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Benin, a French-speaking West African nation, is a birthplace of the vodun (or “voodoo”) religion and home to the former Dahomey Kingdom from circa 1600–1900. In Abomey, Dahomey's former capital, the Historical Museum occupies two royal palaces with bas-reliefs recounting the kingdom’s past and a throne mounted on human skulls. To the north, Pendjari National Park offers safaris with elephants, hippos and lions.

Languages: The official language of Benin is French, which is spoken by the majority of the population. French is used in government, education, and the media, and it is the language of instruction in schools. In addition to French, there are also a number of local languages spoken in Benin, including Fon, Yoruba, and Mina, among others. These languages are spoken by the various ethnic groups that make up the population of Benin, and they are often used in regional and local government, as well as in the media. Finally, English is also spoken by some people in Benin, particularly in business and tourism.

Ethnic Groups: Fon and related 38.4%, Adja and related 15.1%, Yoruba and related 12%, Bariba and related 9.6%, Fulani and related 8.6%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4.3%, Dendi and related 2.9%, other 0.9%, foreigner 1.9% (2013 est.)

Belief Systems: Muslim 27.7%, Catholic 25.5%, Protestant 13.5% (Celestial 6.7%, Methodist 3.4%, other Protestant 3.4%), Vodoun 11.6%, other Christian 9.5%, other traditional religions 2.6%, other 2.6%, none 5.8% (2013 est.)


Population:9.87 million people (World Rank: 88th) (2014 estimate)
Population Density:231 people/mi^2 (People per Square Mile) (World Rank: 119th) (2014 estimate)
Population Growth: 2.72 %/yr (World Rank: 23rd) (2013 estimate)
Life Expectancy: 59.3 years (World Rank: 202nd) (2013 estimate)
Median Age: 18.1 years (World Rank: 175th) (2010 estimate)

Sites for More Information:

Map of Benin

World Factbook

Country Profile for Benin
United Nations

Benin - Benin

Benin - General Information

Culture and Tourism:

Tourism Benin
All about Benin as a travel destination

Voodoo Fetish Markets
Markets in Benin representative of Benin's official religion of voodoo

Recipes from Benin

City in Benin built in a lake supported by stilts

Government Related:

Beninese Embassy
in Washington D.C.

Benin Government Websites
by Gunnar Anzinger

Local Weather Conditions

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