Statistical information Lesotho 1994Lesotho

Map of Lesotho | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Lesotho in the World
Lesotho in the World


Lesotho - Introduction 1994
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Background: Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 after 23 years of military rule.

Lesotho - Geography 1994
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Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAfrica, Standard Time Zones of the World

Total area total: 30,350 km²
Land: 30,350 km²

Land boundaries: total 909 km, South Africa 909 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Terrain: mostly highland with some plateaus, hills, and mountains


Natural resources: water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds and other minerals
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 10%
Permanent crops: 0%
Meadows and pastures: 66%
Forest and woodland: 0%
Other: 24%

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: subject to periods of drought

Note: landlocked; surrounded by South Africa; Highlands Water Project will control, store, and redirect water to South Africa

Lesotho - People 1994
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Population: 1,944,493 (July 1994 est.)
Growth rate: 2.48% (1994 est.)

Nationality: noun:Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)

Ethnic groups: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans 1,600, Asians 800

Languages: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Religions: Christian 80%, rest indigenous beliefs

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.48% (1994 est.)

Birth rate: 34 births/1000 population (1994 est.)

Death rate: 9.19 deaths/1000 population (1994 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1994 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: population pressure forcing settlement in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, soil exhaustion; desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 69.5 deaths/1000 live births (1994 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 62.14 years
Male: 60.32 years
Female: 64.01 years (1994 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.5 children born/woman (1994 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1966)
Total population: 59%
Male: 44%
Female: 68%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Lesotho - Government 1994
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Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho
Former: Basutoland

Government type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Maseru

Administrative divisions: 10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohale's Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka

Dependent areas

Independence: 4 October 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 October (1966)

Constitution: 2 April 1993

Legal system: based on English common law and Roman-Dutch law; judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: King LETSIE III (since 12 November 1990)
Head of government: Prime Minister Ntsu MOKHEHLE (since 2 April 1993 )

Legislative branch: Royal Lesotho Defense Force (RLDF; including Army, Air Wing), Royal Lesotho Mounted Police

Judicial branch: High Court, Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, GATT, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, IOC, ITU, LORCS, NAM, OAU, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
From the us chief of mission: (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Karl HOFMANN
From the us chancery: 2,511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
From the us telephone: [266] 312-666
From the us fax: (202) 234-6,815
From the us embassy: address NA, Maseru
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 333, Maseru 100, Lesotho
From the us FAX: [266] 310-116

Flag descriptionflag of Lesotho: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper half is white bearing the brown silhouette of a large shield with crossed spear and club; the lower half is a diagonal blue band with a green triangle in the corner

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Lesotho - Economy 1994
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Economy overview: Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho has no important natural resources other than water. Its economy is based on agriculture, light manufacturing, and remittances from laborers employed in South Africa (recently equal to about 45% of GDP). The great majority of households gain their livelihoods from subsistence farming and migrant labor; a large portion of the adult male workforce is employed in South African mines. Manufacturing depends largely on farm products to support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries; other industries include textile, clothing, and construction (in particular, a major water improvement project which will permit the sale of water to South Africa). Industry's share of GDP rose from 6% in 1982 to 13% in 1991.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2.4% (FY 93)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 15% of GDP (1991 est.) and employs 60-70% of all households; exceedingly primitive, mostly subsistence farming and livestock; principal crops corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley

Industries: food, beverages, textiles, handicrafts, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1991 est.), accounts for 13% of GDP

Labor force: 689,000 economically active
By occupation: 86.2% of resident population engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 60% of active male labor force works in South Africa
Labor force

Unemployment rate: at least 55% among adult males (1991 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues:$438 million

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $109 million (f.o.b., 1992)
Commodities: wool, mohair, wheat, cattle, peas, beans, corn, hides, skins, baskets
Partners: South Africa 42%, EC 28%, North and South America 25% (1991)

Imports: $964 million (c.i.f., 1992)
Commodities: mainly corn, building materials, clothing, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum
Partners: South Africa 94%, Asia 3%, EC 1% (1991)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $428 million (1991)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: maloti (M) per US$1 - 3.4096 (January 1994), 3.2636 (1993), 2.8497 (1992), 2.7563 (1991), 2.5863 (1990), 2.6166 (1989; note - the Basotho loti is at par with the South African rand

Lesotho - Energy 1994
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Lesotho - Communication 1994
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Lesotho - Military 1994
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: exchange rate conversion - $55 million, 13% of GDP (1990 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Lesotho - Transportation 1994
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 28
Usable: 28
With permanentsurface runways: 3
With runways over 3659 m: 0
With runways 2440-3659 m: 1
With runways 1220-2439 m: 2

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Lesotho - Transnational issues 1994
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

World Nomads

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