Vast flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
Nationality: Central African(s)
Population: 5,277,959 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%; note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry and mining, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with about 60% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates more than half of GDP. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton.
The CAR is one of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan (southern) Africa. It is plagued with a low standard of living and high death rate from disease and malnutrition. Most Central Africans live in mud-brick huts with grass roofs, without running water and electricity. In large villages, each home or group of homes has a latrine (pit-style toilet). This helps ensure that the supply of drinking water will not be contaminated by human waste.
US Military Presence/Support