Life in the Central African Republic

For many of the Central African Republic's population of 4.4 million, life is not what you would expect in the 21st Century with violence in the north of the country forcing tens of thousands to flee from their homes and villages to eke out a life living rough in the forests, fields and bush.

Driven from their subsistence farming and a long way from any modern health resources (the capital Bangui only has one hospital) life is about daily survival, knowing that at any moment rebel groups and/or the Lord's Resistance Army could attack, and kill, maim or rape.

Life expectancy is around 48 years with one in ten children dying at birth and one in five children dead before their fifth birthday, it also has one of the world's poorest school enrolments and over half the population are illiterate. Despite being rich in resources such as diamonds, uranium, timber, gold and oil, 67% of the population live on less than 60p a day and whilst GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa has risen by 78% since 1985, its barely risen by 10% in the Central African Republic and amongst the six most least developed countries in the world, it is the only one not to have made any progress in the last twenty years. 90% of the population are unemployed, 34% live without clean water and a staggering 69% don't have access to a toilet.

It is estimated that the number of displaced persons in the Central African Republic varies from 120,000 to 200,000 and these adults and children are at particular risk of trafficking in a country already well known as a source, transit, and destination for human trafficking particularly children who are sold for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, street vending, and forced agricultural, mine, market and restaurant labour. Other children from the Central African Republic are sold abroad to Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Roles are very traditional in the Central African Republic with women being responsible for the household and gathering of food whilst males fish and hunt and subsistence farm where they haven't been driven from their land. Meals are prepared around staple foods such as okra, cassava, rice, pumpkins, and plantains and, when available served with fish or meat.

In a society comprised of 35% indigenous beliefs, 25% Protestant, 25% Roman Catholic and 15% Muslim, church plays an important role outside formal services as they organise many activities and support groups for all age groups including, of course, football. Important dates include March 29th, the death of former president Boganda, May 1st Labour day and of course Republic day on 13th August to celebrate independence from France.


Daily Life in CAR

Daily Life in CAR

Daily Life in CAR

Daily Life in CAR


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Life in the Central African Republic

Human Development Index Central African Republic

Human Development Index for The Central African Republic 1980 - Present

Life in the Central African RepublicThe table above shows the HDI (Human Development Index) which is measured by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank and is based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country.

The Central African Republic is in 180th place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 and the chart above shows how levels of poverty and living standards in the Central African Republic fall far short of even sub-Saharan standards.

This video documentary explores life for many of those living in the north of the Central African Republic and the challenges they face to survive.

For more about life in the Central African Republic explore the articles above.



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