The large influx of oil money into Equatorial Guinea has so far not resulted in any major improvements in living conditions for the vast majority of residents living in difficult conditions. While the governing elite has enriched, half of Equatorial Guineans live in deep poverty with less than two dollars a day to spend. They also lack access to clean water and basic sanitary equipment.
A person who has a formal employment benefits from certain social benefits such as pension and sickness benefits, but it is not uncommon for contributions to be absent. The vast majority of residents have no safety net at all, but are referred for help from relatives and neighbors.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Equatorial Guinea, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
The average life expectancy is low, which is partly explained by the high child mortality rate: in 2012, one in ten children died before the age of five and 35 percent of the children were malnourished.
Health care is still undeveloped. During the dictatorship of the 1970s (see Modern history) most well-educated country fled and only a handful of doctors remained. Too few have been added since then: there are about three doctors in 10,000 residents. Health conditions in the country are still poor and diseases such as malaria, infectious jaundice, whooping cough and dysentery are common but also diarrhea, hepatitis A and rabies. Malaria requires the most life. Pregnant women and young children can receive free medicine for the disease. In 2014, a vaccination campaign was launched after several cases of polio were discovered.
Immune deficiency disease AIDS has increased rapidly in recent years. In 2012, more than 6 percent of the country’s residents were estimated to be the carrier of the HIV virus. It is certainly fewer than in the neighboring countries, but the figures are uncertain. Poverty and widespread prostitution combined with ignorance of how the disease spreads are believed to be the main causes of the increase.
The rights of women and children are violated: they have an inferior position both in the family and in society and they are often subjected to violence. Polygamy occurs. Trafficking in human beings is a problem and Equatorial Guinea is both a country of origin and a recipient country for trafficking, mainly women and children, who are sold as labor in the cities or forced into prostitution. Equatorial Guinea also serves as a transit country for human trafficking to, for example, Spain and China. The government has initiated cooperation with the UN to address the problem, but it has not yet produced any tangible results, nor does it appear to be a priority issue.
Family and socializing
In Equatorial Guinea, the family and the clan are important. A couple who marries usually moves in with the man’s family. Within the dominant population group fang, a husband can sometimes have more than one wife and fang can also marry outside his own people group (unlike, for example, bubi).
Equatorial Guineans enjoy spending time with family and friends, preferably by playing cards, boards or table tennis (as they have often learned from the increasingly common Chinese guest workers); playing and watching football is also popular and in 2012 (then together with neighboring Gabon) and in 2015 Equatorial Guinea hosted the African football championship.
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 63 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected: 7.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
3.3 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 1.8 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 49.6 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 66.3 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 2.7 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: $ 281 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: 20 percent (2018)