Life expectancy: 52.2 years
Burkina Faso (formerly Alto Volta) is an former French colony. Independent since August 1960, it could be described as a democratic country until the 1970s. In the 1980s it went through a period of instability, but since 1991 it has returned to the road toward democracy. It is a relatively peaceful country and in the light of its recent economic evolution (growth close to 4% per year), financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund consider it a good follower of the process of economic recovery.