Regions of Cameroon

Buy data    Donate

Updates: 

Cameroon took a census in 2005-11. The results weren't released until 2010, along with projected populations as of 2010-01-01.

Update 10 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2012-12-31. It changes the English spelling of one region from Center to Centre.

On 2006-06-12, Nigeria and Cameroon signed an agreement transferring the Bakassi Peninsula from Nigeria to Cameroon. This transfer is in compliance with a 2002 decision by the International Court of Justice. The transfer should be fully implemented within two years. The area will now be in Sud-Ouest region. A post to Wikipedia says that it measures about 700 km².

Correction: In "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries", 1982 was given as the date for a reorganization, in which Centre-Sud province was split into Centre and Sud, and Nord province was split into Adamaoua, Extrême-Nord, and Nord. The correct date is 1983-08-22. According to Geographic Notes for 1985-09-30, published by the U.S. State Department, that was the date of Presidential decree 83-390. I have greatly augmented the change history, as shown below.

Country overview: 

Short nameCAMEROON
ISO codeCM
FIPS codeCM
LanguagesFrench (fr), English (en)
Time zone+1
CapitalYaoundé

 

In 1900, the German protectorate of Kamerun covered a little more territory than Cameroon does now. On 1911-11-04, it was augmented by a cession of 270,000 sq. km. taken from French Equatorial Africa. In 1916-01, during World War I, France and England seized Kamerun from Germany. France immediately re-integrated its 1911 cession into French Equatorial Africa. On 1922-07-20, former Kamerun was mandated partly to England (90,000 sq. km.) and partly to France (700,000 sq. km.). The British mandate (British Cameroons) was treated as two parts: Northern and Southern Cameroons. After World War II, the mandate was converted to a trust territory under the aegis of the United Nations. The French mandate became the territory of Cameroun. Cameroun gained its independence from France on 1960-01-01. Southern Cameroons united with it on 1961-10-01.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Cameroun
  2. Dutch: Kameroen, Republiek Kameroen (formal)
  3. English: Republic of Cameroon (formal), Cameroons (obsolete), Cameroun (obsolete), Kamerun (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Kamerun
  5. French: Cameroun, République f du Cameroun m (formal)
  6. German: Kamerun n
  7. Icelandic: Kamerún
  8. Italian: Camerun m
  9. Norwegian: Kamerun, Republikken Kamerun (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Camarões, República f dos Camarões mp (formal)
  11. Russian: Республика Камерун (formal)
  12. Spanish: Camerún, República f del Camerún m (formal)
  13. Swedish: Kamerun
  14. Turkish: Kamerun Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

from the Cameroon River, Portuguese Rio dos Camarões: Crayfish River

Primary subdivisions: 

Cameroon is divided into ten régions (regions).

RegionHASCFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)CapitalFormer
AdamaouaCM.ADCM10884,28963,69124,591NgaoundéréNord
CentreCM.CECM113,098,04468,92626,612YaoundéCentre-Sud
EstCM.ESCM04771,755109,01142,089BertouaEst
Extrême-NordCM.ENCM123,111,79234,24613,222MarouaNord
LittoralCM.LTCM052,510,26320,2397,814DoualaLittoral
NordCM.NOCM131,687,95965,57625,319GarouaNord
Nord-OuestCM.NWCM071,728,95317,8126,877BamendaNord-Ouest
OuestCM.OUCM081,720,04713,8725,356BafoussamOuest
SudCM.SUCM14634,65547,11018,189EbolowaCentre-Sud
Sud-OuestCM.SWCM091,316,07924,5719,487BuéaSud-Ouest
10 regions17,463,836465,054179,556
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods are replaced by
    hyphens, these are the same as the region codes from ISO standard 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Population: 2005-11-11 census (source [8]).
  • Former: Pre-1983 province containing this area

 

The two-letter ISO codes (that is, the last two letters of the HASC codes) are used as the first two letters of a license plate number to indicate the vehicle's region of origin. The Universal Postal Union recommends using the ISO codes in postal addresses.

The Ethnia  site seems to think that the name of Nord region is East Benue, but I haven't seen that name used anywhere else.

Further subdivisions:

See the Departments of Cameroon page.

The regions are subdivided into départements, which are in turn subdivided into arrondissements. There are districts subordinate to some arrondissements. The number of départements has changed from time to time. There were 33 in ~1965, 39 in ~1982, 49 in ~1987, and 58 in 2000.

Origins of names: 

  1. Adamaoua: conquered by Moddibo (King) Adama in the early 19th century
  2. Extrême-Nord: French for Far North
  3. Littoral: French for Coastal

Change history: 

  1. In 1900, the German protectorate of Kamerun covered a little more territory than Cameroon does now. In 1908, Germany ceded a duck-bill-shaped region east of the Logone River to French Kongo (Chad). On 1911-11-04, Kamerun was augmented by a cession of 278,000 sq. km. taken from the Congo territory in French Equatorial Africa. In 1916-01, during World War I, France and England seized Kamerun from Germany. France immediately re-integrated its 1911 cession into French Equatorial Africa. On 1922-07-20, former Kamerun was mandated partly to England (89,270 sq. km.) and partly to France (710,000 sq. km., including the cession of 1911, which was restored to Congo). The British mandate (British Cameroons) was treated as two parts: Northern and Southern Cameroons. After World War II, the mandate was converted to a trust territory under the aegis of the United Nations. The French mandate became the French territory of Cameroun. Cameroun gained its independence from France on 1960-01-01. Southern Cameroons united with it on 1961-10-01. Northern Cameroons later joined Nigeria.
  2. In 1949, Southern Cameroons was divided into two provinces: Bamenda (capital Bamenda) and Southern (capital Buea). They correspond to the present-day Nord-Ouest and Sud-Ouest region, respectively.
  3. After World War II, Cameroun consisted of fourteen regions. By 1960, the number had grown to nineteen. The following table combines the data from the 1946 census with those from the 1951 census. I deduced which 1951 regions corresponded with each of the 1946 regions by comparing areas and populations, and taking geographical proximity into account. It may be that some transfers of territory took place. Spelling variations are reproduced from sources [6] and [7].
RegionPop-1946Area(km.²)RegionPop-1951Area(km.²)
Adamaoua156,20267,000Adamawa166,66367,300
Bamiléké394,5497,000Bamileké450,5797,000
Bamoun75,0867,300Bamoun83,0647,500
Benoué251,64860,900Benoué265,02761,600
Haut-Nyong80,76639,100Haut-Nyong79,44539,900
Kribi47,08012,400Kribi50,66213,000
Lom et Kadei122,78995,000Lom-et-Kadei101,37551,000
Boumba-Ngoko25,72444,000
M'Bam106,34932,500M'bam104,98132,900
Moungo123,33310,300Moungo88,5404,500
N'kam43,7665,700
Nord-Cameroun664,85130,000Diamare434,81714,200
Logone-et-Chari71,57713,000
Margui Wandala262,1517,200
N'Tem151,37235,200N'tem91,39615,000
Dja-et-Lobo71,71119,000
Nyong et Sanaga446,10828,300Nyong-et-Sanaga406,96910,000
Sanaga-Maritime160,55214,700Sanaga-Maritime163,55318,000
Wouri39,1061,200Wouri115,0801,200
14 regions2,819,791440,90019 regions3,077,080432,000
  • Pop-1946: 1946 census (Europeans and assimilated population only)
    plus 1946 estimates of African population
  • Pop-1951: 1951 census (Europeans only) plus 1952 estimates of African population
  1. 1960-01-01: Cameroun (English name Cameroon) gained its independence from France.
  2. 1961-10-01: Southern Cameroons united with Cameroon. The new country consisted of two federal states: East Cameroon (capital Yaoundé, FIPS code CM01) and West Cameroon (capital Buea, FIPS code CM02). East Cameroon was equivalent to the old Cameroon, and West Cameroon was the same as Southern Cameroons. At some point, possibly here, the status of regions was changed to departments.
  3. ~1963: Number of departments in East Cameroon increased to thirty. I don't have before-and-after maps showing the details. Tentatively, Bamiléké split into Bamboutos, Haut-Nkam, Ménoua, Mifi, and Ndé; Mayo-Danaï split from Diamaré; Lom-et-Kadeï split into Lom-et-Djerem and Kadeï; and Nyong-et-Sanaga split into Haute-Sanaga, Lékié, Méfou, Nyong-et-Kéllé, Nyong-et-Mfoumou, and Nyong-et-So'o.
  4. 1968-08: On a Defense Department map of this date, West Cameroon federal state consists of six "divisions". East Cameroon federal state consists of thirty departments.
  5. ~1968: The Times Atlas of the World, Comprehensive Edition, shows Cameroon subdivided into West Cameroon (French: Cameroun Occidental) and five lower-level divisions named Centre-Sud, Est, Littoral, Nord, and Ouest.
  6. 1972-06-02: New constitution adopted, following a referendum (1972-05-21) on forming a unitary state. It was probably on or about this date that the two federal states were abolished, and the seven provinces listed in the following table became the new first-level subdivisions.
ProvinceFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)CapitalConsists of
Centre-SudCM031,491,945117,500YaoundéDja-et-Lobo, Haute-Sanaga, Kribi, Lékié, Mbam, Méfou,
Ntem, Nyong-et-Kéllé, Nyong-et-Mfoumou, Nyong-et-So'o
EstCM04366,235111,200BertouaBouma-Ngoko, Haut-Nyong, Kadeï, Lom-et-Djerem
LittoralCM05935,16620,800DoualaMoungo, Nkam, Sanaga-Maritime, Wouri
NordCM062,233,257164,300GarouaAdamaoua, Bénoué, Diamaré, Logone-et-Chari,
Margui-Wandala, Mayo Danaï
Nord-OuestCM07980,53117,812BamendaBamenda, Nkambe, Wum
OuestCM081,035,59713,500BafoussamBamboutos, Bamoun, Haut-Nkam, Ménoua, Mifi, Ndé
Sud-OuestCM09620,51524,571BuéaKumba, Mamfe, Victoria
7 provinces7,663,246469,683
  • Population: 1976-04-09 census
  • Consists of: divisions (Nord-Ouest and Sud-Ouest) or departments contained in each province,
    based on the 1968-08 DoD map
  1. 1983-08-22: Centre-Sud province split into two provinces: Centre and Sud. Nord province split into three provinces: Adamaoua, Nord, and Extrême-Nord.
  2. 2008-11-12: Status of provinces changed to regions.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. All the directional names (Centre, Est, etc.) can be translated.
  2. Adamaoua: Adamaua (Portuguese), Adamawa (English)
  3. Littoral: Litoral (Portuguese, Spanish)

Population history:

Region1976-04-091987-04-282005-11-11
Adamaoua359,334495,185884,289
Centre1,176,7431,651,6003,098,044
Est366,235517,198771,755
Extrême-Nord1,394,7651,855,6953,111,792
Littoral935,1661,352,8332,510,263
Nord479,158832,1651,687,959
Nord-Ouest980,5311,237,3481,728,953
Ouest1,035,5971,339,7911,720,047
Sud315,202373,798634,655
Sud-Ouest620,515838,0421,316,079
Total7,663,24610,493,65517,463,836

 

Source [8] has the results of the censuses of 1976, 1987, and 2005. The 1976 figures differed slightly from source [4], by amounts ranging from 0 to a few hundred in different regions. I've taken source [8] as authoritative.

Sources: 

  1. [1] "Annuaire Statistique du Cameroun 2006", Institut National de la Statistique du Cameroun. Population data derived by adding the populations of departments belonging to each region.
  2. [2] The Statesman's Yearbook 2006, ed. Barry Turner. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire 2005. Lists estimated populations of regions as of 2001, rounded to the nearest 100.
  3. [3] The Europa World Year Book 2001 has figures for the 1987 census.
  4. [4] The Statesman's Yearbook 1988-89. St. Martin's Press, New York 1988. Shows 1976 census figures, presumably corrected to match the new regions of 1983.
  5. [5] Neba, Aaron S., "Modern Geography of the Republic of Cameroon, 2nd Edition". Neba Publishers, Camden, N.J. 1987.
  6. [6] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1951 edition.
  7. [7] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition.
  8. [8] Annuaire Statistique du Cameroun 2011 , Chapter 4: Population Characteristics. Institut National de la Statistique, Yaoundé, 2013-01 (retrieved 2013-11-19).
Back to main statoids page Last updated: 2013-11-19
Copyright © 2003-2006, 2009-2011, 2013 by Gwillim Law.