Central African Republic, officially French République Centrafricaine [repy Republic sãtrafri kε ː n], landlocked country in central Africa with (2019) 4.7 million residents; The capital is Bangui.
According to threergroup, most of the population belongs to Sudan groups who immigrated from the northeast: Banda ( Bongo ) in the eastern center, Mandja and Mbaya in the west. They are superimposed on the east of Zande. Bantu-speaking groups (Gbakka, Lissongo) and a few thousand pygmies live in the rainforest of the southwest, while fishermen (Sango, Banziri, Yakoma) live in the middle and upper Ubangi.
Only a few thousand Europeans (mostly French) live in the Central African Republic. With 7 residents / km 2, the country is only very sparsely populated. The main settlement areas are the central south and the west; large areas in the east and northeast are deserted. In 2017, 545,500 refugees from the Central African Republic were living abroad (mainly in Cameroon and Chad). Refugees from the south of the Republic of Sudan were settled in the far east. The share of the urban population is (2017) 41%. One fifth of all residents of the country live in the greater Bangui area alone.
The largest cities in the Central African Republic
|Largest cities (population 2003 census)|
There is freedom of religion. Religious policy follows the principle of the separation of state and religion. The religious communities are subject to state registration with the Ministry of the Interior. Since the last state survey of religious statistics was more than 10 years ago, estimates from other organizations must also be consulted.
According to the census of 2003 (last available official information), 80.3% of the population belong to Christian denominations (deviating more recent statistics come to almost 90%): Among them, the Catholic Church with 28.9% of the population (Archdiocese of Bangui with eight suffragan dioceses). Protestant religious communities together make up 51.4% of the population according to the census, according to more recent surveys it is almost 61% (above all the “Evangelical Church of the Brethren” [arose from the mission of the Church of the Brethren ], as well as Baptists, Pentecostals, Lutherans). There are also independent African churches (including the Kimbanguist Church [ Kimbangu ]).
The proportion of the population of Muslims (especially Sudanese Arabs, Hausa and Fulbe) is estimated at 10% (according to deviating data it is less than 9%). The Bahais form a small religious minority. Presumably – parallel to official ties to one of the two world religions – a third to about half of the population adheres to traditional African beliefs.
The country, like the others in the African equatorial area, is sparsely populated. The reasons for such a low population are many: the difficult living conditions in a hostile environment, but also the ruthless slave hunt perpetrated in the past by Arab slave traders; moreover, epidemic diseases have always been widespread (most recently AIDS). In the southwestern forest areas there are small surviving groups of pygmies, the first residents of the region, which were superimposed, in successive waves, by Semibantu, Bantu and then Sudanese populations, according to a general movement towards the equatorial areas triggered by the expansion of the Islamized peoples of the savannas. The largest group is that of the Bayas (33%), settled in the western area, where they live in small villages of cylindrical huts. Another important group is that of the gangs (27%), who live N of the Oubangui loop and are divided into different tribes. In the savannah areas there are peoples such as the sandé (or azande, 10%), on the border with Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, while the sara live near the Sciari basin. (10%). Other ethnicities make up 9% of the total population. In the first half of the twentieth century the population recorded a sharp decrease compared to the previous century and in 1945 the residents were still just over one million.
Only in the last decades of the twentieth century, thanks to a rather high growth rate, the demographic development began to reach good levels and, in 2006 the estimates attributed to the country over 4 million residents, distributed according to an average density of just 7 residents./km²; the highest concentrations are found in the central-southern part of the country, while the eastern regions are in fact depopulated. Life expectancy at birth is very low for both males (44 years) and females (44) and contributes to placing the country among those with the lowest human development in the world. The only real city is Bangui, valued in colonial times for its position on the Oubangui River, of which it is the largest port; however the actual demographic consistency of the city is distorted by the fluctuation of the present population, who migrate to the villages during the agricultural work season and return to the city during the rest periods to sell the harvested products. The other cities are all of minor importance and have only a few tens of thousands of residents. They emerge who migrates to the villages during the agricultural work season and returns to the city during the rest periods to sell the harvested produce. The other cities are all of minor importance and have only a few tens of thousands of residents. They emerge who migrates to the villages during the agricultural work season and returns to the city during the rest periods to sell the harvested produce. The other cities are all of minor importance and have only a few tens of thousands of residents. They emerge Bouar, a cotton city destined to grow with the construction of roads and railways connecting with the Cameroonian network, and Bérbérati, the largest center of the Haute-Sangha region, located on the edge of the forest not far from the border with Cameroon.