Departments of the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville)

Buy data    Donate


On 2014-10-29, ISO 3166-2 changed the status of all divisions to departments, reflecting the constitution of 2002. On 2015-02-12, the new code CG-16 for Pointe-Noire became official. The same code had already been assigned to it in "Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, in an update issued on 2014-03-31.

Update 14 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2013-12-31. It assigns the code CF15 to Pointe-Noire department.

I have updated the populations to show the results of the 2007 census. The government of the Congo Republic has invalidated the results of the 1996 census, because some files and surveys were destroyed by civil war in 1997-99.

Source [2] says that under Law No. 10-2003 (2003-02-06), the Congo Republic consists of six communes and twelve departments. The table which follows makes it clear that the six communes are subdivisions of some of the departments. In two cases, Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, the communes are co-extensive with their departments. The difference between this and the prior situation is that Pointe-Noire commune and department were split from Kouilou department. Source [3] was updated on 2007-10-02, changing the number of subdivisions from 10 regions to 12 departments, and reclassifying Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire from urban communes to departments. The more specific article "Subdivisions de la République du Congo" hasn't been updated yet (2009). With Pointe-Noire no longer in Kouilou department, the capital of the latter is now Loango, in Hinda district. Source [2] says that the capital is Hinda; perhaps it's referring to the district. The administration was actually located in Pointe-Noire until a headquarters could be opened in Loango. The new building was dedicated on 2009-07-28.

Cuvette-Ouest department was created by Law 002/95 of 1995-02-18. It is divided into Etoumbi, Ewo, Kéllé, Mbama, Mbomo, and Okoyo districts. It is said to have a population of over 60,000 as of 2004, and an area of about 26,000 km.². A different source says that the area of Cuvette is 41,800 km.², and of Cuvette-Ouest, 27,200 km.²; this disagrees with the figure formerly given for the combined region, 74,850 km.².

Cuvette-Ouest was listed in both versions of international standard ISO 3166-2, starting with the draft standard which was distributed in late 1996. FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 10, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2006-03-23. It assigns a new FIPS code to Cuvette-Ouest and changes the code for Cuvette, from which it was split.

Country overview: 

ISO codeCG
GEC codeCF
LanguagesFrench (fr), Lingala (ln), Monokutuba
Time zone+1


Congo was one of the territories of French Equatorial Africa until 1960, under the name Moyen Congo. (For further details, see Central African Republic.) It gained independence on 1960-08-15 and took the name République du Congo (Republic of Congo). There was already a République du Congo across the river from it. Most people distinguished the two countries by calling them Congo-Léopoldville and Congo-Brazzaville, according to their capitals. In 1970-01, this country's name was changed to People's Republic of Congo, but the change was later reversed.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Congo brazzaville, Republikken Congo
  2. Dutch: Kongo, Congo-Brazzaville, Republiek Congo (formal)
  3. English: Congo-Brazzaville (informal), Middle Congo (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Kongo, Brazzavillen Kongo, Kongon tasavalta
  5. French: Congo, République f du Congo m, Moyen Congo (obsolete)
  6. German: Kongo, Republik f Kongo m
  7. Icelandic: Kongó
  8. Italian: Repubblica f del Congo m
  9. Norwegian: Kongo, Kongo-Brazzaville, Republikken Kongo (formal)
  10. Portuguese: República f do Congo m
  11. Russian: Конго (Браззавиль), Республика Конго (formal)
  12. Spanish: Congo, República f del Congo m (formal)
  13. Swedish: Kongo (Brazzaville)
  14. Turkish: Kongo Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

from the Congo river, which came from the ethnic name Kikongo

Primary subdivisions: 

Republic of Congo is divided into twelve départements (formerly called régions), of which two are also communes: Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.

12 divisions3,697,490342,000132,047
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO standard 3166-2, issued December 15, 1998. For full
    identification in a global context, prefix "CG-" to the code (ex: CG-12 represents Pool).
  • GEC: Codes from GEC.
  • Population: 2007-04-28 census.
  • Area: Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire are estimates.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of the Republic of Congo page.

The departments are subdivided into districts, which are further subdivided into communes.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Congo (Brazzaville) lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Brazzaville: Named for Count Pietro Paolo Savorgnan di Brazza (1852-1905), the city's founder
  2. Cuvette: French cuvette: basin (in either the hydrological or utensil sense)
  3. Plateaux: French for plateaus
  4. Pool: For Stanley Pool, an enlargement in the Congo River

Change history: 

According to source [4], the divisions of the Congo Republic were twelve prefectures and one autonomous sub-prefecture, as shown in this table. This probably represents the divisions when the country gained its independence.

13 divisions864,679
  • Prefecture: except Mossaka, which
    is an autonomous sub-prefecture
  • Population: 1962 estimate
  1. 1967: Congo (Brazzaville) reorganized from fifteen prefectures into nine regions and one capital district. The old prefectures included Alima, Équateur, and Likouala-Mossaka, which merged to form Cuvette region, according to source [5]. Source [11], based on the 1974 census, shows three communes in addition to the capital district, as follows. Jacob, subsequently renamed Nkayi, was contained in Bouenza region.
La Cuvetter112,132
  • Type: r = region, c = commune
  • Population: 1974-02-07 census (provisional)
  1. 1975: Capital of Niari renamed from Dolisie to Loubomo.
  2. 1977: Capital of Cuvette renamed from Fort-Rousset to Owando.
  3. 1980: Brazzaville commune split from Pool (former FIPS code: CF09).
  4. 1991: Capital of Niari renamed from Loubomo to Dolisie.
  5. 1995-02-18: Cuvette-Ouest region split from Cuvette (former FIPS code: CF03).
  6. 2002-01-20: New constitution (source [1]) declares that the local collectivities are départements (departments) and communes. Apparently Brazzaville is both a department and a commune.
  7. 2003-02-06: Pointe-Noire department split from Kouilou department (former HASC code: CG.KO; former capital Pointe-Noire).
  8. 2011-05-17: Loango, already the unofficial capital of Kouilou department, became the official capital by virtue of Law 20-2011. Law 21-2011, of the same date, adjusted the boundaries of Kouilou and stated its new area as "12.516,8 km², soit 125.168 ha." (source [10]). This is a mistake, because 125,168 hectares would only be 1,251.68 km². The larger figure is probably correct.

Population history:



Population sources: [7] - 1960, 1974 (proleptic); [8] - 1984; [9] - 1996; [6] - 2007.


  1. [1] Constitution  of 2002, Title XVI, Article 174 (in French; retrieved 2009-06-06).
  2. [2] Annuaire statistique du Congo 2004 , dated 2006-11, describes the administrative divisions at all levels (pp. 17-20, in French, retrieved 2009-06-06).
  3. [3] Wikipedia article  (retrieved 2009-06-06).
  4. [4] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1964 edition.
  5. [5] Thesis by Raoul Goyendzi (retrieved 2004-06-30 from
  6. [6] Hervé Mamboueni-Mboumba. Social Opportunity versus Urban Bias Prefinancing : Community Health-Care in Rural Congo. Its source is "CNSEE and UNFPA, RGPH_2007". Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  7. [7] Aimé D. Mianzenza. La population congolaise: évolution à long terme et impact sur les régimes sociaux . Le Centre d'études stratégiques du bassin du Congo (Cesbc). Retrieved 2011-04-24. Its sources are Ministère du Plan, Recensement général de la population et de l’habitat, 1974 et 1984; PNUD, Rapport national sur le développement humain 2002, Guerres et après? Développement humain en situation de conflit, Brazzaville, janvier 2002; United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 1996 Revision, New York, 1997; World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision, Highlights, New York, 2003. Note: This document contains internal contradictions, suggesting that either the rural population or the urban population may have been omitted from the figures. Compare the 1974 census figures from source [11].
  8. [8] John Paxton, ed. The Statesman's Yearbook 1988-89. St. Martin's Press, New York 1988.
  9. [9] Barry Turner, ed. The Statesman's Yearbook 2006. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire 2005.
  10. [10] Journal Officiel de la République du Congo , 2011-05-26 (retrieved 2011-09-03).
  11. [11] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
  12. [12] Population des Départements , INS Congo: RGPH 2007 (retrieved 2015-12-19).
  13. [13] Secondary Administrative Level Boundaries project, (dead link, retrieved 2004-06-13).
Back to main statoids page Last updated: 2015-12-19
Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2003-2006, 2009-2012, 2014, 2015 by Gwillim Law.