Mozambique facts on every entity in the world

Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development until the mid-1990s. The ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) party formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, and a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections and a free market economy. A UN-negotiated peace agreement between FRELIMO and rebel Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) forces ended the fighting in 1992. In December 2004, Mozambique underwent a delicate transition as Joaquim CHISSANO stepped down after 18 years in office. His elected successor, Armando GUEBUZA, served two terms and then passed executive power to Philipe NYUSI in October 2014. RENAMO’s residual armed forces engaged in a low-level insurgency from 2012 to 2014.



Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania

Geographic coordinates

18.15° S, 35.00° E

Area 35/257

total: 799,380 sq km

land: 786,380 sq km

water: 13,000 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly less than twice the size of California

Land boundaries

total: 4,783 km

border countries (6): Malawi 1,498 km, South Africa 496 km, Swaziland 108 km, Tanzania 840 km, Zambia 439 km, Zimbabwe 1,402 km


2,470 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical to subtropical


mostly coastal lowlands, uplands in center, high plateaus in northwest, mountains in west


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Monte Binga 2,436 m

Natural resources

coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite

Land use

agricultural land: 56.3%

arable land 6.4%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 49.6%

forest: 43.7%

other: 0% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

1,180 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

217.1 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 0.88 cu km/yr (26%/4%/70%)

per capita: 46.05 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

severe droughts; devastating cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces

Environment - current issues

increased migration of the population to urban and coastal areas with adverse environmental consequences; desertification; pollution of surface and coastal waters; elephant poaching for ivory is a problem

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

the Zambezi River flows through the north-central and most fertile part of the country

People and Society


noun: Mozambican(s)

adjective: Mozambican

Ethnic groups

African 99.66% (Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, and others), Europeans 0.06%, Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.08%


Emakhuwa 25.3%, Portuguese (official) 10.7%, Xichangana 10.3%, Cisena 7.5%, Elomwe 7%, Echuwabo 5.1%, other Mozambican languages 30.1%, other 4% (1997 census)


Roman Catholic 28.4%, Muslim 17.9%, Zionist Christian 15.5%, Protestant 12.2% (includes Pentecostal 10.9% and Anglican 1.3%), other 6.7%, none 18.7%, unspecified 0.7% (2007 est.)

Population 50/238


note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 45.13% (male 5,740,743/female 5,677,563)

15-24 years: 21.43% (male 2,657,099/female 2,764,109)

25-54 years: 27.09% (male 3,201,321/female 3,654,012)

55-64 years: 3.44% (male 415,357/female 455,450)

65 years and over: 2.91% (male 338,552/female 398,907) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 94.8%

youth dependency ratio: 88.2%

elderly dependency ratio: 6.5%

potential support ratio: 15.3% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 17 years

male: 16.4 years

female: 17.6 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 28/233

2.45% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 10/224

38.58 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 26/225

12.1 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 166/222

-1.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 32.2% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.27% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

MAPUTO (capital) 1.187 million; Matola 937,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.88 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth


median age at first birth among women 20-24 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 20/184

489 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 13/224

total: 70.21 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 72.29 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 68.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 214/224

total population: 52.94 years

male: 52.18 years

female: 53.72 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 12/224

5.21 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

11.6% (2011)

Health expenditures 99/191

6.8% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.04 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

0.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source


urban: 80.6% of population

rural: 37% of population

total: 51.1% of population


urban: 19.4% of population

rural: 63% of population

total: 48.9% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 42.4% of population

rural: 10.1% of population

total: 20.5% of population


urban: 57.6% of population

rural: 89.9% of population

total: 79.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

10.58% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

1.543 million (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

44,900 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 158/191

4.5% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 44/138

15.6% (2011)

Education expenditures 78/173

5% of GDP (2006)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 10 years

female: 9 years (2013)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 39.4%

male: 40.2%

female: 38.7% (2012 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Mozambique

conventional short form: Mozambique

local long form: Republica de Mocambique

local short form: Mocambique

former: Portuguese East Africa

etymology: named after the offshore island of Mozambique; the island was apparently named after Mussa al-BIK, an influential Arab slave trader who set himself up as sultan on the island in the 15th century

Government type



name: Maputo

geographic coordinates: 25.57° S, 32.35° E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

10 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia), 1 city (cidade)*; Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Cidade de Maputo*, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia


25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday

Independence Day, 25 June (1975)


previous 1975, 1990; latest adopted 16 November 2004, effective 21 December 2004; note - amendments drafted in late 2013 have stalled in parliament (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system of Portuguese civil law, and customary law; note - in rural, predominately Muslim villages with no formal legal system, Islamic law may be applied

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

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

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Filipe Jacinto NYUSI (since 15 January 2015)

head of government: Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho DO ROSARIO (since 17 January 2015); Alberto Clementino Antonio VAQUINA removed from office 9 January 2015

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president elected directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 consecutive terms); election last held on 15 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2019); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Filipe NYUSI elected president; percent of vote - Filipe NYUSI (FRELIMO) 57.0%, Afonso DHLAKAMA (RENAMO) 36.6%, Daviz SIMANGO (MDM) 6.4%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (250 seats; members - including 2 representing Mozambicans abroad - directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 15 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - FRELIMO 55.9%, RENAMO 32.5%, MDM 8.4%, other 3.3%; seats by party - FRELIMO 144, RENAMO 89, MDM 17

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 5 judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 7 judges); note - the Higher Council of the Judiciary is responsible for judiciary management and discipline

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president and vice president appointed by Mozambique president in consultation with the Higher Council of the Judiciary (CSMJ) and with ratification by the legislature; other judges elected by the legislature; judges serve 5-year renewable terms; Constitutional Council judges appointed - 1 by the president, 5 by the legislature, and 1 by the CSMJ; judges serve 5-year nonrenewable terms

subordinate courts: Administrative Court (capital city only); provincial courts or Tribunais Judicias de Provincia; District Courts or Tribunais Judicias de Districto; customs courts; maritime courts; courts marshal; labor courts; community courts

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Movement of Mozambique (Movimento Democratico de Mocambique) or MDM [Daviz SIMANGO]

Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frente de Liberatacao de Mocambique) or FRELIMO [Filipe NYOSOI]

Mozambique National Resistance (Resistencia Nacional Mocambicana) or RENAMO [Afonso DHLAKAMA]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Mozambican League of Human Rights (Liga Mocambicana dos Direitos Humanos) or LDH [Alice MABOTE, president]

International organization participation


Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), black, and yellow with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; the black band is edged in white; centered in the triangle is a yellow five-pointed star bearing a crossed rifle and hoe in black superimposed on an open white book; green represents the riches of the land, white peace, black the African continent, yellow the country's minerals, and red the struggle for independence; the rifle symbolizes defense and vigilance, the hoe refers to the country's agriculture, the open book stresses the importance of education, and the star represents Marxism and internationalism

National symbol(s)

national colors: green, black, yellow, white, red

National anthem

name: "Patria Amada" (Lovely Fatherland)

lyrics/music: Salomao J. MANHICA/unknown

note: adopted 2002


Economy - overview

At independence in 1975, Mozambique was one of the world's poorest countries. Socialist policies, economic mismanagement, and a brutal civil war from 1977-92 further impoverished the country. In 1987, the government embarked on a series of macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy. These steps, combined with donor assistance and with political stability since the multi-party elections in 1994, propelled the country’s GDP from $4 billion in 1993, following the war, to about $34 billion in 2015. Fiscal reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government's revenue collection abilities.

In spite of these gains, more than half the population remains below the poverty line. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country's work force. Citizens rioted in September 2010 after fuel, water, electricity, and bread price increases were announced. In an attempt to lessen the negative impact on the population, the government implemented subsidies, decreased taxes and tariffs, and instituted other fiscal measures.

A substantial trade imbalance persists, although aluminum production from the Mozal aluminum smelter has significantly boosted export earnings in recent years. In 2012, The Mozambican government took over Portugal's last remaining share in the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectricity Company (HCB), a significant contributor to the Southern African Power Pool. The government has plans to expand the Cahora Bassa Dam and build additional dams to increase its electricity exports and fulfill the needs of its burgeoning domestic industries.

Mozambique's once substantial foreign debt has been reduced through forgiveness and rescheduling under the IMF's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC initiatives, and is now at a manageable level. In July 2007, the US government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) signed a $506.9 million Compact with Mozambique that ended in 2013. The Compact focused on improving sanitation, roads, agriculture, and the business regulation environment in an effort to spur economic growth in the four northern provinces of the country.

Mozambique grew at an average annual rate of 6%-8% in the decade up to 2015, one of Africa's strongest performances. Mozambique's ability to attract large investment projects in natural resources is expected to sustain high growth rates in coming years although weaker global demand for commodities is likely to weaken expected revenues from these vast resources, including natural gas, coal, titanium and hydroelectric capacity.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 123/230

$33.73 billion (2015 est.)

$31.52 billion (2014 est.)

$29.35 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$16.99 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 16/225

7% (2015 est.)

7.4% (2014 est.)

7.4% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 218/230

$1,300 (2015 est.)

$1,200 (2014 est.)

$1,100 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 147/179

10.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

13.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

18.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 67.5%

government consumption: 19.3%

investment in fixed capital: 14.7%

investment in inventories: 2%

exports of goods and services: 20.7%

imports of goods and services: -24.2%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 28.1%

industry: 21.6%

services: 50.2% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (manioc, tapioca), corn, coconuts, sisal, citrus and tropical fruits, potatoes, sunflowers; beef, poultry


aluminum, petroleum products, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), textiles, cement, glass, asbestos, tobacco, food, beverages

Industrial production growth rate 11/202

9.1% (2015 est.)

Labor force 43/233

12.92 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 81%

industry: 6%

services: 13% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate 157/207

17% (2007 est.)

21% (1997 est.)

Population below poverty line

52% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.9%

highest 10%: 36.7% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 39/144

45.6 (2008)

47.3 (2002)


revenues: $4.587 billion

expenditures: $5.775 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 103/219

27% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 190/220

-7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 64/176

58.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

59.8% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 130/226

2.7% (2015 est.)

2.6% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 26/156

9.5% (17 January 2013)

3.25% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 45/184

14.7% (31 December 2015 est.)

14.8% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 95/192

$5.333 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$5.405 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 118/193

$7.48 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$7.871 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 123/191

$5.164 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$5.529 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance 176/197

-$6.96 billion (2015 est.)

-$5.797 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 122/224

$3.605 billion (2015 est.)

$3.92 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

aluminum, prawns, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber; bulk electricity

Exports - partners

China 28.8%, South Africa 20%, Italy 7.7%, Belgium 5.9%, India 5.7%, Spain 5.2% (2014)

Imports 112/223

$7.068 billion (2015 est.)

$7.958 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, chemicals, metal products, foodstuffs, textiles

Imports - partners

South Africa 26.5%, China 17.4%, India 16.6% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 113/170

$2.528 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.22 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 113/206

$8.049 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$6.89 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

meticais (MZM) per US dollar -

37.79 (2015 est.)

31.37 (2014 est.)

31.37 (2013 est.)

28.38 (2012 est.)

29.08 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 83/220

15.01 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 87/219

11.28 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 21/218

9.791 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 26/219

8.304 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 100/214

2.436 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 198/214

10.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 149/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 12/214

89.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 205/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 172/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 166/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 103/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 172/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 114/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 135/212

17,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 206/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 119/213

17,560 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 54/216

4.309 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 105/215

191 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 31/215

4.118 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 105/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 13/212

2.832 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 128/212

4.789 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 151/219

total subscriptions: 68,800

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 59/217

total: 18.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 75 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: a fair telecommunications system that is shackled with a heavy state presence, lack of competition, and high operating costs and charges

domestic: stagnation in the fixed-line network contrasts with rapid growth in the mobile-cellular network; mobile-cellular coverage now includes all the main cities and key roads, including those from Maputo to the South African and Swaziland borders, the national highway through Gaza and Inhambane provinces, the Beira corridor, and from Nampula to Nacala; extremely low fixed-line teledensity; despite significant growth in mobile-cellular services, teledensity remains low at about 35 per 100 persons

international: country code - 258; landing point for the EASSy and SEACOM fiber-optic submarine cable systems; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

1 state-run TV station supplemented by private TV station; Portuguese state TV's African service, RTP Africa, and Brazilian-owned TV Miramar are available; state-run radio provides nearly 100% territorial coverage and broadcasts in multiple languages; a number of privately owned and community-operated stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 13, FM 17, shortwave 11 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

4 (2008)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 82/232

89,737 (2012)

Internet users 111/217

total: 1.4 million

percent of population: 5.5% (2014 est.)


Airports 57/236

98 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 21

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 4 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 77

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 29

under 914 m: 38 (2013)


gas 972 km; refined products 278 km (2013)

Railways 38/136

total: 4,787 km

narrow gauge: 4,787 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 96/223

total: 30,331 km

paved: 6,303 km

unpaved: 24,028 km (2009)

Waterways 85/107

460 km (Zambezi River navigable to Tete and along Cahora Bassa Lake) (2010)

Merchant marine 144/156

total: 2

by type: cargo 2

foreign-owned: 2 (Belgium 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Beira, Maputo, Nacala

Military and Security

Military branches

Mozambique Armed Defense Forces (Forcas Armadas de Defesa de Mocambique, FADM): Mozambique Army, Mozambique Navy (Marinha de Guerra de Mocambique, MGM), Mozambique Air Force (Forca Aerea de Mocambique, FAM) (2012)

Military service age and obligation

registration for military service is mandatory for all males and females at 18 years of age; 18-35 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary service; 2-year service obligation; women may serve as officers or enlisted (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 9,082 (Congo, Democratic Republic of the) (2015)

IDPs: 61,102 (2015 floods) (2015)

Illicit drugs

southern African transit point for South Asian hashish and heroin, and South American cocaine probably destined for the European and South African markets; producer of cannabis (for local consumption) and methaqualone (for export to South Africa); corruption and poor regulatory capability make the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, but the lack of a well-developed financial infrastructure limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center