Kingdom of Swaziland
LOCATION AND SIZE.
Swaziland is a small landlocked country in southern Africa, with an area of 17,363 square kilometers (6,704 miles), extending 176 kilometers (109 miles) north to south and 135 kilometers (84 miles) east to west. By comparison, it is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey. It shares a border of 105 kilometers (65 miles) to the east with Mozambique and is otherwise surrounded by South Africa, with which it shares a total border of 430 kilometers (267 miles). It is divided from east to west into 4 well-defined regions: the High-Veld, Middle-Veld, and Low-Veld, and the Lubombo plain and escarpment. Their height ranges from the High-Veld in the west which rises to 1,850 meters (6,070 feet) and the Low-Veld which stands at only 300 meters (985 feet) above sea level. The country is traversed by rivers and streams, making it one of the most well-watered areas of southern Africa.
In 2001, the population was estimated at 1,101,343. The population has risen from 906,000 in 1997, and from 712,313 in 1986. The population grew at 2.9 percent annually between 1970-90 and 2.8 percent between 1990-97, while life expectancy in 2001 was 60 years (though the CIA World Factbook reports a figure of 38.62 years). The population growth rate in 2001 was1.83 percent, based on a birth rate of 40.12 per 1,000 and a death rate of 21.84 per 1,000, all based on 2001 estimates. About 33 percent of the population live in urban areas. It is a relatively young population with more than half of the population below 20 years of age.
Around 90 percent of the population are Swazi (although there are around 70 district groups), and most of the rest are Zulu, Tonga, Shangaan, European, and people of mixed descent. Large numbers of Mozambicans fled to Swaziland to escape the civil war in their country, but repatriation was completed in 1993 following a return to peace in Mozambique. About 77 percent of Swazi are Christian, with the rest practicing Islam or traditional faiths. English is an official language and the language of government and business, and is widely spoken alongside siSwati, the other official language.
Swaziland has no territories or colonies.
Commonwealth Secretariat. "Swaziland." The Commonwealth Yearbook 2000. Birmingham, UK: Stationery Office, 2000.
Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Profile: Swaziland. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2001.
Hodd, Michael. "Swaziland." The Economies of Africa. Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1991.
Swaziland. <http://www.magma.ca/~mali/swaziland/main.htm> .Accessed September 2001.
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2001. <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html> . Accessed September 2001.
U.S. Department of State. Background Notes: Swaziland, August 2000. <http://www.state.gov/www/background_notes/swazi_0008_bgn.html> . Accessed September 2001.
—Allan C. K. Mukungu
Mbabane (administrative and judicial) and Lobamba (royal and parliamentary).
The lilangeni (E); the plural is emalangeni. One lilangeni equals 100 cents. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and 1 lilangeni, and notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 emalangeni. The lilangeni is on par with the South African rand, which is also accepted as legal tender in the country.
Sugar, citrus, canned fruit, soft drink concentrates, textiles, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators.
Manufactured goods, machinery, transport equipment, food, chemicals, fuels.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:
US$4.44 billion (purchasing power parity, 2000 est.).
BALANCE OF TRADE:
Exports: US$881 million (f.o.b., 2000). Imports: US$928 million (f.o.b., 2000).