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Population: 1.4 million

Population Below Poverty: 69%

Literacy Rate: Approximately 90%

Language: SiSwati and English

Religion: Zionist - 40 percent (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship), Roman Catholic - 20 percent, Muslim - 10 percent, other - 30 percent.


Eswatini is a small country (roughly the size of New Jersey) bordered by South Africa on the north, south and west and by Mozambique to the east. It is a country of varied landscapes and climates, all of which support the country’s agriculture-based economy in some facet. Subsistence agriculture employs approximately 70 percent of the population, with the other 30 percent working in the growing urban formal economy and government. With 69 percent of the population living below the poverty line, it may be surprising to learn that Eswatini devotes 7.8 percent of its gross domestic product to education. This has resulted in a literacy rate estimated to be approximately 90 percent throughout the country. Eswatini’s emphasis on education, however, has not been able to shelter the country from having the world’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS, with more than 25 percent of the adult population being infected by the disease in 2013.

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