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Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)


Abidjan is a diverse and thriving metropolis located on the south eastern coast of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).  It is the largest city in the country with more than 4.5 million inhabitants and is designated as the economic capital. The country's political capital is further inland located in Yamoussoukro.


Although the country is often referred to in English as "Ivory Coast", the country's official name is "Côte d'Ivoire" (the equivalent in French).  It is pronounced "KOHT dee-VWAHR".


The people of Côte d'Ivoire are referred to as "Ivorians" in the English spelling or "Ivoiriens"(male) and "Ivoiriennes" (female) in the French spelling.


Country Profile                                                                   

  • The current population of Côte d'Ivoire is 23,449,538 as of Saturday, November 12, 2016, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • Côte d'Ivoire population is equivalent to 0.31% of the total world population.
  • Côte d'Ivoire ranks number 56 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
  • The population density in Côte d'Ivoire is 73 per Km2 (189 people per mi2).
  • The total land area is 318,115 Km2 (122,825 sq. miles)
  • 50.8 % of the population is urban (11,952,809 people in 2016)
  • The median age in Côte d'Ivoire is 18.5 years

Côte d'Ivoire is bordered on the north by Mali and Burkina Faso, on the west by Liberia and Guinea, on the east by Ghana and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean.

Major urban areas: (RGPH2014)

  • Abidjan 4,707,000 people  -- Economic Capital 
  • Yamoussoukro  355,000 people -- Political Capital
  • Bouaké 542 000 people
  • Daloa: 566 000 people
  • Gagnoa: 285 000 people
  • Korhogo: 245 000 people
  • Man: 190 000 people

Religion: Secular country
Muslim about 38.6%, Christian about 32.8%, indigenous about 11.9%, none 16.7% (2008 est.)
note: the majority of foreigners (migrant workers) are Muslim (70%) and Christian (20%)


Languages: French (official), 60 native dialects of which Dioula is the most widely spoken

Ethnic groups: Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes about 130,000 Lebanese)

Population: 23 Million people (Dec 2014 )
Area: 322,463 sq km
Currency: CFA Franc
Exchange rate: 1 Euro = 655,957 F CFA
GDP: $28.28 billion (2013 est.)
GDP per capita: $1,800 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year: Calendar year

Time zone: GMT (UTC+0)

Country Telephone Code: +225

Main Public holidays:

  • 1st January             New Year's Day
  • Variable                Easter Monday
  • 1st May                 Labour Day
  • variable                 Ascension
  • variable                 Whit Monday
  • 7th August             Independence Day
  • 15th August          Assumption
  • 1st November        All Saints Day
  • 15th November     National Peace Day
  • 25th December     Christmas Day
  • variable Islamic.    Prophet's Birthday
  • variable Islamic.    Day after Lailatou-Kadr (Revelation of the Qur'an)                                
  • variable Islamic.    Korité / Aîd-eI-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
  • variable Islamic.    Tabaski / Aîd-El-Kébir (Feast of the Sacrifice)                                          



Côte d'Ivoire has both a tropical climate in the south and along the coast (including Abidjan) as well as a semi-arid climate in the north.  The temperatures range from 26 - 40 degrees Celsius or 79 - 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  The humidity level stays fairly consistent varying between 80 and 90%.


As the temperatures along the coast and in Abidjan stay relatively stable, the seasons are identified by rainfall:  

  • Long dry season (December to February)
  • Short dry season (August)
  • Short rainy season (September - November)
  • Long rainy season (March - July)  

​Duing the long rainy seasons, it is possible for it to rain continuously for many consecutive days and very intensely for hours at a time.  It is also common for roads to flood in low lying areas.


Average precipitation - Abidjan

Abidjan Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Prec. (mm) 15 55 120 145 235 375 135 50 110 150 110 45
Prec.(in) 0.6 2.2 4.7 5.7 9.3 14.8 5.3 2 4.3 5.9 4.3 1.8
Days 3 5 9 11 17 21 13 12 12 14 13 7

Average temperatures - Abidjan

Abidjan Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Min (°C) 23 24 24 24 24 23 22 22 22 23 24 23
Max (°C) 31 32 32 32 31 29 28 27 28 29 31 30
Min (°F) 73 75 75 75 75 73 72 72 72 73 75 73
Max (°F) 88 90 90 90 88 84 82 81 82 84 88 86



Côte d'ivoire is among the world's largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa beans, and palm oil. Consequently, the economy is highly sensitive to fluctuations in international prices for these products and to weather conditions. Despite attempts by the government to diversify the economy, it is still largely dependent on agriculture and related activities.


During the last few years Côte d’Ivoire has benefited from strong economic growth, with GDP having remained steady at above 8%, supported by strong export in cocoa and palm oil. Since the discovery of oil reserves in 2012 the export of oil and gas has largely supported economic growth. The relatively peaceful elections held in October 2015 secured a second term for President Ouattara, who has focused on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and establishing economic and political stability.

  • Main Exports:

Cocoa, coffee, tropical timbers, petroleum, cotton, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cotton, and fish.

  • Main Imports:

Food, manufactured consumer goods, heavy machinery, fuel, and transport equipment.



With a population of 4.7 million, Abidjan is the second largest city in the West African region, following Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria. Considered a cultural hub of West Africa, Abidjan lies on the south-east coast of the country in the Gulf of Guinea, on the Ébrié Lagoon.


There are 11 main neighborhoods that make up the city.  You can find more information on these different neighborhoods at our link here!