Cabo Verde Geography - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal

Geographic coordinates

16 00 N, 24 00 W

Map references



total: 4,033 sq km

land: 4,033 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 175

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Rhode Island

Land boundaries

total: 0 km


965 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines


temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and erratic


steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic


highest point: Mt. Fogo (a volcano on Fogo Island) 2,829 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Natural resources

salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, clay, gypsum

Land use

agricultural land: 18.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 11.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.7% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 6.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 21% (2018 est.)

other: 60.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

35 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

300 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Population distribution

among the nine inhabited islands, population distribution is variable; islands in the east are very dry and are only sparsely settled to exploit their extensive salt deposits; the more southerly islands receive more precipitation and support larger populations, but agriculture and livestock grazing have damaged the soil fertility and vegetation; approximately half of the population lives on Sao Tiago Island, which is the location of the capital of Praia; Mindelo, on the northern island of Sao Vicente, also has a large urban population as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

prolonged droughts; seasonal harmattan wind produces obscuring dust; volcanically and seismically active

volcanism: Fogo (2,829 m), which last erupted in 1995, is Cabo Verde's only active volcano

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

strategic location 500 km from west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site; one of four North Atlantic archipelagos that make up Macaronesia; the others are Azores (Portugal), Canary Islands (Spain), and Madeira (Portugal)

NOTE: The information regarding Cabo Verde on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cabo Verde 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cabo Verde 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.