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Congo, Democratic Republic of the

  • By: Sarah E. Boslaugh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire) is an African nation of almost 69 million people, with an astounding 46.9 percent aged 14 years or younger (the country's median age is 16.4 years). The population growth rate is 3.2 percent, with a rate of 43 births per 1,000 and a death rate of 11.9 per 1,000. Life expectancy at birth is 52.6 years for men and 56.2 for females; both are quite low by international standards due to death from infectious disease and warfare. The total fertility rate (the estimated number of children per mother) is 6.2, despite an infant mortality rate of 81.2 per 1,000 live births. The country includes over 200 African ethnic groups, with the Bantu in the majority; the ...

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