Benin is a country in West Africa that encompasses an area of 112,622 sq. km. It has a coastline of 121 km on the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
There is not much variation in elevation in Benin with the average elevation being 200m. The landscape transitions from a narrow and somewhat sandy coastal area to a marshy land with lagoons that rise into the La Terre de Barre Plateau. The wooded savannah of the plateau continues on into the foothills of the Atakora Mountains of the northwest, a branch of the Togo Mountains. Benin's highest point is Mt. Sokbaro, which rises 658 m. It has been marked on the map by a yellow upright triangle. The lowest point of the country is the Atlantic Ocean at 0 m. From the mountainous northwest, the land slopes down into a broad plain and on to the Niger River valley of the far northeast. The Niger and Ouémé are the country's major rivers.
Benin has 12 departments which are divided into 77 communes which are further subdivided into arrondissements.
The 12 departments in alphabetical order are: Alibori, Atacora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, and Zou.
With an area of 26,242 sq. km, Alibori is the largest department by area and Atlantique is the most populous one.
Porto-Novo, the national capital of Benin, is located in the Ouémé Department.
Benin is a country in West Africa located in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres of the Earth. Four countries border Benin. These are Niger to the northeast, Nigeria to the east, Togo to the west, and Burkina Faso to the northeast. To the south, Benin has a small stretch of coastline on the Bight of Benin which is part of the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.
Regional Maps: Map of Africa
|Legal Name||Republic of Benin|
|Capital City||Porto-Novo (constitutional capital); Cotonou (seat of government)|
|6 29 N, 2 37 E|
|Independence||1 August 1960 (from France)|
|Total Area||112,622 km2|
|Land Area||110,622 km2|
|Water Area||2,000 km2|
|Total Border||2,123 km|
|Bordering Countries||Burkina Faso 386 km, Niger 277 km, Nigeria 809 km, Togo 651 km|
|Climate||Tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north|
|Coordinates||9 30 N, 2 15 E|
|Mean Elevation||273 m|
|Lowest Elevation||0 m|
|Highest Elevation||658 m|
|Ethnic Groups||Fon and related 38.4%, Adja and related 15.1%, Yoruba and related 12%, Bariba and related 9.6%, Fulani and related 8.6%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4.3%, Dendi and related 2.9%, other 0.9%, foreigner 1.9% (2013 est.)|
|Languages||French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)|
|Religions||Muslim 27.7%, Roman Catholic 25.5%, Protestant 13.5% (Celestial 6.7%, Methodist 3.4%, other Protestant 3.4%), Vodoun 11.6%, other Christian 9.5%, other traditional religions 2.6%, other 2.6%, none 5.8% (2013 est.)|
|Currency||Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF)|
|GDP Per Capita||$1,219.43|
|Exports||Cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood|
This page was last updated on September 14, 2020