Area: 17,363 sq. km. (6,704 sq. miles); slightly smaller than New
Major cities: Mbabane (capital, pop. 60,000), Manzini (principal
commercial city, pop. 65,000).
Terrain: Mountainous plateau to savanna.
Climate: Near temperate to tropical.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Swazi(s).
Population (2004): 1.1 million.
Annual growth rate (2002): 2.7%.
Ethnic groups: The overwhelming majority of the population is Swazi.
Religion: It is estimated that the population is 35% Protestant, 30%
Zionist (indigenous), 25% Roman Catholic, 1% Islamic, with the
remaining 9% divided among other beliefs.
Official languages: SiSwati and English.
Education: Years compulsory--none. Attendance--65%
primary and 44% secondary. Literacy--79%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2001)--89/1,000. Life
expectancy--33 years. The prevalence of HIV in Swaziland's adult
population is 42.6%, the highest in the world.
Work force: Agriculture and forestry--21.4%; construction--6.1%;
distribution--10.5%; finance--8.3%; manufacturing--20.1%;
mining and quarry--1%; services--32.6%; transport--2.9%.
Independence: September 6, 1968.
Constitution: On July 26, 2005, King Mswati III ratified Swaziland’s
constitution. This is Swaziland’s first constitution in over 30
years. It went into effect February 8, 2006.
Branches: Executive--monarch (head of state), prime minister
(head of government), cabinet (appointed by the king at the
recommendation of the prime minister). Legislative--Parliament
consisting of the House of Assembly (65 members: 55 elected, 10
appointed by the king) and Senate (30 members: 10 appointed by the
House of Assembly, 20 appointed by the king). Judicial--a
dual court system of traditional courts under chiefs and a
Roman-Dutch system comprising magistrates courts, High Court,
Supreme Court (formerly Court of Appeals).
Administrative subdivisions: 4 regions, 9 municipal governments, and
55 tinkhundla centers (traditional administrative units).
Political parties: None registered, though the new Constitution does
not forbid parties.
Suffrage: Universal after 18.
GDP (2004): $2.8 billion.
GDP real growth rate (2005): 1.8%.
Per capita income (2004): $1,553.
Inflation (2005): 6.3%.
Natural resources: Coal, diamonds, quarry stone, timber, talc.
Agriculture (15.7% of GDP): Products--sugarcane, corn, citrus
fruits, livestock, wood, pineapple, tobacco, rice, peanuts.
Manufacturing (35.0% of GDP): Types--sugar refining, light
manufactured goods, wood pulp, textiles, processed foods, consumer
Trade (2003): Exports--$920.2 million: soft drink
concentrates, sugar, pulp, canned fruits, cotton yarn. Major
markets--South Africa, EU, Mozambique, U.S. Imports--$1,018.8
million: chemicals, clothing, foodstuffs, machinery, motor vehicles,