About Rwanda

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is a country in Central Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland, and its capital city is Kigali. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is in the African Great Lakes region and is highly elevated; its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. Rwanda has a population of over 12.6 million  living on 26,338 sq. km of land, and therefore it is the most densely populated mainland African country.

  • LocationThis entry identifies the country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water.

Central Africa, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, north of Burundi

Geographic coordinatesThis entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the centroid or center point of a country expressed in degrees and minutes; it is based on the locations provided in the Geographic Names Server (GNS), maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on behalf of the US Board on Geographic Names.

2 00 S, 30 00 E

Map references:This entry includes the name of the Factbook reference map on which a country may be found. Note that boundary representations on these maps are not necessarily authoritative. The entry on Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries.


Area:This entry includes three subfields. Total area is the sum of all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of the surfaces of all inland water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, as delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines.

total: 26,338 sq km

land: 24,668 sq km

water: 1,670 sq km

country comparison to the world: 149

Area - comparative:This entry provides an area comparison based on total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised) provided by the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).

slightly smaller than Maryland

Area comparison map: 

Area comparison map

Land boundaries:This entry contains the total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries. When available, official lengths published by national statistical agencies are used. Because surveying methods may differ, country border lengths reported by contiguous countries may differ.

total: 930 km

border countries (4): Burundi 315 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 221 km, Tanzania 222 km, Uganda 172 km

Coastline:This entry gives the total length of the boundary between the land area (including islands) and the sea.

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:This entry includes the following claims, the definitions of which are excerpted from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which alone contains the full and definitive descriptions: territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS (Part II); this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying s . . . more

none (landlocked)

ClimateThis entry includes a brief description of typical weather regimes throughout the year; in the Word entry only, it includes four subfields that describe climate extremes: ten driest places on earth (average annual precipitation) describes the annual average precipitation measured in both millimeters and inches for selected countries with climate extremes. ten wettest places on earth (average annual precipitation) describes the annual average precipitation measured in both millimeters and i . . . more

temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible

TerrainThis entry contains a brief description of the topography.

mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east

ElevationThis entry includes the mean elevation and elevation extremes, lowest point and highest point.

mean elevation: 1,598 m

lowest point: Rusizi River 950 m

highest point: Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m

Natural resourcesThis entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance, such as rare earth elements (REEs). In general, products appear only if they make a significant contribution to the economy, or are likely to do so in the future.

gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land

Land useThis entry contains the percentage shares of total land area for three different types of land use: agricultural land, forest, and other; agricultural land is further divided into arable land - land cultivated for crops like wheat, maize, and rice that are replanted after each harvest, permanent crops - land cultivated for crops like citrus, coffee, and rubber that are not replanted after each harvest, and includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, and permane . . . more

agricultural land: 74.5% (2011 est.)

arable land: 47% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 10.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 17.4% (2011 est.)

forest: 18% (2011 est.)

other: 7.5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated landThis entry gives the number of square kilometres of land area that is artificially supplied with water.

96 sq km (2012)

Population distributionThis entry provides a summary description of the population dispersion within a country. While it may suggest population density, it does not provide density figures.

one of Africa's most densely populated countries; large concentrations tend to be in the central regions and along the shore of Lake Kivu in the west

Natural hazardsThis entry lists potential natural disasters. For countries where volcanic activity is common, a volcanism subfield highlights historically active volcanoes.

periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga Mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo

volcanism: Visoke (3,711 m), located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the country's only historically active volcano

Environment - current issuesThis entry lists the most pressing and important environmental problems. The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry: Acidification - the lowering of soil and water pH due to acid precipitation and deposition usually through precipitation; this process disrupts ecosystem nutrient flows and may kill freshwater fish and plants dependent on more neutral or alkaline conditions (see acid rain). Acid rain - characterized as containing harmful levels of sulfur dioxi . . . more

deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel; overgrazing; land degradation; soil erosion; a decline in soil fertility (soil exhaustion); wetland degradation and loss of biodiversity; widespread poaching

Environment - international agreements:This entry separates country participation in international environmental agreements into two levels - party to and signed, but not ratified. Agreements are listed in alphabetical order by the abbreviated form of the full name.

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - noteThis entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of significance not included elsewhere.

landlocked; most of the country is intensively cultivated and rugged with the population predominantly rural

People and Society :: RWANDA

PopulationThis entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. The total population presents one overall measure of the potential impact of the country on the world and within its region. Note: Starting with the 1993 Factbook, demographic estimates for some countries (mostly African) have explicitly taken into account t . . . more

12,712,431 (July 2020 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

country comparison to the world: 75

NationalityThis entry provides the identifying terms for citizens - noun and adjective.

noun: Rwandan(s)

adjective: Rwandan

Ethnic groupsThis entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total population.

Hutu, Tutsi, Twa (Pygmy)

LanguagesThis entry provides a listing of languages spoken in each country and specifies any that are official national or regional languages. When data is available, the languages spoken in each country are broken down according to the percent of the total population speaking each language as a first language. For those countries without available data, languages are listed in rank order based on prevalence, starting with the most-spoken language.

Kinyarwanda (official, universal Bantu vernacular) 93.2%, French (official) <.1, English (official) <.1, Swahili/Kiswahili (official, used in commercial centers) <.1, more than one language, other 6.3%, unspecified 0.3% (2002 est.)

ReligionsThis entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population. The core characteristics and beliefs of the world's major religions are described below. Baha'i - Founded by Mirza Husayn-Ali (known as Baha'u'llah) in Iran in 1852, Baha'i faith emphasizes monotheism and believes in one eternal transcendent God. Its guiding focus is to encourage the unity of all peoples on the earth so that justice and peace m . . . more

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