Swaziland

Digital Passport

Ruler: King Mswati III (1986)
Prime Minister: Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini (1996)
Land area: 6,641 sq mi (17,200 sq km); total area: 6,704 sq mi (17,363 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 1,419,623 (growth rate: 1.14%); birth rate: 25.18/1000; infant mortality rate: 54.82/1000; life expectancy: 50.54; density per sq mi: 176.8
Capital (2011 est.): Mbabane, 66,000; Royal and legislative capital: Lobamba, 11,000
Largest city: Mbabane, 66,000
Monetary unit: Lilangeni
Languages: English, siSwati (both official)
Ethnicity/race: African 97%, European 3%
Religions: Zionist (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship) 40%; Roman Catholic 20%; Muslim 10%; Anglican, Bahai, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish, and other 30%
Literacy rate: 87.8% (2011 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $6.259 billion; per capita $5,700. Real growth rate: 0%. Inflation: 6.1%. Unemployment: 40% (2006). Arable land: 10.08%. Agriculture: sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep. Labor force: 424,100 (2011). Industries: coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel. Natural resources: asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, talc. Exports: $1.603 billion (2013 est.): soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus, and canned fruit. Imports: $1.545 billion (2013 est.): motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals. Major trading partners: South Africa, EU, U.S., Mozambique, Japan, Singapore (2004).
Member of Commonwealth of Nations
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 48,600 (2012); mobile cellular: 805,000 (2012). Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 2 plus 4 repeaters, shortwave 3 (2001). Radios: 170,000 (1999). Television broadcast stations: 3 plus relay stations (2007). Televisions: 23,000 (2000). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2,744 (2012). Internet users: 90,100 (2009).
Transportation: Railways: total: 301 km (2008). Highways: total: 3,594 km (2002). Ports and harbors: none. Airports: 14 (2013).

Fun Facts

  • The size of New Jersey
  • The mountains in Swaziland’s Malolotja Native Reserve are among the oldest in the world at 3.6 billion years.
  • Swaziland’s King Mswati II introduced Christianity to the country by inviting missionaries to come and bring the “word” to his people.
  • The red feathers of the lourie bird are a sign of belonging to the royal family of Swaziland and can only be worn by members of the royal family.
  • Traditionally, the family of a Swazi bride will receive a payment from the groom’s family, usually in the form of cattle.
  • Swaziland widows traditionally shave their heads as a sign of mourning.

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