Despite the country's large oil revenues, a
large proportion of Gabon's residents are poor. The
proportion of Gabonese living in poverty varies from
one-third to two-thirds in various surveys. The living
standards of the poor have fallen since the late 1990s.
About 20 percent of the population receives 90 percent
of all income.
Although Gabon has invested more in health care than
most of the neighboring countries, the state of health
is poor in large population groups. Common diseases
include AIDS, malaria, TB, jaundice and gastrointestinal
disorders. There is a great shortage of doctors and
hospitals. For example, there are only about 30 doctors
in 100,000 residents.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Gabon, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has hit harder in Gabon than in
neighboring countries. Nearly eight percent of the
population was estimated to have HIV/ AIDS in 2005.
However, since the government began distributing brake
medication to HIV-positive mothers and children for
twelve years, the number of infected persons has
decreased: in 2007, the adult HIV/AIDS-infected
population was six percent, in 2013 to just under four
The dreaded Ebola virus, which is spread by small
rodents, has over the years led to several epidemics and
the mortality in the disease is high. In August 2014,
Gabon canceled all aviation and boat connections with
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as these countries
were severely affected by an ebola outbreak.
The law prohibits children under the age of 16 from
working, but child labor is common, especially in rural
areas. Trafficking in children is a major problem.
Especially girls are robbed of neighboring countries and
forced to work in Gabon without pay, for example as
housekeepers. There are no sure figures on how many
children have been exposed to this, but it is estimated
that it may be tens of thousands of children.
Women's rights have been violated. Violence against
women and rape is prohibited by law, but it is extremely
unusual for any case to be reported to the police.
Polygamy is common, but the number of men with several
wives is decreasing, as it becomes too expensive.
Family life and socializing
In Gabon many live together in extended families -
when a couple marries, it usually moves home to the
husband's parents/relatives. Although women nowadays
give birth to slightly fewer children than before, many
children are still common. Children born in marriage
belong to the man. Therefore, it is not uncommon (and
considered entirely in order) that women give birth to
one or more children before they marry - they then
belong to her and can take care of her in the event of a
Those who can afford build their houses in cement,
which is considered particularly nice. In the villages,
often every woman has her own hut, cuisine, where the
food is cooked and only she and other women meet (the
men have their own huts, corps de guards). Among the
elderly, it is generally common for men and women to
spend time alone. Elderly and prominent people are
treated with great respect.
Most Gabonese like to have a lot of people around
them and are happy to be close to the one they are
talking to. They are often straightforward and say what
they think, without saying anything bad about it. A
favorite job is to spend time with family and friends,
play board or go to football (in 2012 Gabon, then with
the neighboring Equatorial Guinea, hosted the African
Football Championship and will also host it in 2017
instead of Libya, where the unrest stops such events).
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
33 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
3.8 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
1.9 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.5 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
87.5 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
47.4 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
2.7 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 220 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
17 percent (2018)
France is investigating Bongo for corruption
French police are launching an investigation into allegations that President
Bongo and some of his West African presidential colleagues used state money to
buy luxury properties in Paris. Bongo has already been accused of receiving
hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes from the French oil company Elf.
However, none of the investigations lead anywhere.