Angola Geography and Population

Southern African state , washed west by the Atlantic Ocean. It borders to the North and NE with the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the East with Zambia, to the South with Namibia. It includes a coastal strip to the North of the mouth of the Congo River, the so-called Cabinda exclave, separated from the rest of the state by the interposition of a stretch of Congolese territory.

Physical characteristics

The territory of the Angola occupies a part of the complex of the great South African highlands, consisting of ancient lands, covered by a blanket of eluvial soil (laterite) and engraved by exogenous agents that have transformed it into a series of plateaus. The highest altitudes are reached in the central area (plateau of Bié), which rises up to 2850 meters. The plateau descends in steps towards the coastal area, hilly and with good natural landings.

According to RECIPESINTHEBOX, the rivers that descend from the plateau and pour into the Atlantic, the largest of which are the Cuanza and the Cunene, are navigable in the lower reaches. AN and NE the waters go to the Congo, SE to the Zambezi. AS the longest river of the Angola, the Cubango, continues in the territory of Namibia and Botswana, where it flows into the Okavango, which is lost in the marshes of the same name and is part of a vast endorheic basin.

The factors of the Angolan climate are numerous, and determine a certain variety of conditions, including phytogeographical ones. In the northern belt the most abundant precipitations (1500-1800 mm per year) result in the large extension of the rainforest, while in the central regions there are overlapping altimetric bands of broad-leaved forest and more or less wooded savannah. Here the thermometric regime is also different, with sensitive annual excursions, of a continental type. The southern coastal area is affected by the cold Benguela sea ​​current, which lowers the air temperature and discharges most of the humidity onto the ocean, reducing rainfall on land (up to less than 100 mm per year) and giving the climate and flora steppe or pre-desert aspects.

Population

Angola fully falls within the area of ​​the Bantu population; the most numerous ethnic groups are those Ovimbundu (37%), Kimbundu (25%) and Bakongo (13%). The uprooting of hundreds of thousands of residents from their places of origin as a result of the civil war, which lasted throughout the last quarter of the 20th century, had significant repercussions on the ethnic-cultural identity of the population. Many residents have been forced to abandon the rural locations and the typical activities that identified the communities to which they belong, and to move to ethnically mixed urban areas, to which they have had to adapt by learning new languages ​​and giving up their traditional ways of life. 2% of the population is made up of mestizos (born from the cross between native Africans and Europeans); 1% from Europeans. The driest southern regions,

The demographic trend has long felt the negative repercussions of colonization, and in particular of the slave trade, which, starting from the century 16th, he literally bled the country dry, reducing its population to less than a third: from over 10 million (according to estimates that do not appear excessive) to just 3 million residents in the first decades of the 20th century. Subsequently, the curve began to rise again, and in the five-year period 1996-2000 the natural growth rate (2% per year) recorded values ​​slightly below the average for the African continent. Infant mortality remains at very high levels (154 ‰ in 2003), as are the rates of malnutrition and illiteracy. Life expectancy at birth (40 years for men; 37 for women) is among the lowest in the world, also due to the widespread spread of AIDS. The civil war, which ended only in the early years of the century. 21st, caused over one and a half million deaths; in 2003-04 alone, about two thirds of the 500 returned to their villages.

With an average density of 10 residents / km 2, the Angola it still has a considerable population capacity: the human presence is relatively dense (20-50 residents / km 2) in the central-northern coastal section and along the Benguela railway line; very sparse elsewhere, with vast areas almost uninhabited not only in the arid southern regions, but also in the central and eastern plateau. In 2003, 36% of the population lived in urban areas. The capital, Luanda, with 2,766,000 residents in 2006, is the only large urban organism; the other centers (Lobito and Benguela on the coast and Huambo in the interior) have never assumed an important urban appearance. For the rest, the traditional form of settlement is the village, with structures that vary in the different tribal groups.

The official language is still Portuguese, but local languages ​​are commonly used. Catholicism prevails (50.7%); Protestants and other Christians amount to about 20%; the rest of the population practice animist cults.

Angola Geography and Population