Estimate population 1,627,900 - Capital City Bissau
After more than ten years of warfare the former colony of Portuguese Guinea was made independent in 1974 and now is the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. A small West African nation covering an area of 36,125 square kilometres (13,948 square miles).
The Bijagos Archipelago, just off the southwest coast forms part of the country. Senegal is on its northern boundary, to the south it is bounded by Guinea and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
The country can be divided into three regions: the north eastern highlands, the interior plain, and coastal lowlands. Coastal rainfall averages 254 centimetres (100 inches) per year and reduces to less than 130 centimetres (50 inches) in the highlands.
In the drier interior there are land crops such as millet, sorghum and cotton. The tropical crops raised in the coastal area are rice and various fruits like peanuts, cassavas, sugarcane, bananas, sweet potatoes and coconuts. Forests also cover about 38 percent of the land. The official language is Portuguese.