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LOCATED IN THE southwest of Africa, the Republic of Angola gained its independence from the Portuguese in 1975, and the civil war that followed lasted until 1991. The country covers 481,354 sq. mi. (1,246,700 sq. km.), with a population of 15,941,000 (2005 est.) and a population density of 34 people per sq. mi. (13 people per sq. km.).

Because of current upwelling, one of the salient features of Angola's geography is the very cold surface water along its coast on the south Atlantic Ocean. The largest concentration of people in the country remains Luanda, the capital, which has nearly a quarter of the entire country's population. The soil in Angola has always been poor, with only 2 percent arable land, and no permanent cultivated crops. Some ...

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