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Lesotho : economy statistics and industry reports

  • Updated on : 27 August 2012  Source : The World Factbook


$2.29 billion (2011 est.)
$1.998 billion (2010 est.)


$1.01 billion (2011 est.)
$851.8 million (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5% (2011 est.)
3.6% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate

45% (2002)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$2,000 (2011 est.)
$1,900 (2010 est.)
$1,800 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars

National product real growth rate

3.5% (2010 est.)
1.6% (2009 est.)
3.9% (2008 est.)

Internet users

76,800 (2009)

Telephones - mobile cellular

698,800 (2009)

Population growth rate

0.332% (2012 est.)


1,930,493 (July 2012 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Historical background

Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966.

The Basuto National Party ruled for the first two decades.

King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990, but returned to Lesotho in 1992 and was reinstated in 1995 and subsequently succeeded by his son, King LETSIE III, in 1996.

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Economic overview

Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho relies on remittances from miners employed in South Africa, customs duties from the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), and export revenue for the majority of government revenue.

However, the government has recently strengthened its tax system to reduce dependency on customs duties.

Completion of a major hydropower facility in January 1998 permitted the sale of water to South Africa and generated royalties for Lesotho.

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