Cape Verde Flag Icon

Cape Verde Country Guide

Explore Cape Verde in Africa

Cape Verde with the capital city Praia is located in Africa (Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 4,034 square kilometres (slightly larger than Rhode Island) with 426,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Cape Verde

The topography includes steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic. The average density of population is approximately 106 per km². The notable climate conditions in Cape Verde can be described as temperate with warm, dry summer, precipitation meager and erratic. Possible natural disasters include prolonged droughts or seasonal harmattan wind produces obscuring dust or volcanically and seismically active.

To reach someone in Cape Verde dial +238 prior to a number. There are 72,200 installed telephones. And there are 392,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".cv". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Cape Verde

Five unequal horizontal bands; the top-most band of blue - equal to one half the width of the flag - is followed by three bands of white, red, and white, each equal to 1/12 of the width, and a bottom stripe of blue equal to one quarter of the flag width; a circle of 10, yellow, five-pointed stars is centered on the red stripe and positioned 3/8 of the length of the flag from the hoist side; blue stands for the sea and the sky, the circle of stars represents the 10 major islands united into a nation, the stripes symbolize the road to formation of the country through peace (white) and effort (red).

The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; Cape Verde subsequently became a trading center for African slaves and later an important coaling and resupply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Following independence in 1975, and a tentative interest in unification with Guinea-Bissau, a one-party system was established and maintained until multi-party elections were held in 1990. Cape Verde continues to exhibit one of Africa's most stable democratic governments. Repeated droughts during the second half of the 20th century caused significant hardship and prompted heavy emigration. As a result, Cape Verde's expatriate population is greater than its domestic one. Most Cape Verdeans have both African and Portuguese antecedents.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Capital: Praia
Size 4,033 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 1,557 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Rhode Island
Population 426,000
Currency Name: Escudo, Currency Code: CVE
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .cv
Telephone Country Prefix +238
Mobile Phone Connections 392,000
Landline Phone Connections 72,200

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 4,033 (sq km) 176

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 531,046 172
Population growth rate 1.41 (%) 85
Birth rate 20.96 (births/1,000 population) 80
Death rate 6.22 (deaths/1,000 population) 157
Net migration rate -0.65 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 140
Maternal mortality rate 79.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 83
Infant mortality rate 25.13 (deaths/1,000 live births) 77
Life expectancy at birth 71.28 (years) 146
Total fertility rate 2.39 (children born/woman) 89
Health expenditures 4.10 (% of GDP) 165
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.04 (%) 163
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 775 147
HIV/AIDS - deaths 225 100
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 10.00 (%) 131
Education expenditures 5.60 (% of GDP) 54


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 2,214,000,000 191
GDP - real growth rate 4.30 (%) 74
GDP - per capita (PPP) 4,200 167
Labor force 196,100 171
Unemployment rate 21.00 (%) 163
Investment (gross fixed) 46.40 (% of GDP) 3
Taxes and other revenues 28.4 (% of GDP) 104
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -9.70 (% of GDP) 206
Public debt 83.10 (% of GDP) 24
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.40 (%) 51
Central bank discount rate 7.50 (%) 34
Commercial bank prime lending rate 9.80 (%) 91
Stock of narrow money 454,500,000 160
Stock of broad money 1,362,000,000 160
Stock of domestic credit 1,370,000,000 149
Industrial production growth rate 4.00 (%) 74
Current account balance -257,900,000 81
Exports 205,100,000 184
Imports 1,038,000,000 176
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 393,500,000 151
Debt - external 741,300,000 165


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 277,000,000 (kWh) 174
Electricity - consumption 257,600,000 (kWh) 179
Electricity - installed generating capacity 89800 (kW) 171
Electricity - from fossil fuels 96.9 (% of total installed capacity) 65
Electricity - from other renewable sources 3.1 (% of total installed capacity) 46
Refined petroleum products - consumption 2,608 (bbl/day) 187
Refined petroleum products - imports 2,407 (bbl/day) 177
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 271,400 (Mt) 194


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 74,500 155
Telephones - mobile cellular 396,400 170
Internet hosts 38 217
Internet users 150,000 148


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 9 159
Roadways 1,350 (km) 178
Merchant marine 13 104


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 0.40 (% of GDP) 167

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande
The town of Ribeira Grande, renamed Cidade Velha in the late 18th century, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. Located in the south of the island of Santiago, the town features some of the original street layout impressive remains ...