Located 570 kilometers off the coast of Western Africa lies the Republic of Cape Verde, an archipelago of 10 islands of volcanic origin. Discovered around 1444, Cape Verde was colonized by the Portuguese and was frequented by pirates and merchants in the late 1500's. It also played a large part in the Atlantic slave trade which popularized the location until the decline in the 19th century. This brought an economic crisis, which led to the eventual takeover by locals and gained independence from the Portuguese around 1975.
Classified as a developing nation since 2007, Cape Verde is distinguished as a stable democracy, with an estimated population of 500,000 individuals. Cape Verde's political system includes a president who is elected by popular vote and serves a 5-year term, a prime minister who is appointed by the president, and the national assembly, which is also elected by popular vote and serves 5-year terms.
Nearly two-fifths of the population lives in rural areas, and a quarter lives in the capital city of Praia. The country maintains literacy rates of around 85%, and has maintained a good rate of economic growth and development, in addition to improving living conditions.