What are some facts about the economy in the Democratic Republic of Congo?


Quick Answer

In 2014, the gross domestic product of the Democratic Republic of Congo was $33.12 billion. With a population of roughly 74 million people, the GDP per capita is $380. The country's GDP grew by 9 percent in 2014, and it had an estimated unemployment rate of 7.9 percent. Inflation is 0.8 percent.

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Full Answer

The center of Africa is abundant in many precious minerals including gold, copper, diamonds and cobalt. Nearly $24 trillion worth of untapped mineral deposits is believed to exist within the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, chronic instability and predatory mineral extraction have made it difficult for the citizens of the country to see any benefit from this wealth of natural resources.

As of 2012, 63.6 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The average life expectancy is 50 years. Much of the economic activity exists within the informal sector; since few people have credit cards or bank accounts, nearly all purchases are made with cash. This makes it difficult for the government and international agencies to measure the true size of the economy.

Most of the population consists of farmers, many of whom grow cash crops such as coffee, palm oil, rubber, sugar and cotton. Others grow foodstuffs such as cassava, plantains, maize and rice. Another important sector of the economy is forestry. In 2003, an estimated 72 million square miles of forest was harvested.

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