Swaziland
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Swaziland
Region: Southern Africa
2015 Population1: 1,248,653
Total Area (sq.miles): 6,704
Life Expectancy at Birth2: 56.9
Gross National Income Per Capita (PPP 2016 US $)2: $7,980
Official Religion(s) or Church(es)3: Christianity

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Indexes

Religious Regulation Index (2014)4:
RAS3 State Regulation of Majority or All Religions, Summary Categories (0=None; 1=Low; 2=Medium; 3=High)

Ranking: 145/253

[Further Detail]
Religious Minority Discrimination Index (2014)4:
RAS3 State Discrimination of Minority Religions, Summary Categories (0=None; 1=Low; 2=Medium; 3=High)

Ranking: 132/253

[Further Detail]
State Funding of Religions (2014)4:
RAS3 State Funding of Religion, Summary Categories (0=None; 1=Low; 2=Medium; 3=High)

Ranking: 68/253

[Further Detail]
Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions (2014)4:
RAS3 Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions, Summary Categories (0=None; 1=Low; 2=Medium; 3=High)

Ranking: 110/253

[Further Detail]

History

Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland and sometimes called kaNgwane or Eswatini, is a sovereign state in Southern Africa surrounded – with the exception of Mozambique to its east – by South Africa. It and its ethnic people take their names from Mswati II, the 19th-century king under whose rule Swazi territory was expanded and unified. Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is no more than 200 kilometres (120 mi) north to south and 130 kilometres (81 mi) east to west. Regardless, the country has a very diverse topography of varying climate with a cool and mountainous highveld and a hot and dry lowveld. The population is primarily ethnic Swazis whose language is siSwati. They established their kingdom in the mid 18th century under the leadership of Ngwane III; the present boundaries were drawn up in 1881. After the Anglo-Boer War, Swaziland was a British protectorate from 1903 until 1967, regaining independence on 6 September 1968. The country is the last absolute monarchy in Africa. It is currently ruled by King (Ngwenyama) Mswati III. The king is head of state and appoints the prime minister and a number of representatives of both chambers of parliament. Elections are held every five years to determine the majority of the house of assembly. The current constitution was adopted in 2005. Swaziland is a member of the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the Commonwealth of Nations. Swaziland is a developing country, with a small economy. It is classified as a lower-middle-income country with a GDP per capita of $6,367. With membership in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and COMESA, its main trading partners are South Africa, United States, European Union, and the country's currency, the lilangeni, is pegged to the South African Rand. The agriculture and manufacturing sectors of the country's economy are responsible for the majority of employment. The Swazi population faces major health issues. HIV/AIDS, and to a lesser extent, tuberculosis are the main health challenges. As of year 2013, Swaziland has an estimated life expectancy of 50 years. The population of Swaziland is fairly young with a median age of 20.5 years with people 14 years old and below making up 37.4% of the total population. The present population growth rate is 1.195%. Swaziland is well known for its culture. Umhlanga, held in the month of August/September, and incwala, the dance of the kingship held in December/January, are the most important national events.5

 

Sources

1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

2.  Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank's Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

3.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

4.  The Religion and State (RAS) Project is a university-based project located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. Its goal is to create a set of measures that systematically gauge the intersection between government and religion. Specifically, it examines government religion policy. Round 3 of the RAS dataset measures the extent of government involvement in religion (GIR) or the lack thereof for 183 states on a yearly basis between 1990 and 2014. This constitutes all countries with populations of 250,000 or more as well as a sampling of smaller states. This dataset, featuring this and other international measures highlighted on the country pages, may be previewed and downloaded here. Used with permission.

5.  Note: All country histories and flags were obtained from Wikipedia.org, 2015. (http://www.wikipedia.org/)

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