Eswatini facts for kids

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Kingdom of Eswatini

Umbuso weSwatini  (Swazi)
Coat of arms of Eswatini
Coat of arms
"Siyinqaba" (Swazi)
"We are a fortress"
"We are a mystery"
"We hide ourselves away"
"We are powerful ones"
"Nkulunkulu Mnikati wetibusiso temaSwati"
"Oh God, Bestower of the Blessings of the Swazi'"

Location of  Eswatini  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue)– in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Eswatini  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

Location of Eswatini

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Largest city Mbabane
Official languages
Demonym(s) Swazi
Government Unitary parliamentary absolute monarchy
• Monarch
Mswati III
Ambrose Dlamini
Legislature Parliament
House of Assembly
Independence from the United Kingdom
• Granted
6 September 1968
• United Nations membership
24 September 1968
• Current constitution
• Total
17,364 km2 (6,704 sq mi) (153rd)
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
1,136,281 (155th)
• 2017 census
• Density
68.2/km2 (176.6/sq mi) (135th)
GDP (PPP) 2019 estimate
• Total
$12.293 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2019 estimate
• Total
$4.662 billion
• Per capita
Gini (2015)  49.5
HDI (2018) Increase 0.608
medium · 138th
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Driving side left
Calling code +268
ISO 3166 code SZ
Internet TLD .sz

Eswatini (also known as Swaziland; officially renamed in 2018), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is bordered by Mozambique to its northeast and South Africa to its north, west, and south. At no more than 200 kilometres (120 mi) north to south and 130 kilometres (81 mi) east to west, Eswatini is one of the smallest countries in Africa; despite this, its climate and topography are diverse, ranging from a cool and mountainous highveld to a hot and dry lowveld.

The population is composed primarily of ethnic Swazis. The language is Swazi (siSwati in native form). The Swazis established their kingdom in the mid-18th century under the leadership of Ngwane III. The country and the Swazi take their names from Mswati II, the 19th-century king under whose rule Swazi territory was expanded and unified; the present boundaries were drawn up in 1881 in the midst of the Scramble for Africa. After the Second Boer War, the kingdom, under the name of Swaziland, was a British protectorate from 1903 until it regained its independence on 6 September 1968. In April 2018, the official name was changed from Kingdom of Swaziland to Kingdom of Eswatini, mirroring the name commonly used in Swazi.

The government is an absolute monarchy, ruled by King Mswati III since 1986. Elections are held every five years to determine the House of Assembly and the Senate majority. The current constitution was adopted in 2005. Umhlanga, the reed dance held in August/September, and incwala, the kingship dance held in December/January, are the nation's most important events.

Eswatini is a developing country with a small economy. With a GDP per capita of $4,145.97, it is classified as a country with a lower-middle income. As a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), its main local trading partner is South Africa; in order to ensure economic stability, Eswatini's currency, the lilangeni, is pegged to the South African rand. Eswatini's major overseas trading partners are the United States and the European Union. The majority of the country's employment is provided by its agricultural and manufacturing sectors. Eswatini is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations.

The Swazi population faces major health issues: HIV/AIDS and (to a lesser extent) tuberculosis are widespread. It is estimated that 26% of the adult population is HIV-positive. As of 2018, Eswatini has the 12th-lowest life expectancy in the world, at 58 years. The population of Eswatini is young, with a median age of 20.5 years and people aged 14 years or younger constituting 37.5% of the country's total population. The present population growth rate is 1.2%.


Eswatini is strongly affected by HIV and AIDS. The 2012 CIA World Factbook showed Swaziland with the highest HIV infection rate in the world. Life expectancy is 50 years.


Education in Eswatini is free at primary level, mainly 1st and 2nd grades. It is also free for orphaned and vulnerable children. Children are not required to attend. In 1996, the primary school enrollment rate was 90.8%. Girls and boys both attended at the primary level. In 1998, 80.5% of children reached grade five.

The University of Swaziland provides higher education.


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Swazi people dancing in a cultural village show.

Most of Swaziland's people are ethnically Swazi. There is also a small number of Zulu and White Africans, mostly people of British and Afrikaner descent. Swaziland also had Portuguese settlers and African refugees from Mozambique.

82.70% of the people are Christian, Christianity in Swaziland is sometimes mixed with traditional beliefs and practices. Some people think of the king as having a spiritual role.

Swazi have been subsistence farmers and herders. They now mix such activities with work in the growing urban economy and in government. Some Swazi work in the mines in South Africa.

SiSwati and English are the official languages. SiSwati has 2.5 million speakers and is taught in schools. It is also one of the official languages of South Africa.

About 76,000 people in the country speak Zulu. Tsonga is spoken by about 19,000 people in Swaziland. Afrikaans is also spoken by some residents of Afrikaner descent.

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