The Central African Republic (CAR; Sango Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka; French: République centrafricaine, pronounced: [ʁepyblik sɑ̃tʁafʁikɛn], or Centrafrique [sɑ̃tʀafʀik]) is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the northeast, South Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo in the south and Cameroon in the west. The CAR covers a land area of about 620,000 square kilometres (240,000 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about 4.4 million as of 2008. The capital is Bangui.
France called the colony it carved out in this region Oubangui-Chari, as most of the territory was located in the Ubangi and Chari river basins. It became a semi-autonomous territory of the French Community in 1958 and then an independent nation on 13 August 1960, taking its present name. For over three decades after independence, the CAR was ruled by presidents or an emperor, who either were unelected or who took power by force. Local discontent with this system was eventually reinforced by international pressure, following the end of the Cold War.
This article is about the demographic features of the population of the Central African Republic, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
There are more than 80 ethnic groups in the Central African Republic (CAR), each with its own language. About 50% are Baya-Mandjia, 40% Banda (largely located in the northern and central parts of the country), and 7% are M'Baka (southwestern corner of the CAR). Sangho, the language of a small group along the Oubangui River, is the national language spoken by the majority of Central Africans. Only a small part of the population has more than an elemental knowledge of French, the official language.
More than 55% of the population of the CAR lives in rural areas. The chief agricultural areas are around the Bossangoa and Bambari. Bangui, Berberati, Bangassou, and Bossangoa are the most densely populated urban centers.