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Benin Benin

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Benin – Quick View
ECR score28.78 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank140 (Mar 2011)
GDP 2010USD 4.91 billion
GNI per capita PPPUSD 1,499
FDI inflowUSD 120 million
Inflation November 20103.5%
Central bank assetsUSD 2,254.21 million
Unemployment rateNA
Government deficitUSD 0.45 billion
Tax revenueUSD 1.04 billion
Government typeRepublic
Recent political crisisNA
Economic freedom score (2011)117th
Freedom of information score (2010)70th
Corruption perception index (2010)110th
Birth rate39 per '000
Life expectancy yearsFemale – 60.1 years
Internet acces1.8%
Life expectancy yearsMale – 62.3 years
Birth rate39 per '000
Population balanceUnder 14 – 45.71%
Population balanceOver 60 – 4.22%
Life expectancy yearsMale – 62.3 years
Life expectancy yearsFemale – 60.1 years
Mortality rate9 per '000
Literacy rate41%
Internet access1.8%
Population balance41%
Mortality rate9 per '000

[Top] Economic Overview

The economy of Benin mainly depends on agriculture. In 2010, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was estimated at XOF 2,469.03 billion as compared to XOF 2,401.1 billion in 2009. The GDP growth rate has increased from 2.5% in 2009 to 2.83% in 2010.

Benin GDP and GDP Growth Rate


(Source: IMF)

Gross National Income (GNI) per capita

The country’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita at PPP for the year 2010 was USD 1,499.

Benin GNI per capita PPP

(Source: UNDP)

Income Tax

Individual’s income in Benin is taxed progressively at 10% to 35%.


Income tax rate

Monthly Taxable Income (XOF)

Tax Rate %

0 - 50,000


50,001 - 130,000


130,001 - 280,000


280,001 - 530,000


Above 530,000


(Source: taxrates.cc)

Corporate tax

Standard corporate tax in Benin is 30%.

Tax rates

Tax contribution

Total tax rate (% profit)

Social security contributions


Property tax on developed land


Single property tax (developed land)


Payroll tax


Business license tax


Property tax on undeveloped land


Single property tax (undeveloped land)


Tax on insurance contracts


Tax on interest


Fuel tax


(Source: doingbusiness.org)

Inflation Rate

The inflation rate was on the rise in the second half of the year 2010. The inflation rate in November 2010 was recorded at 3.5% compared to -0.8% in January 2010.


Benin Inflation Rate


(Source: National Statistics)

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Inflow

The foreign direct investment for the year 2009 amounted to USD 93 million compared to USD 174 million in 2008.


Benin FDI


(Source: UNCTAD)

Banking sector assets

The table below displays the assets of the Central Bank of Benin

Currency Unit: Franc (XOF)

Balance Sheet – Assets of Central Bank of Benin (XOF million)




Net Foreign Assets



Domestic Credit



Total Assets



(Source: Central Bank)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer Price Index

The consumer price index has increased from 100.4 in February 2010 to 104.5 in November 2010. This indicates a rise in the prices of consumer goods in the country.

Benin Consumer Price Index

Base year 2008 = 100

(Source: National Statistics, National Statistics, National Statistics)

Money supply


Money Supply (XOF million)




Money supply (M1)






Broad Money Supply (M2)



(Source: afdb.org)

Government Expenditure

The total expenditure has increased from XOF 639.9 billion in 2008 to XOF 792.7 billion in 2009.

(Source: Central Bank)

Public debt level

The public debt level has increased from USD 813 million in 2008 to USD 972 million in 2009.

Benin Public Debt Level


(Source: afdb.org)

Official exchange rate

In 2009, the exchange rate was XOF 472.19 per USD.

Benin Exchange Rate


(Source: World Bank)


Government finances

Fiscal balance

The fiscal balance has been reflecting a constant deficit for recent years. The fiscal deficit has increased from XOF 58.6 billion in 2008 to XOF 216.9 billion in 2009.

Benin Fiscal Balance

(Source: Central Bank)

Total Revenue

The total revenue has declined from XOF 581.3 billion in 2008 to XOF 575.8 billion in 2009.

Benin Total Revenue

(Source: Central Bank)

Tax revenue

The revenue from tax has declined from XOF 512.2 billion in 2008 to XOF 500.4 billion in 2009.


Benin Tax Revenue

(Source: Central Bank)

Total Grants

The total grants received by the country has increased from XOF 52 billion in 2008 to XOF 77.4 billion in 2009.

Benin Grants

(Source: Central Bank)

Current Account Balance
The current account balance in the year 2010 was -9.55% of the GDP compared to -8.54% in 2009.

Benin Current Account Balance

(Source: IMF)

Balance of Payments

Balance of Payments (XOF million)




Trade balance

- 422,400

- 388,000

Services Balance

- 27,800

- 19,200

Net Income

- 11,500

- 5,400

Current transfers



Current account balance

- 310,700

- 245,800

(Source: afdb.org)

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

Labour Force

The total labour force in the country in 2008 was 3,581,042. The labour force participation rate of males and females was recorded at 79% and 67% respectively.

(Source: World Bank, World Bank, World Bank)

Unemployment rate

There is no official data available on the unemployment rate in the country. It is however estimated to be very high as the economy does not create enough jobs.

(Source: estandardsforum.org)

Minimum wage

The minimum wage for labours in the country is XOF 30,000 per month. The minimum wage for a 19-year old employee or an apprentice is about USD 67.7 per month.

(Source: state.gov, doingbusiness.org)

Level of Unionisation

The various trade unions in the country include:

  • Confederation of Independent Trade Union of Benin (COSI)
  • Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Benin (CSA)
  • General Confederation of Workers of Benin (CGTB)
  • National Union of Workers' Unions of Benin (UNSTB)

(Source: ICFTU)

[Top] Political Stability

Benin has a republican system of government. The President is both the head of the state and government. The Prime minister heads the Council of Ministers appointed by the President.

The National Assembly is the Parliament of the country and is unicameral. It has 83 directly elected members for a term of four years.

(Source: IPU)

The major political parties in the country include:

  • Cauri Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE)
  • Alliance for Democratic Momentum (ADD)
  • Democratic Renewal Party (PRD)
  • Key Force (FC)
  • Union for Renewal (UPR)
  • Coalition for an Emerging Benin (CBE)
  • National Union for Democracy and Progress (UNDP)

(Source: IPU)

Currently, Thomas Boni Yayi is the President of the country. (Source: BBC)

Regulatory Environment

The country’s economic freedom score is 56, making Benin the 117th freest economy in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. Benin ranks 20th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

Benin Economic Freedom Indices

(Source: Heritage.org)

Corruption perception

The Corruption Perceptions Index is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Benin is ranked 110th on the index with a score of 2.8 which indicates that the corruption levels in the public departments in the country is fairly high.

Benin has slipped from the CPI rankings in 2010 compared to 2009. It was ranked 106th with a score of 2.9 in 2009 which indicates the perceived levels of corruption in the country has increased.

(Source: transparency.org)

Freedom of Information

Benin is ranked 70th in the World Press Freedom Index 2010 with a score of 19, indicating that there are limited restrictions on media in the country.

(Source: rsf.org)

Benin’s constitution guarantees the freedom to media in the country. However, newspapers who publish offensive material are suspended by the concerned authorities.

The various newspapers circulating in the country include:

  • Le Matinal
  • Fraternite
  • La Nation
  • Le Republicain
  • L'Aurore
  • L'Evenement du Jour

(Source: BBC)

Judicial system

The country’s judicial system comprises various courts such as:

  • The Supreme Court
  • The Constitutional Court
  • The High Court of Justice
  • The Court of Appeal
  • The Sharia Court
  • District Courts
  • The Customary Court of Appeal

The Supreme Court is the highest court of the country. It hears and decides on cases of administrative and judicial matters. It also decides on disputes regarding local elections.

The Constitutional Court is the highest court in the country's constitutionality. It regulates the functioning of institutions and government activity. The Court is composed of seven members, four appointed by the National Assembly and three by the President of the country for a term of five years.

The High Court of Justice is composed of a Chief Judge and other members chosen by the National Assembly.

(Source: gouv.bj)

[Top] Demographic Overview

The total population in 2010 was 8,778,646 of which 4,301,079 were males and 4,477,569 were females. In 2010, the females comprised 51% of the total population.

Benin Population by Gender

In 2009, there were 101.9 males per 100 females which reflects a balanced gender ratio in the country. (Source: UN)

In 2010, the population below 14 years of age in the country was 45.71% of the total population. About 4.22% of the total population was above 60 years of age. (Source: National Statistics)

The life expectancy at birth during 2005-2010 for males and females was 60.1 years and 62.3 years respectively.

In 2009, the crude birth rate was 39 births per thousand population and the crude death rate was 9 per thousand people.

(Source: UN, UNICEF)

The international migrant stock in mid-2010 was recorded at 232,000 people, comprising about 2.5% of the total population. The average annual growth rate of urban population during 2005-2010 was 4%. In 2007, the country had an urban population of 40.8%.

(Source: UN)

The ethnic groups in Benin include African, Xwla, Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba and Europeans. The major religions in the country are Animist, Christian and Muslim.

(Source: State.gov)

The country ranked 134th out of 169 countries on the United Nations’ Human Development Index in 2010 and is amongst countries with low human development. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).

(Source: UNDP)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure

Literacy rate

The country’s total adult literacy for the period 2005 to 2008 is estimated at 41%. The youth literacy rate for males and females is estimated at 64% and 42% respectively.

(Source: UNICEF)

Education resources

Primary education is free and compulsory in the country. About 31% of the central government expenditure is used on education.

The net enrolment rate of girls in primary school was 69.4% and for boys was 89.7%. The enrolment rate in secondary school for girls was 11.3% and for boys was 22.8%. The gross enrolment in tertiary school was 5%.

(Source: UNICEF, estandardsforum)


The total expenditure on health in the year 2009 was 4.2% of GDP. About 6% of central government expenditure was spent on health in the period 1998 to 2008.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in the year 2004, the country had about 311 doctors, 12 dentists, 11 pharmacists, 477 laboratory health care workers and 178 environmental and health care workers. There were approximately 50 hospital beds per 100,000 people and 80 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people.

Major causes of death in Benin include cardiovascular diseases, cancer and HIV/ AIDS.

(Source: WHO, UNICEF, estandardsforum)

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

Roadways are the mass public transport in Benin with buses, taxis, and trains being the major methods of public transit.


The road network in the country includes 14,000 kilometres of roads, of which only 8.75% are paved.

(Source: estandardsforum)


The port of Cotonou is the major port of Benin. It is the only seaport in the country.

(Source: worldportsource)


The various airports in the country include:



Airport name

Runway length (ft.)






















(Source: Air charter world)

Telecommunications networks

The number of internet users in the country was registered at 160,000 with a penetration rate of 1.8 in the year 2009.


Internet Users

Benin Internet Users


The number of fixed telephone lines in Benin has increased from 72,800 in 2004 to 127,100 in 2009 registering a CAGR of 11.8%. The fixed telephone line usage has increased from 0.96 per 100 inhabitants in 2004 to 1.42 per 100 inhabitants in 2009.

(Source: ITU)

The number of mobile cellular subscriptions rose from 459,300 in 2004 to 5,033,300 in 2009 registering a CAGR of 61.4%. The ratio of mobile cellular subscriptions to fixed telephone lines was 39.6:1, indicating that mobile cellular usage in the country is greater compared to the use of fixed telephone lines.

(Source: ITU)

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