The kingdom of Swaziland is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies.
The king rules by decree over his million subjects, most of whom live in the countryside and follow traditional ways of life.
The struggling economy benefited from preferential access which textile exporters had to the United States until this facility was withdrawn over human rights concerns in 2015.
The country exports sugar and many Swazis work in South Africa and send their earnings home.
According to UNICEF Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. The HIV-Aids virus has killed countless Swazis who have left behind thousands of orphans. Some 210,000 people, out of a population of 1.2 million, are estimated to be living with HIV.
- The Kingdom of Swaziland
- Capital: Mbabane
- Population 1.2 million
- Area 17,364 sq km (6,704 sq miles)
- Major languages Swazi, English (both official)
- Major religionsChristianity, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy 50 years (men), 49 years (women)
- Currency Lilangeni