Dialing code +245
ISO 2 code GW
ISO 3 code GNB
Capital Bissau
Main Language Portuguese
Currency Franc (XOF)
GDP $857.0 million 191st
Population 1,565,126 150th


Continent Africa
Location Western Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Guinea and Senegal
Land 36,120 km2 138th
Terrain Mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east
Climate Tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Natural Hazards Mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east
Note: This small country is swampy along its western coast and low-lying inland

Neighbouring Countries

Guinea Senegal


Since independence from Portugal in 1974 Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980 a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. Despite setting a path to a market economy and multiparty system VIEIRA's regime was characterized by the suppression of political opposition and the purging of political rivals. Several coup attempts through the 1980s and early 1990s failed to unseat him. In 1994 VIEIRA was elected president in the country's first free elections. A military mutiny and resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to VIEIRA's ouster in May 1999. In February 2000 a transitional government turned over power to opposition leader Kumba YALA after he was elected president in transparent polling. In September 2003 after only three years in office YALA was ousted by the military in a bloodless coup and businessman Henrique ROSA was sworn in as interim president. In 2005 former President VIEIRA was re-elected president pledging to pursue economic development and national reconciliation. He was assassinated in March 2009; new elections are to take place in June 2009.
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Life Expectancy 47.9 years 192nd
Median Age 19.3 years 163rd
Birth Rate 35.97 births/1,000 population 31st
Death Rate 15.79 births/1,000 population 19th
Sex Ratio 0.68 male(s)/female 163rd
Literacy 42.4% 196th

1.6 million


Roadways 3455 km 160th
Railways None km
Airports 9 155th
Waterways None km
Heliports None
Airports paved 1 199th


Currency Franc (XOF)
GDP $857.0 million 191st
GDP per capita (PPP) $600 202nd