Lesotho: Fact file

Updated October 2012

Name Kingdom of Lesotho
Area 30 355 sq km (Frame 2011, 664)
Major towns Maseru (capital), Maputsoe, Teyateyaneng, Mafeteng, Hlotse (Frame 2011, 675)
Boundaries South Africa (landlocked enclave)
Population 2.171 million, 2010 est (UN Statistics Division 2011a)
Natural pop growth 1.03%, 2010-2015 est (UN Statistics Division 2011b)
Urbanisation 26.9%, 2010 est (UN Statistics Division undated)
Life expectancy Female 48.1 yrs, male 49.7 yrs; 2010-2015 est (UN Statistics Division 2011c, 2011d)
Infant mortality 62/1000, 2010-2015 est (UN Statistics Division 2011e)
HIV/AIDS prevalence 23.6%, 15-49 yr 2010 est (UN Statistics Division 2012a)
Adult literacy rate 90%; 2005-2010 est (UN Statistics Division 2012c)
Military expenditure 2.5% of GDP; 2006 (UN Statistics Division 2012d)
Health expenditure 5.5% of GDP; 2005 (UN Statistics Division 2008)
Legal system Mixture of Roman-Dutch and English Common Law, customary law (Dube 2008)
Independence October 4, 1966 (from UK)
GDP US$2.179 billion, 2010 est (UN Statistics Division 2012e)
GDP per capita US$981, 2010 est (UN Statistics Division 2012b)
GDP growth rate 5.6%, 2010 est (UN Statistics Division 2012f)
Main exports Textiles, food, other manufactures (Frame 2011, 678)
Currency 1 Loti (plural: Maloti) = 100 Lisente (Frame 2011, 676)
Unemployment 21%, 2008 (AFDB/OECD 2010)
Inflation rate 4.2%, 2010 (UN Statistics Division 2012g)
External debt ratio 31.5% of GDP, 2010 (IMF 2011, 92)
Infrastructure Railway 2.6 km; road 5 940 km; airport 1 international airport (Frame 2011, 683)
Ethnic groups Basotho 99.7, Asians, whites (One World undated)
Languages Official: Sesotho (South Sotho), English. Others Phuthi, Zulu, Xhosa (Ethnologue.com undated)
Religion Christian 90%, not mentioned 10% (Frame 2011, 681)

References

AFDB/OECD 2010 "Lesotho" IN African Economic Outlook, [www] http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/countries/southern-africa/lesotho/ [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

DUBE, BA 2008 "The Law and Legal Research in Lesotho" IN Hauser Global Law School Program, [www] http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Lesotho.htm [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

FRAME, I 2011 (ed) Africa South of the Sahara 2011, Routledge.

LEWIS, M P (ed) 2009 "Languages of Lesotho" IN Ethnologue: Languages of the World, sixteenth edition, [www] http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=LS [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

IMF 2011 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, October, [www] http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/reo/2011/afr/eng/sreo1011.pdf, [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

ONE WORLD UNDATED "Lesotho" IN Nations Online, [www] http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/lesotho.htm [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2010 "Total expenditure on health as percentage of gross domestic product" IN UNdata, 19 Nov, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Gross+domestic+product&d=WHO&f=inID%3AHSR20 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2011a "Total population, both sexes combined" IN UNdata, 25 Aug, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Population&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3a12 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2011b "Population growth rate" IN UNdata, 25 Aug, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Population&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3a47 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2011c "Life expectancy at birth, females" IN UNdata, 25 Aug, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Life+expectancy&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3a67 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2011d "Life expectancy at birth, males" IN UNdata, 25 Aug, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Life+expectancy&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3a66 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2011e "Infant mortality rate" IN UNdata, 25 Aug, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=MExico&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3A77%3BcrID%3A484 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2012a "Adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate" IN UNdata, 9 April, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=HIV%2fAIDS+prevalence&d=SOWC&f=inID%3a73 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2012b "Per capita GDP at current prices" IN UNdata, 16 Jan, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=GDP&d=SNAAMA&f=grID%3a101%3bcurrID%3aUSD%3bpcFlag%3a1 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2012c "Adult literacy rate" IN UNdata, 9 April, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Adult+literacy&d=SOWC&f=inID%3a74 [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2012d "Military expenditure" IN UNdata, 9 May, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=GDP&d=WDI&f=Indicator_Code%3AMS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS [opens new window] (accessed 22 Nov 2010).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2012e "GDP" IN UNdata, 9 May, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=GDP&d=WDI&f=Indicator_Code%3aNY.GDP.MKTP.CD [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2012f "GDP growth" IN UNdata, 9 May, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=GDP&d=WDI&f=Indicator_Code%3aNY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2012g "Inflation, GDP deflator" IN UNdata, 9 May, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Inflation&d=WDI&f=Indicator_Code%3aNY.GDP.DEFL.KD.ZG [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION UNDATED "Lesotho", [www] http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Lesotho [opens new window] (accessed 17 Oct 2012).