Congo, Republic of The; - Poverty and wealth

The lack of proper monitoring makes it difficult to determine the actual income levels of the Congolese people, the majority of whom are involved in subsistence agriculture and trade their labor for the goods that they need. World Bank estimates indicate that the per capita GDP was just US$670 per year in 1999. According to the Congolese government, only 30 percent of the population has access to health care, and they estimate that CFA44 billion is needed to rebuild the medical services sector. Further, there are over 120,000 HIV/AIDS victims in Congo, and only 14 percent of the people live in "healthy" environments.

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Rep. of Congo 709 776 1,096 933 821
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Dem. Rep. of Congo 392 313 293 247 127
Gabon 6,480 5,160 4,941 4,442 4,630
SOURCE : United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

For children ages 6 through 16, schooling is compulsory and free. The CIA and World Bank estimate that 79 percent of Congolese over the age of 15 are literate. The country's only university, Universite Marien-Ngouabi, is located in Brazzaville and has an enrollment of 12,000 students annually.

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