $375 million that is designed to strengthen the national utility service provider, attract private sector investment, fund infrastructure investments in electricity generation and distribution, and develop off-grid electrification for poor and unserved households. In order to raise growth, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, encourage new information and communication technology, and establish Independent Power Producers (IPP).
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$23.58 billion (2016 est.)
$22.38 billion (2015 est.)
$21.69 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
country comparison to the world: 140
GDP (official exchange rate):
$8.577 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4% (2016 est.)
2.1% (2015 est.)
6.4% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$2,100 (2016 est.)
$2,100 (2015 est.)
$2,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
country comparison to the world: 202
Gross national saving:
17.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
20% of GDP (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 69.4%
government consumption: 14.4%
investment in fixed capital: 26.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 25.7%
imports of goods and services: -36.3% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 25.2%
industry: 23.2%
services: 51.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cotton, corn, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; livestock
Industries:
textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement
Industrial production growth rate:
4.4% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
Labor force:
3.662 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
Unemployment rate:
1% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
Population below poverty line:
36.2% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 29% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
36.5 (2003)
country comparison to the world: 86
Budget:
revenues: $1.321 billion
expenditures: $1.832 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
15.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-6% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
Public debt:
50.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
42.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.8% (2016 est.)
0.3% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16
Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 90
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.3% (31 December 2015 )
country comparison to the world: 136
Stock of narrow money:
$2.182 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.172 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
Stock of broad money:
$3.609 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.606 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
Stock of domestic credit:
$1.661 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.631 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA
Current account balance:
$-615 million (2016 est.)
$-744.7 million (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
Exports:
$1.588 billion (2016 est.)
$1.683 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
Exports - commodities:
cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood
Exports - partners:
India 14.3%, Malaysia 12.2%, Bangladesh 9.5%, Belarus 7.4%, China 6.2%, Nigeria 6.1%, Niger 5.6% (2016)
Imports:
$2.209 billion (2016 est.)
$2.187 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
India 14.9%, Thailand 12.4%, France 10.1%, China 8.4%, Togo 7.3%, Netherlands 4.8%, Belgium 4.7% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$57.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$66.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
Debt - external:
$2.476 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.179 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 7,300,000
electrification - total population: 29%
electrification - urban areas: 57%
electrification - rural areas: 9% (2013)
Electricity - production:
311.6 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
Electricity - consumption:
1.121 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
Electricity - imports:
1.078 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
213,000 kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
97.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
2.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
Crude oil - proved reserves:
8 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
country comparison to the world: 95
Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
44,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
Refined petroleum products - exports:
5,152 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
Refined petroleum products - imports:
47,940 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
Natural gas - proved reserves:
1.133 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
country comparison to the world: 103
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
5 million Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 124,883
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 8,892,490
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 83 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Telephone system:
general assessment: inadequate system of open-wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular connections; fixed-line network characterized by aging, deteriorating equipment
domestic: fixed-line teledensity only about 1 per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular providers, cellular telephone subscribership has increased rapidly, exceeding 80 per 100 persons in 2016
international: country code - 229; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; long distance fiber-optic links with Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat-Atlantic Ocean) (2016)
Broadcast media:
state-run Office de Radiodiffusion et de Television du Benin (ORTB) operates a TV station providing a wide broadcast reach; several privately owned TV stations broadcast from Cotonou; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio, under ORTB control, includes a national station supplemented by a number of regional stations; substantial number of privately owned radio broadcast stations; transmissions of a few international broadcasters are available on FM in Cotonou (2016)
Internet country code:
.bj
Internet users:
total: 1,288,336
percent of population: 12.0% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 112,392
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 805,347 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
TY (2016)
Airports:
6 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 171
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
Railways:
total: 438 km
narrow gauge: 438 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
country comparison to the world: 118
Roadways:
total: 16,000 km
paved: 1,400 km
unpaved: 14,600 km (2006)
country comparison to the world: 120
Waterways:
150 km (seasonal navigation on River Niger along northern border) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 101
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Cotonou
LNG terminal(s) (import): Cotonou

Military & Security

Military expenditures:
1.14% of GDP (2016)
1.1% of GDP (2015)
0.96% of GDP (2014)
0.94% of GDP (2013)
0.96% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 99
Military branches:
Benin Armed Forces (Forces Armees Beninoises, FAB): Army (l'Arme de Terre), Benin Navy (Forces Navales Beninois, FNB), Benin Air Force (Force Aerienne du Benin, FAB) (2013)
Military service age and obligation:
18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2013)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
talks continue between Benin and Togo on funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River; Benin retains a border dispute with Burkina Faso near the town of Koualou; location of Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint is unresolved
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point used by traffickers for cocaine destined for Western Europe; vulnerable to money laundering due to poorly enforced financial regulations

Economic Indicators for Benin including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Benin economy.