The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago located in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the North Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa, opposite Mauritania and Senegal.
It is slightly more than 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi) in area with an estimated population of over 500,000. The capital of Cape Verde is Praia. The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonised by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and attained independence from Portugal in 1975.
As of 2007, Cape Verde is classified as a developing country after being promoted from Least Developed Countries status. About 20% of the population lives on less than $1.25 (U.S.) a day.