Zou Department

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Zou
Department
Abomey royal palace wall
Abomey royal palace wall
Map highlighting the Zou Department
Map highlighting the Zou Department
Coordinates: 7°11′N 1°59′E / 7.183°N 1.983°E / 7.183; 1.983Coordinates: 7°11′N 1°59′E / 7.183°N 1.983°E / 7.183; 1.983
Country  Benin
Capital Abomey
Area[1]
 • Total 5,243 km2 (2,024 sq mi)
Population (2013 census)
 • Total 851,623
 • Density 160/km2 (420/sq mi)
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)

Zou is one of the twelve departments of Benin. The department obtains its name from the Zou River which travels through the department before emptying into the Atlantic in the south of the country. The majority of the population are the Fon people with 91% population, while Aja people make up 4% and Yoruba make up 3% of the populace.[2] The departement of Zou was split in 1999 with the northern territory moved to the newly created Collines Department. The capital of Zou is Abomey. Zou is subdivided into nine communes, each centered at one of the principal towns, namely, Abomey, Agbangnizoun, Bohicon, Cové, Djidja, Ouinhi, Za-Kpota, Zangnanado and Zogbodomey.

Per 2013 census, the total population of the department was 851,580 with 407,030 males and 444,550 females. The proportion of women was 52.20 per cent. The total rural population was 67.00 percent, while the urban population was 33.00 per cent. The total labor force in the department was 275,249 out of which 50.10 per cent were women. The proportion of households with no level of education was 60.70 and the proportion of households with children attending school was 72.90.

Geography[edit]

Celebration at Abomey

Zou is characterized by plateaus ranging from 20 m (66 ft) to 200 m (660 ft) above the mean sea level. The plateaus are split by valleys running from north to south, created by the Zou River and Kauoffo river.[3][4] The southern regions receive two spells from March to July and September to November while the northern regions of the country receive one season of rainfall from May to September. The country receives an average annual rainfall of around 1,200 mm (47 in).[5] The tributary of Oueme River, the Zou river runs through the department. The region along with nine other departments form the Oueme basin.[6]

Demographics[edit]

Religious census[7]
Religion Percent(%)
Muslim
3.5%
Methodist
3.1%
Vodoun
20.1%
Catholic
26.6%
Celestial
10.8%
Other Christian
16.5%
Other Traditional
1.9%
Other
4.6%
Other protestant
5%

Per 2013 census, the total population of the department was 851,580 with 407,030 males and 444,550 females. The proportion of women was 52.20 per cent. The total rural population was 67.00 percent, while the urban population was 33.00 per cent. The proportion of women in child bearing age of 15 to 49 years was 23.90 per cent. The total foreign population in the department was 4,615 which formed 0.50 per cent of the total population in the department. The proportion of assets of foreigners aged 10+ years was 38.20 per cent, while for the people aged 15-64 years, it was 37.30 per cent. The proportion of women in foreign population constituted 49.60 per cent. The number of households in the department was 178,698 and the average household size was 4.8. The intercensal growth rate of population was 3.20 per cent.[8]

The average age of women during first marriage in the department was 21 and the average age at maternity was 28.6. The synthetic index of fertility of women was 5.1. The average number of kernels in a house was 1.2 and the average number of persons in a room was 1.9. The total labour force in the department was 275,249 out of which 50.10 per cent were women. The proportion of households with no level of education was 60.70 and the proportion of households with children attending school was 72.90. The crude birth rate was 37.8, general rate of fertility was 158.50 and the gross reproduction rate was 2.50.[7]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Communes of Zou

The département of Zou was split during 1999 with the northern territory moved to the newly created Collines Department. The capital of Zou is Abomey. It is subdivided into nine communes, each centered at one of the principal towns, namely, Abomey, Agbangnizoun, Bohicon, Cové, Djidja, Ouinhi, Za-Kpota, Zangnanado and Zogbodomey.[9] Benin, formerly known as Dahomey, was a French colony till 1894. It gained independence during 1960 and was admitted to the United Nations. From 1960 to 1972, there was political instability with frequent change of leadership.[10] Benin originally had six administrative divisions, but was further bifurcated to make it 12. Each de-concentrated administrative services, called directions départementales(DD) of the sectoral ministries, take care of two administrative regions. A law passed during 1999 empowered the territorial administration to local governments.[11] Municipalities and communal councils have elected representatives who manage the administration of the regions. The latest elections of the municipal and communal councils were held during June 2015.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Benin". Geohive. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Ethnic groups in Benin" (PDF). ODSEF. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Benin Mineral & Mining Sector Investment and Business Guide. Int'l Business Publications. 2007. pp. 21–22. ISBN 9781433019012. 
  4. ^ McColl, R. W. (2014). Encyclopedia of World Geography, Volume 1. Infobase Publishing. p. 92-93. ISBN 9780816072293. 
  5. ^ Haggett, Peter, ed. (2002). Encyclopedia of World Geography, Volume 17. Marshall Cavendish. p. 2325. ISBN 9780761473060. 
  6. ^ Deng, Zhixin (2007). Vegetation Dynamics in Oueme Basin, Benin, West Africa. Cuvillier Verlag. p. 3. ISBN 9783867274302. 
  7. ^ a b "Socio economic data of Benin, 2013". Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Economique (INSAE) du Benin. 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "Census of Benin, 2013". Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Economique (INSAE) du Benin. 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  9. ^ Houngnikpo, Mathurin C.; Decalo, Samuel (2013). Historical Dictionary of Benin. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 276. ISBN 9780810871717. 
  10. ^ "Benin country profile". BBC. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  11. ^ Republic of Benin, Public Administration and Country profile (PDF) (Report). Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), United Nations. 2004. p. 8. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Local elections in Benin, 2015". African Elections Database. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 

External links[edit]