The population of the Ivory Coast is approx 16,400,000 (est. July 2001).
There are more than 60 ethnic groups, the key ones being the Baoulé in the center, the Agri in the east, the Senufo in the north, the Dioula in the northwest and west, the Bété in the center-west and the Dan-Yacouba in the west. Houphouët-Boigny promoted his own group, the Baoulé, who account for 23% of the population. The succession of Konan Bédié, another Baoulé, has annoyed many groups, the Bété in particular.
Migrants from other west African countries account for up to 40% of the population.
Côte d'Ivoire with capital city YAMOUSSOUKRO is located in the northern hemisphere between the Tropic of Cancer and the equator and opens to the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Guinea . More precisely its coordinates are between laitude 10° and 4° North and 10° and 0° longitude West. Its surface is about 322,462 sq.km.
Côte d'Ivoire has common boundaries with 5 countries : Liberia in the West then Guinea a bit up in the North - Mali and Burkina Faso in the North - Ghana in the East. The coast alongside the Gulf of Guinea is 550 km long.
The political capital is Yamoussoukro (about 120,000 inhabitants) and the economic one is Abidjan (about 1,850,000 inhabitants). Côte d'Ivoire reckons four main rivers with many tributaries :
- Comoé has its source in Burkina Faso and goes across the country from the North to the South crossing the Parc National de la Comoé (National Reserve of Comoé) proceeds along the frontier of Ghana and flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Grand Bassam.
The Baoulé people are established in the savannah and the forest zone respectively the Mid-East and the South-East of the country. Numerous peoples resembling the Guéré or the Krou and spread into the forest in a multitude of different important groups can be reported in the South-west. There, one finds the Godié, Koidia, Néyo, Bondoukoua, Tépo and many other more.Ivorians are a deeply religious people, however, 13% of the Ivorian population do not belong to any religion and Muslims represent 23% of the population while Christians represent only 12%. 65% of the population is composed of animists, which is a very significant proportion.
It is to be noted that there is a new tendancy in the proliferation of sects or the division in the Christian Church. Among the new sects, the "Soldier of God", the "Assemblies of God" and "Jehovah Witnesses" are particularly representative of the significant ones.
As can be observed in Côte d'Ivoire, the traditional African religions that may be generally classed as animists have remained in the majority and resisted, for more than a century, the thrust of the Muslim marabous and the white Christian missionaries