Open main menu


World Factbook (1982) Ivory Coast.jpg
(See reference map VII)


323,750 km2; 40% forest and woodland, 8% cultivated, 52% grazing, fallow, and waste; 322 km of lagoons and connecting canals extend east-west along eastern part of the coast

Land boundaries: 3,227 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (fishing 200 nm; exclusive economic zone 200 nm)

Coastline: 515 km


Population: 8,569,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 3.3%

Nationality: noun—Ivorian(s); adjective—Ivorian

Ethnic divisions: 7 major indigenous ethnic groups; no single tribe more than 20% of population; most important are Agni, Baoule, Krou, Senoufou, Mandingo; approximately 2 million foreign Africans, mostly Upper Voltans; about 75,000 to 90,000 non-Africans (50,000 to 60,000 French and 25,000 to 30,000 Lebanese)

Religion: 66% animist, 22% Muslim, 12% Christian

Language: French official, over 60 native dialects, Dioula most widely spoken

Literacy: about 65% at primary school level

Labor force: over 85% of population engaged in agriculture, forestry, livestock raising; about 11% of labor force are wage earners, nearly half in agriculture, remainder in government, industry, commerce, and professions

Organized labor: 20% of wage labor force


Official name: Republic of the Ivory Coast

Type: republic; one-party presidential regime established 1960

Capital: Abidjan

Political subdivisions: 24 departments subdivided into 127 subprefectures

Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law; constitution adopted 1960; judicial review in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; legal education at Abidjan School of Law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: 7 December

Branches: President has sweeping powers, unicameral legislature, separate judiciary

Government leader: President Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY

Suffrage: universal over age 21

Elections: legislative and municipal elections were held in November 1980; Houphouët-Boigny reelected in October 1980 to his fifth consecutive five-year term

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast (PDC1), only party; Houphouët-Boigny firmly controls party

Communists: no Communist party; possibly some sympathizers

Member of: AFDB, CEAO, EAMA, ECA, ECOWAS, EIB (associate), Entente, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, IPU, ITU, Niger River Commission, NAM, OAU, OCAM, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


GDP: $10.3 billion (1980 est.), $1,250 per capita; real average annual growth rate, 6.8% (1980 est.)

Agriculture: commercial—coffee, cocoa, wood, bananas, pineapples, palm oil; food crops—corn, millet, yams, rice; other commodities—cotton, rubber, tobacco, fish; self-sufficient in most foodstuffs but rice, sugar, and meat imported

Fishing: catch 92,050 metric tons (1979 est.); exports $44.7 million (1979), imports $71.9 million (1979)

Major industries: food and lumber processing, oil refinery, automobile assembly plant, textiles, soap, flour mill, matches, three small shipyards, fertilizer plant, and battery factory

Electric power: 721,500 kW capacity (1980); 1.717 billion kWh produced (1980), 210 kWh per capita

Exports: $3.0 billion (f.o.b., 1980 est.); cocoa (32%), coffee (23%), tropical woods (19%), cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil

Imports: $2.6 billion (f.o.b., 1980 est.); manufactured goods and semifinished products (50%), consumer goods (40%), raw materials and fuels (10%)

Aid: economic commitments—Western (non-US) ODA and OOF (1970-79), $1,341 million; US authorizations, including Ex-Im (FY70-80), $141 million

Major trade partners: (1979) France and other EC countries about 65%, US 10%, Communist countries about 3%

Budget: (1980), revenues $2.8 billion, current expenditures $2.8 billion, development expenditures $1.4 billion

Monetary conversion rate: about 211.3 Communaute Financiere Africaine francs=US$1 (1980)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 657 km of the 1,173 km Abidjan to Ouagadougou, Upper Volta line, all single track meter gauge (1.00 m); only diesel locomotives in use

Highways: 45,600 km total; 2,461 km bituminous and bituminous-treated surface; 31,939 km gravel, crushed stone, laterite, and improved earth; 11,200 km unimproved

Inland waterways: 740 km navigable rivers and numerous coastal lagoons

Ports: 2 major (Abidjan, San Pedro), 3 minor

Civil air: 23 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 50 total, 47 usable; 3 with permanent-surface runways; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 9 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: system above African average; consists of open-wire lines and radio-relay links; 78,400 telephones (1.2 per 100 popl.); 3 AM, 8 FM, and 6 TV stations; 2 Atlantic Ocean satellite stations; 2 coaxial submarine cables


Military manpower: males 15-49, 2,081,000; 1,068,000 fit for military service; 84,000 males reach military age (18) annually