The state of Cape Verde adopts a sort of administrative division produced by the trade winds coming from the African continent, dividing the archipelago into two main groups: the Ilhas do Barlavento to the north and the Ilhas do Sotavento to the south.
The Barlavento or Sopravento group consists of the islands of: Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia (uninhabited), São Nicolau, Ilha do Sal, Boa Vista,
The Sotavento or Sottovento group, further south, includes the islands of: Maio, Santiago, which houses the capital Praia, Fogo, Brava
With a total area of 4,033 km², Cape Verde is one of the five Atlantic archipelagos of the so-called Macaronesia, an archipelago that also includes the Azores, Madeira, the Canaries and the Wilds.
The climate in the Cape Verde Islands is dry tropical, with an average temperature that fluctuates all year around 26 ° C. The temperature range, between maximum and minimum, never exceeds 10 ° C, while at sea the water temperature fluctuates between 22 ° and 29 ° C depending on the season.
In the mountainous islands like Santiago, Santo Antão, São Nicolau and Fogo the sun dominates almost all year, while the short rainy period runs from September to October. Boa Vista, Sal and Maio, on the other hand, offer a much more dry climate due to the hot winds coming from the Sahara.
The archipelago's water supply has always been problematic due to the cyclical exposure to years of drought due to the effect of the Saharan winds. The rainy season is short, but it is more than sufficient to support a semi-arid climate. Unfortunately, a coincidence of adverse factors is able to periodically cause a dramatic reduction in rainfall, or in some years their total disappearance. The adoption, both of modern high-efficiency irrigation techniques, and water recovery (condensation, desalination, recycling) have made it possible to obtain a clear improvement in the situation. The need, on the other hand, to support a large population, makes it difficult to maintain an acceptable water supply in the periods, albeit rare, of crisis. The situation is not the same for all the islands, the islands facing the Sahara desert being more subject to periods of drought.
Below are the average weather conditions.
Population - Demography
In 2000, according to the CIA Factbook, the nation had a birth rate of 23.5 ‰, with a mortality of 6.2 ‰. The annual increase in the population, due to strong emigration, stands at only 0.5-0.6%. However, a good life expectancy, 68 for men and 75 for women, accompanies a rather high infant mortality rate, around 41.4 ‰. by 2010, the population residing in the islands was 510,000; to these must be added the approximately 700,000 inhabitants who emigrated abroad.
The current population of Cape Verde is made up of different ethnic groups, both African, such as the Fula, the Balanta, the Mandingo, etc ... both European, such as Italians, Portuguese, Spaniards, English, who have been completely mixed over the centuries, creating a population called the Cape Verde Creole.
About 90% of the population professes to be Christian Christians. In many areas Christianity has incorporated elements of the African animist religion. Protestant Christian communities are also present, as well as Buddhists and Muslims.
The official language of the state is Portuguese, but very common is Cape Verdean Creole, a Creole language derived from the Portuguese.
A different Creole is spoken on each of the ten islands, but in recent years an attempt has been made to implement a standardization process.
French is taught in schools as a foreign language, as Cape Verde was a member of the International Organization of Francophony. English is taught in high schools.
In addition to Portuguese, French and / or English it has been proposed to teach also Cape Verdean Creole, but this proposal has met with the fact that one would not know which Creole to teach, since from island to island there is difference in speaking, in particular between the islands of Barlavento and those of Sotavento.