Cameroon - CM - CMR - CMR - Africa

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Cameroon Factbook Data

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher J. LAMORA (since 21 March 2022)

embassy: Avenue Rosa Parks, Yaoundé

mailing address: 2520 Yaounde Place, Washington, DC  20521-2520

telephone: [237] 22251-4000/[237] 22220-1500

FAX: [237] 22220-1500, Ext. 4531

email address and website:
YaoundeACS@state.gov

https://cm.usembassy.gov/

branch office(s): Douala

Age structure

0-14 years: 41.69% (male 6,337,141/female 6,226,100)

15-64 years: 55.12% (male 8,231,473/female 8,379,699)

65 years and over: 3.19% (2023 est.) (male 447,656/female 513,663)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Cameroon. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

6 00 N, 12 00 E

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Natural hazards

volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes

volcanism: Mt. Cameroon (4,095 m), which last erupted in 2000, is the most frequently active volcano in West Africa; lakes in Oku volcanic field have released fatal levels of gas on occasion, killing some 1,700 people in 1986


Area - comparative

slightly larger than California; about four times the size of Pennsylvania
Area comparison map

slightly larger than California; about four times the size of Pennsylvania


Military service age and obligation

18-23 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years (2023)

Background

Much of the area of present-day Cameroon was ruled by powerful chiefdoms before becoming a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the UK as League of Nations mandates. French Cameroon became independent in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon. The following year the southern portion of neighboring British Cameroon voted to merge with the new country to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, a new constitution replaced the federation with a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon. The country has generally enjoyed stability, which has enabled the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Nonetheless, unrest and violence in the country's two western, English-speaking regions has persisted since 2016. Movement toward democratic reform is slow and political power remains firmly in the hands of President Paul BIYA.

Environment - current issues

waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation and overgrazing result in erosion, desertification, and reduced quality of pastureland; poaching; overfishing; overhunting

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban

Population below poverty line

37.5% (2014 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 37.5%

highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, cocoa beans, lumber, gold, bananas (2021)

Exports - partners

China 17%, Netherlands 14%, Italy 9%, United Arab Emirates 8%, India 7%, United States 6%, Belgium 6%, Spain 5%, France 5% (2019)

Administrative divisions

10 regions (regions, singular - region); Adamaoua, Centre, East (Est), Far North (Extreme-Nord), Littoral, North (Nord), North-West (Nord-Ouest), West (Ouest), South (Sud), South-West (Sud-Ouest)

Agricultural products

cassava, plantains, maize, oil palm fruit, taro, sugar cane, sorghum, tomatoes, bananas, vegetables

Military and security forces

Cameroon Armed Forces (Forces Armees Camerounaises, FAC): Army (L'Armee de Terre), Navy (Marine Nationale Republique, MNR, includes naval infantry or fusiliers marin), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC), Rapid Intervention Battalion (Bataillons d’Intervention Rapide or BIR), National Gendarmerie, Presidential Guard (2024)

note 1: the National Police and the National Gendarmerie are responsible for internal security; the Police report to the General Delegation of National Security, while the Gendarmerie reports to the Secretariat of State for Defense in charge of the Gendarmerie

note 2: the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), while part of the Ministry of Defense, maintains its own command and control structure and reports directly to the Presidency; the BIR is structured as a large brigade with up to 9 battalions, detachments, or groups consisting of infantry, airborne/airmobile, amphibious, armored reconnaissance, counterterrorism, and support elements, such as artillery and intelligence

Budget

revenues: $6.118 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $7.405 billion (2019 est.)

Capital

name: Yaounde

geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: founded as a German colonial settlement of Jaunde in 1888 and named after the local Yaunde (Ewondo) people

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, scrap vessels, rice, special purpose ships, packaged medicines (2019)

Climate

varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north

Coastline

402 km

Constitution

history: several previous; latest effective 18 January 1996

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; amendment drafts require approval of at least one third of the membership in either house of Parliament; passage requires absolute majority vote of the Parliament membership; passage of drafts requested by the president for a second reading in Parliament requires two-thirds majority vote of its membership; the president can opt to submit drafts to a referendum, in which case passage requires a simple majority; constitutional articles on Cameroon’s unity and territorial integrity and its democratic principles cannot be amended; amended 2008

Exchange rates

Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
554.531 (2021 est.)
575.586 (2020 est.)
585.911 (2019 est.)
555.446 (2018 est.)
580.657 (2017 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)

head of government: Prime Minister Joseph Dion NGUTE (since 4 January 2019)

cabinet: Cabinet proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 7 October 2018 (next to be held in October 2025); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: 2018: Paul BIYA reelected president; percent of vote - Paul BIYA (CPDM) 71.3%, Maurice KAMTO (MRC) 14.2%, Cabral LIBII (Univers) 6.3%, other 8.2% (2018)

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow, with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band; the vertical tricolor recalls the flag of France; red symbolizes unity, yellow the sun, happiness, and the savannahs in the north, and green hope and the forests in the south; the star is referred to as the "star of unity"

note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

Independence

1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)

Industries

petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cameroon (consists of 9 titular and 6 surrogate judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and audit chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 11 members)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the advice of the Higher Judicial Council of Cameroon, a body chaired by the president and includes the minister of justice, selected magistrates, and representatives of the National Assembly; judge term NA; Constitutional Council members appointed by the president for renewable 6-year terms

subordinate courts: Parliamentary Court of Justice (jurisdiction limited to cases involving the president and prime minister); appellate and first instance courts; circuit and magistrates' courts

Land boundaries

total: 5,018 km

border countries (6): Central African Republic 901 km; Chad 1,116 km; Republic of the Congo 494 km; Equatorial Guinea 183 km; Gabon 349 km; Nigeria 1975 km

Land use

agricultural land: 20.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 13.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 3.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 4.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 41.7% (2018 est.)

other: 37.7% (2018 est.)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
Senate or Senat (100 seats; 70 members indirectly elected by regional councils and 30 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats; members directly elected in 49 single and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 12 March 2023 (next to be held in 2028)
National Assembly - last held on 9 February 2020 (next to be held 28 February 2025)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDPM 100%; seats by party - CDPM 100; composition as of October 2023 - men 69, women 31, percent of women 31%

National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 152, UNDP 7, SDF 5, PCRN 5, UDC 4, FSNC 3, MDR 2, UMS 2; composition as of October 2023 - men 109, women 58, percent of women 32.2%; note - total Parliament percent of women 31.7%

note: 13 National Assembly seats were vacant after the 9 February 2020 election due to violence in northwest and southwest regions; CDPM won those seats in a 22 March 2020 election

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 77.1%

male: 82.6%

female: 71.6% (2018)

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, C, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LCBC, MIGA, MNJTF, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHRC, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

National holiday

State Unification Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)

Nationality

noun: Cameroonian(s)

adjective: Cameroonian

Natural resources

petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower

Geography - note

sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa because of its central location on the continent and its position at the west-south juncture of the Gulf of Guinea; throughout the country there are areas of thermal springs and indications of current or prior volcanic activity; Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in Sub-Saharan west Africa, is an active volcano

Economic overview

largest CEMAC economy with many natural resources; recent political instability and terrorism reducing economic output; systemic corruption; poor property rights enforcement; increasing poverty in northern regions

Pipelines

53 km gas, 5 km liquid petroleum gas, 1,107 km oil, 35 km water (2013)

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for Democracy and Development [Garga Haman ADJI]
Cameroon People's Democratic Movement or CPDM [Paul BIYA]
Cameroon People's Party or CPP [Edith Kah WALLA]
Cameroon Renaissance Movement or MRC [Maurice KAMTO]
Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Hermine Patricia TOMAINO]
Cameroonian Party for National Reconciliation or PCRN [Cabral LIBII]
Front for the National Salvation of Cameroon or FSNC [Issa Tchiroma BAKARY]
Movement for the Defense of the Republic or MDR [Paulin DJOWRWE]
Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO]
National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA]
Progressive Movement or MP [Jean-Jacques EKINDI]
Social Democratic Front or SDF [Joshua OSIH]
Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Pierre Baleguel NKOT] 
Union of Socialist Movements [Pierre KWEMO] 

Ports and terminals

oil terminal(s): Limboh Terminal

river port(s): Douala (Wouri)

Garoua (Benoue)

Suffrage

20 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Cameroon was for many years one of the few countries in Africa with only two competing mobile operators; the investment programs among operators over the next few years aims to considerably boost mobile broadband services in rural areas of the country, many of which are under served by fixed-line infrastructure; the government has also been supportive, having launched its ‘Cameroon Digital 2020’ program, aimed at improving connectivity nationally; improved submarine and terrestrial cable connectivity has substantially increased international bandwidth, in turn leading to reductions in access prices for consumers; other projects such as Acceleration of the Digital Transformation of Cameroon are aimed at developing the digital economy (2022)

domestic: only a little above 3 per 100 persons for fixed-line subscriptions; mobile-cellular usage has increased sharply, reaching a subscribership base of roughly 83 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 237; landing points for the SAT-3/WASC, SAIL, ACE, NCSCS, Ceiba-2, and WACS fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe, South America, and West Africa; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)

Terrain

diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north

Government type

presidential republic

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon

conventional short form: Cameroon

local long form: Republique du Cameroun (French)/Republic of Cameroon (English)

local short form: Cameroun/Cameroon

former: Kamerun, French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon

etymology: in the 15th century, Portuguese explorers named the area near the mouth of the Wouri River the Rio dos Camaroes (River of Prawns) after the abundant shrimp in the water; over time the designation became Cameroon in English; this is the only instance where a country is named after a crustacean

Location

Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria

Map references

Africa

Irrigated land

290 sq km (2012)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Henri ETOUNDI ESSOMBA (since 27 June 2016)

chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790

FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826

email address and website: mail@cameroonembassyusa

Internet country code

.cm

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and sexually transmitted diseases: hepatitis B (2024)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

note: on 31 August 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Cameroon is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 354,139 (Central African Republic), 120,839 (Nigeria) (2023)

IDPs: 1.066 million (2023) (includes far north, northwest, and southwest)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$34.99 billion (2017 est.)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B (2006)

Moody's rating: B2 (2016)

Standard & Poors rating: B- (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

Total renewable water resources

283.15 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 13 years

female: 11 years (2016)

Urbanization

urban population: 59.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

government maintains tight control over broadcast media; state-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), broadcasting on both a TV and radio network, was the only officially recognized and fully licensed broadcaster until August 2007, when the government issued licenses to 2 private TV broadcasters and 1 private radio broadcaster; about 70 privately owned, unlicensed radio stations operate under “administrative tolerance,” meaning the stations could be subject to closure at any time (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 95.1% of population

rural: 56.2% of population

total: 78.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 4.9% of population

rural: 43.8% of population

total: 21.4% of population (2020 est.)

National anthem

name: "O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancetres" (O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers)

lyrics/music: Rene Djam AFAME, Samuel Minkio BAMBA, Moise Nyatte NKO'O [French], Benard Nsokika FONLON [English]/Rene Djam AFAME

note: adopted 1957; Cameroon's anthem, also known as "Chant de Ralliement" (The Rallying Song), has been used unofficially since 1948 and officially adopted in 1957; the anthem has French and English versions whose lyrics differ
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Cameroon. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

4.509 million YAOUNDE (capital), 4.063 million Douala (2023)

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt

Physicians density

0.13 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

1.3 beds/1,000 population

National symbol(s)

lion; national colors: green, red, yellow

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.1 years (2018 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Demographic profile

Cameroon has a large youth population, with more than 60% of the populace under the age of 25 as of 2020. Fertility is falling but remains at a high level, especially among poor, rural, and uneducated women, in part because of inadequate access to contraception. Life expectancy remains low at about 55 years due to the prevalence of HIV and AIDs and an elevated maternal mortality rate, which has remained high since 1990. Cameroon, particularly the northern region, is vulnerable to food insecurity largely because of government mismanagement, corruption, high production costs, inadequate infrastructure, and natural disasters. Despite economic growth in some regions, poverty is on the rise, and is most prevalent in rural areas, which are especially affected by a shortage of jobs, declining incomes, poor school and health care infrastructure, and a lack of clean water and sanitation. Underinvestment in social safety nets and ineffective public financial management also contribute to Cameroon’s high rate of poverty.  The activities of Boko Haram, other armed groups, and counterinsurgency operations have worsened food insecurity in the Far North region.  

International migration has been driven by unemployment (including fewer government jobs), poverty, the search for educational opportunities, and corruption. The US and Europe are preferred destinations, but, with tighter immigration restrictions in these countries, young Cameroonians are increasingly turning to neighboring states, such as Gabon and Nigeria, South Africa, other parts of Africa, and the Near and Far East. Cameroon’s limited resources make it dependent on UN support to host more than 480,000 refugees and asylum seekers as of December 2022. These refugees and asylum seekers are primarily from the Central African Republic and Nigeria.  Internal and external displacement have grown dramatically in recent years.  Boko Haram's attacks and counterattacks by government forces in the Far North since 2014 have increased the number of internally displaced people.  Armed conflict between separatists and Cameroon's military in the Northwest and Southwest since 2016 have displaced hundreds of thousands of the country's Anglophone minority.


Contraceptive prevalence rate

19.3% (2018)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 66.3% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 21.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -20.9% (2017 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 82.3

youth dependency ratio: 77.3

elderly dependency ratio: 4.9

potential support ratio: 20.3 (2021 est.)

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Cameroon

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Population distribution

population concentrated in the west and north, with the interior of the country sparsely populated as shown in this population distribution map

Electricity access

population without electricity: 10 million (2020)

electrification - total population: 65.4% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 94.6% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 24.8% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 265,136 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 70,000 (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

TJ

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 83.2% of population

rural: 27.7% of population

total: 59.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 16.8% of population

rural: 72.3% of population

total: 40.3% of population (2020 est.)

Ethnic groups

Bamileke-Bamu 24.3%, Beti/Bassa, Mbam 21.6%, Biu-Mandara 14.6%, Arab-Choa/Hausa/Kanuri 11%, Adamawa-Ubangi, 9.8%, Grassfields 7.7%, Kako, Meka/Pygmy 3.3%, Cotier/Ngoe/Oroko 2.7%, Southwestern Bantu 0.7%, foreign/other ethnic group 4.5% (2018 est.)

Religions

Christian 70.7% (Roman Catholic 38.3%, Protestant 25.5%, other Christian 6.9%), Muslim 24.4%, animist 2.2%, other 0.5%, none 2.2% (2018 est.)

Languages

24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)

major-language sample(s):
The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information. (English)

The World Factbook, une source indispensable d'informations de base. (French)
French audio sample

Imports - partners

China 28%, Nigeria 15%, France 9%, Belgium 6% (2019)

Disputes - international

Cameroon-Central African Republic: Cameroon has deployed military troops to the border to counter intrusions from armed militias and bandits
 
Cameroon-Nigeria: Nigeria recognized Cameroon's sovereignty over the Bakassi Peninsula in 2006 and in completed the transfer of administration in 2013, although there are occasional, mostly local disputes in the area; the the majority of the land boundary was demarcated by 2019 with UN assistance, although there are few disagreements on the precise location of the boundary; the porous border is susceptible to crossings by the Boko Haram and Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - West Africa terrorist groups, both of which operate in Northern Nigeria 



Elevation

highest point: Fako on Mont Cameroun 4,045 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 667 m

Current health expenditure

3.8% of GDP (2020)

Military - note

the FAC is considered a politically independent military; the Army and the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) are organized and equipped for mobile operations; the Army has 4 motorized infantry brigades spread amongst 5 military regions; the US-trained BIR has up to nine battalions, detachments, or groups consisting of airborne, air mobile, amphibious, light, and motorized infantry, armored reconnaissance, counterterrorism, and support units, such as artillery and intelligence; the BIR reportedly receives better training, equipment, and pay than regular Army units

the ground forces are largely focused on internal security, particularly the threat from the terrorist groups Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa along its frontiers with Nigeria and Chad (Far North region) and an insurgency from armed Anglophone separatist groups in the North-West and South-West regions (as of 2023, this conflict had left more than 3,500 civilians dead and over 500,000 people displaced since fighting started in 2016); in addition, the FAC often deploys ground units to the border region with the Central African Republic to counter intrusions from armed militias and bandits; the Navy’s missions include protecting Cameroon’s oil installations, combatting crime and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, and patrolling the country’s lakes and rivers; the Air Force supports both the ground and naval forces and has small numbers of light ground attack and reconnaissance aircraft, as well as attack, multipurpose, and transport helicopters (2023)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 45-50,000 active-duty troops (30-35,000 ground forces, including the Rapid Intervention Battalion/BIR and Presidential Guard; 2,000 Navy; 1,000 Air Force; 10,000 Gendarmerie) (2023)

note: the BIR has approximately 10,000 personnel

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAC inventory includes a wide mix of mostly older or second-hand Chinese, Russian, and Western equipment, with a limited quantity of more modern weapons received in recent years from such countries as China, France, and Russia (2023)

Military deployments

750 (plus about 350 police) Central African Republic (MINUSCA) (May 2022)

note: Cameroon has committed approximately 2,000-2,500 troops to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram and other terrorist groups operating in the general area of the Lake Chad Basin and along Nigeria's northeast border; national MNJTF troop contingents are deployed within their own country territories, although cross‐border operations occur occasionally

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Boko Haram; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham – West Africa

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to civil insecurity, high food prices, and floods - according to a November 2022 analysis (the latest available), about 3.6 million people were estimated to be acutely food insecure between October and December 2022, as a result of conflict, sociopolitical unrest and high food prices, as well as floods that caused people displacements, damaged standing crops and prevented access to fields (2023)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 250 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 100 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 740 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 3,270,617 tons (2013 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 13,082 tons (2009 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 0.4% (2009 est.)

Average household expenditures

on food: 45.3% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 2.1% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 56.37 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 8.29 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 30.71 megatons (2020 est.)

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 2 (both natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Dja Faunal Reserve; Sangha Trinational Forest

Major aquifers

Lake Chad Basin

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Congo (3,730,881 sq km), Niger (2,261,741 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Chad (endorheic lake shared with Niger, Nigeria, and Chad) - 10,360-25,900 sq km
note - area varies by season and year to year

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 10.7%

women married by age 18: 29.8%

men married by age 18: 2.9% (2018 est.)

Heliports

1 (2024)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 32.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 67.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 2,678,486,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 986.189 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 1,603,156,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 135.071 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 63,200 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 37,900 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 62,200 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 20,200 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 200 million barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

2.22 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

54.2% (2023 est.)

Remittances

0.82% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.9% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.83% of GDP (2018 est.)

Labor force

11.81 million (2021 est.)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 6.6% (2021 est.)

male: 6%

female: 7.3%

Net migration rate

-0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 18.8 years (2023 est.)

male: 18.5 years

female: 19.1 years

Debt - external

$9.375 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.364 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

438 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.459 billion (31 December 2018 est.)
$3.197 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Waterways

(2010) (major rivers in the south, such as the Wouri and the Sanaga, are largely non-navigable; in the north, the Benue, which connects through Nigeria to the Niger River, is navigable in the rainy season only to the port of Garoua)

Refined petroleum products - imports

14,090 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

36.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.5 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Military expenditures

1% of GDP (2023 est.)
1% of GDP (2022 est.)
1% of GDP (2021 est.)
1% of GDP (2020 est.)
1.4% of GDP (2019 est.)

Unemployment rate

3.87% (2021 est.)
3.84% (2020 est.)
3.64% (2019 est.)

Population

30,135,732 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 12.42 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 46% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

7.105 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 5.171 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 1.935 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 475,440 sq km

land: 472,710 sq km

water: 2,730 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

10.87% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$100.648 billion (2021 est.)
$97.103 billion (2020 est.)
$96.852 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 77,589 km (2019)

paved: 5,133 km (2019)

unpaved: 72,456 km (2019)

Infant mortality rate

total: 47.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 52.2 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 42.5 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 22,442,414 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 83 (2021 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

46.6 (2014 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.27% (2021 est.)
2.44% (2020 est.)
2.45% (2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

8,545 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

-$1.795 billion (2021 est.)
-$1.512 billion (2020 est.)
-$1.695 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,700 (2021 est.)
$3,700 (2020 est.)
$3,800 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 722,579 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2020 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 7.3% (2020 est.)

male: 13.2% (2020 est.)

female: 1.4% (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

11.4% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

6.187 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

7.5 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

35.1 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 1.754 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 6,508,840,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 19 million kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 1.864 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 198 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 2, general cargo 91, oil tanker 42, other 63

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

11% (2018/19)

Imports

$9.027 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$7.212 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$9.085 billion (2019 est.)

Exports

$7.449 billion (2021 est.)
$6.124 billion (2020 est.)
$7.731 billion (2019 est.)

note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 929,007 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

39,080 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 4.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.36 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.16 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 1.56 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 63.7 years (2023 est.)

male: 61.9 years

female: 65.6 years

Real GDP growth rate

3.65% (2021 est.)
0.26% (2020 est.)
3.48% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

3.22% (2021 est.)

Railways

total: 987 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 987 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

note: railway connections generally efficient but limited; rail lines connect major cities of Douala, Yaounde, Ngaoundere, and Garoua; passenger and freight service provided by CAMRAIL

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 16.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 26.5% (2017 est.)

services: 56.8% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

2.5% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

3.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.73% (2023 est.)

Airports

37 (2024)