Benin Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Benin – geography

Benin – geography, Benin is a long, narrow country; the population belongs to a wide variety of ethnic groups.

Population and occupation

The approximately 8 million residents belong to more than 40 ethnic groups, including fon, adja, yoruba, bariba, peul and somba. Fon is the largest group with about 30% of the population. Population growth is strong, 2.7% per year in the early 2000’s, and almost half of the population is under 15 years. There is considerable population migration from country to city; in 2005, 40% lived in cities compared to 12.5% ​​in 1965. Cotonou, the country’s economic center in particular, has grown and is estimated to have 700,000 homes (2006).

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Agriculture, which employs the majority of the population, contributes approximately 40% of GDP. Most grow for self-sufficiency and for sale in the local market. The typical mode of cultivation is relocation land use; to the south are oil palms, corn and cassava and in the north yams, millet and sorghum. The economy of family farms is supplemented by animal husbandry. However, the majority of livestock breeding is made up of herds of cattle, goats and sheep in northern Benin. Some oil palms etc. are grown in plantations. The main export crops are food for neighboring countries as well as cotton.

Traditional hunting as well as fishing in ponds and coastal lagoons continue to contribute to employment, while motor-driven coastal fishing is of recent date. For culture and traditions of Benin, please check allunitconverters.

Forestry is only an independent profession to a small extent, but the collection of firewood is economically and energy-important in rural areas. The state has a number of forest reserves and teak plantations are under construction.

Companies in industry, crafts and construction are few and small and produce for the domestic market. The industry is based on the processing of agricultural commodities. Most state enterprises have been privatized since the 1980’s, and privatization continues on an ongoing basis. The raw material sector is small and includes limestone and cement production. A smaller oil production from the Sémé field off Cotonou ceased in 1998.

Regional Geography

Benin is a narrow country stretching from the Gulf of Guinea 720 km north to the Niger River. The terrain is a savanna-covered lowland that is only mined by the Atakora Mountains in NV. The climate is tropical with two rainy seasons on the coast (March-July and September-November) and one rainy season in the north (May-October).

The coastal area accommodates the majority of the population; the largest cities are located here and the rural population lives close. The coast itself is characterized by elongated lagoon areas behind wide coconut sand bars. In this area lies the capital of Porto Novo with the state administration and Cotonou, the country’s largest city, with industry, international airport, hotels, banks and deep water port. In Cotonou’s harbor, Maersk Line has invested in container facilities. Foreign trade from both Benin, Niger and Western Nigeria goes over this port, which is run by a joint state-owned Benin-Nigerian company. Cotonou is a traffic hub; From here, the colonial railways came from, of which only the line to Parakou remains operational. West of Cotonou are the old slave forts of Ouidah and Grand Popo. North of the lagoons lies the country’s most lush agricultural area,Terre de Barre, on a low plateau of clay soils; here are oil palm plantations and intensively cultivated small farms. Natural areas are made up of swamps, lakes, rivers and some forest reserves, which are the last remnant of the original vegetation, which was a transition zone between rainforest and savanna.

Benin’s largest population group, fon, constitutes the majority of the rural population in the coastal area. Adja lives in the western and Yoruba in the eastern part, the latter with close contact across the border with the Yoruba in Nigeria.

The so-called Plateau area encompasses most of the country and is sparsely populated. The main ethnic groups here are bariba and peul who are cattle nomads. The plateau is heavily eroded and in many places the rocks are exposed. The main town is Parakou, where the railway ends and where goods to and from Niger are transhipped.

The Atakora Mountains in NV-Benin rise with high cliff sides over the flat savanna. The area receives the country’s greatest rainfall, and a number of rivers originate here. The road network is poorly developed and many villages are isolated. Some Somba villages were largely out of contact with the outside world until the 1970’s. Large areas are laid out for hunting and wildlife sanctuaries. contains elephants and lions.

The Niger Basin is located along the Niger River, and the legume people exploit the fertile area for cultivating, among other things. rice. At Malanville there is a ferry connection to neighboring Niger. A border dispute with Niger on islands in the Niger River was brought before the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2000.


Assistance is considerable and comes mainly from France and the EU in general. Since 1969, Denmark has provided assistance to various projects, including electricity and water supply, and in 1992 Benin was designated as the 14th so-called program partner country.

The modern part of Benin’s economy, industry, large-scale agriculture and public enterprises is small and only slightly growing. The partially unofficial sector of self-sufficiency agriculture, border trade with Nigeria and small-scale trade is large and important for the country’s economic situation, but cannot absorb the growth of population; The migration from country to city is therefore great.

Benin – language

Benin – language, The official language is French, but approximately 50 languages ​​belonging to three different language languages: Nigerian-Kordofan, Nilo-Saharan and Hamito-Semitic (Afro-Asian) languages. In the south, the ewe languages are spoken fongbe, spoken by 1 million. people, and the important trade language re-enact. Yoruba is spoken by 400,000 people. In the north, bariba, spoken by 200,000 people, dominates.

Benin Geography