Mozambique at a glanceA Macua woman with musiro covering her face, Mozambique by Eric Lafforgue,

Location Mozambique extends for 2,500km along the east coast of Africa, between latitudes 11˚ and 26˚S and longitudes 30˚ and 40˚E

Neighbouring countries Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland

Area 799,380km2, of which 13,000km2 is water. It is the 16th-largest country in Africa, roughly two thirds the size of the neighbouring Republic of South Africa, about three times the size of Great Britain and slightly larger than the state of Texas.

Climate Almost all the country is below 2,000m, and covered in a mixture of subtropical scrub. The south tends to be cooler and drier than the north.

Status Multi-party republic

Population 28 million (2016 estimate)

Life expectancy 55 years

(Photo: A young Macua woman with musiro on her face, which is used as a skin softener and for protection against the sun when working outdoors © Eric Lafforgue,

Capital Maputo (population around 2.2 million including Matola)

Other main towns Nampula (638,000); Beira (462,000); Chimoio (325,000); Nacala (244,000); Quelimane (245,000)

Economy Predominantly subsistence agriculture, although this is changing as exploitation of mineral resources increases.

GDP US$116 per capita PPP (2015); annual growth (2015) 6.6%

Languages The official language, Portuguese, is mother tongue to only 11% of the population. Some 40 indigenous languages are all classified in the Bantu linguistic group, the most widely spoken being Macua (25% of the population), Sena (11%) and Tsonga (11%). English and Swahili are widely understood in some border areas.

Religion About 52% of the population is Christian, with Catholicism dominating, and 18% is Muslim. The remainder hold traditional beliefs or profess no religion.

Currency Metical (Mt, plural meticais); for up-to-date rates, go to

National airline Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM). Airports with scheduled direct international connections are in Maputo, Inhambane, Vilankulo, Quelimane, Beira, Tete, Nampula and Pemba.

International telephone code +258

Time GMT +2

Electrical voltage 220V, 50Hz

Weights and measures Metric

Flag Three horizontal bands: from top, green, white-edged black and yellow. There is a red triangle on the hoist side, centred on a yellow star bearing an open white book on which are depicted a crossed AK47 and a hoe in black.

National sports Football, basketball

Public holidays Mozambique has 12 national public holidays

National anthem Pátria Amada (‘Beloved Fatherland’)

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