Ah, to be President of the United States. You have the responsibility to sign laws that affect millions of people, you can while away the hours on Twitter, and, as Donald Trump found out this week, you have the apparent ability to conjure up non-existent nations from thin air.
In case you haven’t heard, Trump addressed African leaders at a luncheon on Wednesday, praising the African country of Nambia for their health care system. In his speech, Trump said, “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient.”
The only problem is, Nambia doesn’t exist. According to the official White House transcript, Trump actually meant Namibia, the large southwestern country just above South Africa, known for the Namib Desert on its western coast.
Since Trump’s latest gaffe sent people scrambling to find out more about Namibia, here are three facts about the nation you can use to impress your friends at your next dinner party:
1. Namibia is home to more than 2 million people – and growing steadily.
According to the Namibia government’s website, the 2011 census enumerated a population of 2,104,900. That’s a growth of about 15% since the last census in 2001, which counted 1,830,300 persons. Namibia has seen steady growth since 1921, when it was a colony under occupation from South Africa (it won independence in 1990). Today, Namibia’s population density is only 2.6 people per square kilometer. That makes it one of the least densely populated countries in the entire world.
2. It has more than 11 indigenous languages.
English is the national language of Namibia, but it’s common for people there to speak 3 or 4 different languages. In fact, according to the government’s website, 49% of Namibian households speak Oshiwambo, the dialect of the Ovambo people of northern Namibia.
3. It’s one of the world’s largest diamond producers.
Even though, in 2013, Namibia only accounted for 2% of the world’s overall rough diamond production, it ranked first in terms of value. The average value of a Namibia diamond weighed in at a whopping $805 per carat – more than $220 per carat than the next ranked diamond producer in terms of value per carat: Lesotho.
So there you have it – three fascinating facts about Namibia, a real African country. If only we could get Donald Trump to consult a map once in a while. Now that you know more than you ever thought you would about Namibia, try this quiz on it’s borders.