President: Col. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (1979)
Prime Minister: Vicente Ehate Tomi (2012)
Total area: 10,830 sq mi (28,050 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 722,254 (growth rate: 2.54%); birth rate: 33.83/1000; infant mortality rate: 71.12/1000; life expectancy: 63.49
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Malabo, 137,000
Monetary unit: CFA Franc
Equatorial Guinea, formerly Spanish Guinea, consists of Río Muni (10,045 sq mi; 26,117 sq km), on the western coast of Africa, and several islands in the Gulf of Guinea, the largest of which is Bioko (formerly Fernando Po) (785 sq mi; 2,033 sq km). The other islands are Annobón, Corisco, Elobey Grande, and Elobey Chico. The total area is twice that of Connecticut.
The mainland was originally inhabited by Pygmies. The Fang and Bubi migrated there in the 17th century and to the main island of Fernando Po (now called Bioko) in the 19th century. In the 18th century, the Portuguese ceded land to the Spanish that included Equatorial Guinea. From 1827 to 1844, Britain administered Fernando Po, but it was then reclaimed by Spain. Río Muni, the mainland, was not occupied by the Spanish until 1926. Spanish Guinea, as it was then called, gained independence from Spain on Oct. 12, 1968. It is Africa's only Spanish-speaking country.