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Senegal country facts

Republic of Senegal Africa Dakar 13,635,927 inhabitants 196,722 sq km 69.32 inhabitants/sq km Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) population evolution



The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. The union broke up after only a few months. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982. The envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Senegal since the 1980s, and several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict. Nevertheless, Senegal remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa and has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation. Senegal was ruled by a Socialist Party for 40 years until Abdoulaye WADE was elected president in 2000. He was reelected in 2007 and during his two terms amended Senegal's constitution over a dozen times to increase executive power and to weaken the opposition. His decision to run for a third presidential term sparked a large public backlash that led to his defeat in a March 2012 runoff election with Macky SALL.



Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania

Geographic coordinates

14 00 N, 14 00 W

Area (sq km)

total: 196,722 sq km
land: 192,530 sq km
water: 4,192 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly smaller than South Dakota

Land boundaries (km)

total: 2,640 km
border countries: The Gambia 740 km, Guinea 330 km, Guinea-Bissau 338 km, Mali 419 km, Mauritania 813 km

Coastline (km)

531 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind


generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation southwest of Kedougou 581 m

Natural resources

fish, phosphates, iron ore

Land use (%)

arable land: 19.57%
permanent crops: 0.28%
other: 80.15% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

1,197 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

38.8 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 2.22 cu km/yr (4%/3%/93%)
per capita: 221.6 cu m/yr (2002)

Natural hazards

lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts

Environment - current issues

wildlife populations threatened by poaching; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; overfishing

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

westernmost country on the African continent; The Gambia is almost an enclave within Senegal

People and Society


noun: Senegalese (singular and plural)
adjective: Senegalese

Ethnic groups (%)

Wolof 43.3%, Pular 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Jola 3.7%, Mandinka 3%, Soninke 1.1%, European and Lebanese 1%, other 9.4%

Languages (%)

French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka

Religions (%)

Muslim 94% (most adhere to one of the four main Sufi brotherhoods), Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 1%


13,635,927 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 42.5% (male 2,908,431/female 2,880,258)
15-24 years: 20.5% (male 1,388,530/female 1,401,109)
25-54 years: 30.4% (male 1,892,403/female 2,253,576)
55-64 years: 3.8% (male 225,942/female 289,920)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 179,444/female 216,314) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Senegal

Median age (years)

total: 18.4 years
male: 17.5 years
female: 19.3 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

2.48% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

35.09 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

8.65 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

-1.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 42.5% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3.32% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

DAKAR (capital) 3.035 million (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

370 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 52.72 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.91 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 60.95 years
male: 58.94 years
female: 63.02 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

4.52 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

6% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

0.3 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 92.5% of population
rural: 60.3% of population
total: 74.1% of population
unimproved: urban: 7.5% of population
rural: 39.7% of population
total: 25.9% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 67.1% of population
rural: 40.5% of population
total: 51.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 32.9% of population
rural: 59.5% of population
total: 48.1% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

0.5% (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

42,800 (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

1,900 (2012 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

6.8% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

14.4% (2012)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

5.6% of GDP (2010)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 49.7%
male: 61.8%
female: 38.7% (2009 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 8 years (2010)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 (%)

total: 14.8%
male: 11.9%
female: 20.1% (2006)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Senegal
conventional short form: Senegal
local long form: Republique du Senegal
local short form: Senegal
former: Senegambia (along with The Gambia), Mali Federation

Government type



name: Dakar
geographic coordinates: 14 44 N, 17 38 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

14 regions (regions, singular - region); Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kedougou, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda, Thies, Ziguinchor


4 April 1960 (from France); note - complete independence achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960

National holiday

Independence Day, 4 April (1960)


previous 1959 (preindependence), 1963; latest adopted by referendum 7 January 2001, promulgated 22 January 2001; amended many times, last in 2008 (2011)

Legal system

civil law system based on French law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Macky SALL (since 2 April 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Aminata TOURE (since 3 September 2013)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 February 2012 with a second round runoff on 25 March 2012 (next to be held 2019); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Macky SALL elected president; percent of votes in a runoff - Macky SALL 65.8%, Abdoulaye WADE 34.2%

Legislative branch

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (150 seats; 90 members elected by direct popular vote and 60 elected by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly - last held on 1 July 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
election results: National Assembly results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition 119, PDS 12, Bokk Giss Giss coalition 4, MCRN-Bes Du Nakk 4, PVD 2, MRDS 2, URD 1, AJ/PADS 1, other 5

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Highest Appeals Court or Cour de Cassation (consists of 13 judges including the court president); Constitutional Council (consists of 5 members including the court president, vice-president, and 3 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Highest Appeals Court judges' tenure NA; Constitutional Council members appointed by the president of the republic to serve 6-year terms with renewal of 3 members every two years
subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; regional and first instance courts

Political parties and leaders

African Party of Independence [Majhemout DIOP]
Alliance for the Republic-Yakaar [Macky SALL]
Alliance of Forces of Progress or AFP [Moustapha NIASSE]
And-Jef/African Party for Democracy and Socialism or AJ/PADS [Landing SAVANE]
Benno Bokk Yakaar coaltion [Macky SALL]
Benno Siggil Senegal (a coalition of opposition parties)
Bokk Giss Giss coalition [Pape DIOP]
Citizen Movement for National Reform or MCRN-Bes Du Nakk
Democratic League-Labor Party Movement or LD-MPT [Dr. Abdoulaye BATHILY]
Front for Socialism and Democracy/Benno Jubel or FSD/BJ [Cheikh Abdoulaye Bamba DIEYE]
Gainde Centrist Bloc or BGC [Jean-Paul DIAS]
Independence and Labor Party or PIT [Amath DANSOKHO]
Jef-Jel [Talla SYLLA]
National Democratic Rally or RND [Madior DIOUF]
Party for Truth and Development or PVD [Ahmadou Kara MBACKE]
People's Labor Party or PTP [El Hadji DIOUF]
Reform Party or PR [Abdourahim AGNE]
Republican Movement for Socialism and Democracy or MRDS
Rewmi Party [Idrissa SECK]
Senegalese Democratic Party or PDS [Abdoulaye WADE]
Socialist Party or PS [Ousmane Tanor DIENG]
SOPI Coalition [Abdoulaye WADE] (a coalition led by the PDS)
Synergy for Ethics and Transparency [Aminata TALL]
Union for Democratic Renewal or URD [Djibo Leyti KA]

Political pressure groups and leaders

other: labor; students; Sufi brotherhoods, including the Mourides and Tidjanes; teachers

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Cheikh NIANG (since 13 July 2012)
embassy: 2215 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 234-0540
FAX: [1] (202) 332-6315
consulate(s) general: Houston, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Lewis LUKENS (since 11 July 2011) note - also accredited to Guinea-Bissau
embassy: Route des Almadies, Dakar
mailing address: B. P. 49, Dakar
telephone: [221] 33-879-4000
FAX: [221] 33-822-2991

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red with a small green five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; green represents Islam, progress, and hope; yellow signifies natural wealth and progress; red symbolizes sacrifice and determination; the star denotes unity and hope
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the same as those of neighboring Mali and the reverse of those on the flag of neighboring Guinea

National symbol(s)


National anthem

name: "Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons" (Pluck Your Koras, Strike the Balafons)
lyrics/music: Leopold Sedar SENGHOR/Herbert PEPPER
note: adopted 1960; the lyrics were written by Leopold Sedar SENGHOR, Senegal's first president; the anthem is sometimes played incorporating the Koras (harp-like stringed instruments) and Balafons (types of xylophones) mentioned in the title


Economy - overview

Senegal’s economy is driven by agriculture and that sector is the primary source of employment for the rural areas. The country's key export industries are phosphate mining, fertilizer production, and commercial fishing. The country is also working on iron ore and oil exploration projects. senegal relies heavily on donor assistance and foreign direct investment. President Macky SALL, who was elected in March 2012 under a reformist policy agenda, inherited an economy with a weak infrastructure, challenging business environment, and a culture of overspending that still plagued the country in 2013. The IMF completed a non-dispersing, Policy Support Initiative program in December 2010 and approved a new three-year policy support instrument to assist with economic reforms. The economy continues to suffer from unreliable power supplies and rising costs of living, which has led to public protests and high unemployment and has prompted migrants to flee Senegal in search of better job opportunities in Europe.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$27.72 billion (2013 est.)
$26.65 billion (2012 est.)
$25.74 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$15.36 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

4% (2013 est.)
3.5% (2012 est.)
2.6% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$2,100 (2013 est.)
$2,000 (2012 est.)
$2,000 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 14.9%
industry: 22.7%
services: 62.4% (2013 est.)

Labor force

6.096 million (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 77.5%
industry and services: 22.5% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)

48% (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)

54% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 30.1% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

41.3 (2001)
41.3 (1995)


revenues: $3.555 billion
expenditures: $4.366 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

23.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

-5.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

38.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
38.8% of GDP (2012 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

0.8% (2013 est.)
1.4% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

0.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
4.25% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

13.8% (31 December 2013 est.)
14.3% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$3.809 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$3.577 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$6.193 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.826 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$4.574 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.509 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares


Agriculture - products

peanuts, millet, corn, sorghum, rice, cotton, tomatoes, green vegetables; cattle, poultry, pigs; fish


agricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining; iron ore, zircon, and gold mining, construction materials, ship construction and repair

Industrial production growth rate (%)

3% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$1.291 billion (2013 est.)
-$1.618 billion (2012 est.)


$2.691 billion (2013 est.)
$2.382 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton

Exports - partners (%)

Mali 14.4%, Switzerland 14.1%, India 11.9%, France 4.7%, Guinea 4.2% (2012)


$5.61 billion (2013 est.)
$5.733 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

food and beverages, capital goods, fuels

Imports - partners (%)

France 16.2%, Nigeria 12.9%, India 6.3%, China 6.3%, UK 4.6% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.15 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.082 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$4.375 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.221 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
500.7 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
495.28 (2010)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

2.769 billion kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

2.22 billion kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

638,000 kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

99.7% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0.3% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

15,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

15,100 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

40,600 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

562 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

23,760 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

20 million cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

20 million cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

0 cu m

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

7.088 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

338,200 (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

11.47 million (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: good system with microwave radio relay, coaxial cable and fiber-optic cable in trunk system
domestic: above-average urban system with a fiber-optic network; nearly two-thirds of all fixed-line connections are in Dakar where a call-center industry is emerging; expansion of fixed-line services in rural areas needed; mobile-cellular service is expanding rapidly
international: country code - 221; the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic cable provides connectivity to Europe and Asia while Atlantis-2 provides connectivity to South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2010)

Broadcast media

state-run Radiodiffusion Television Senegalaise (RTS) operates 2 TV stations; a few private TV subscription channels rebroadcast foreign channels without providing any local news or programs; RTS operates a national radio network and a number of regional FM stations; many community and private-broadcast radio stations are available; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible on FM in Dakar (2007)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

237 (2012)

Internet users

1.818 million (2009)



20 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 9
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

gas 43 km; refined products 8 km (2013)

Railways (km)

total: 906 km
narrow gauge: 906 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways (km)

total: 14,008 km
paved: 4,099 km (includes 7 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,909 km (2003)

Waterways (km)

1,000 km (primarily on the Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance rivers) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 1
by type: passenger/cargo 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Dakar


Military branches

Senegalese Armed Forces: Army, Senegalese National Navy (Marine Senegalaise, MNS), Senegalese Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Senegal) (2013)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

18 years of age for voluntary military service; 20 years of age for selective conscript service; service obligation is 2 years; women have been accepted into military service since 2008 (2013)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 2,699,196
females age 16-49: 3,018,565 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 1,788,493
females age 16-49: 2,133,370 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 145,509
female: 145,064 (2010 est.)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau attempt to stem separatist violence, cross border raids, and arms smuggling into their countries from southern Senegal's Casamance region

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 13,703 (Mauritania) (2013)
IDPs: up to 24,000 (clashes between government troops and separatists in Casamance region) (2013)

Illicit drugs

transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine moving to Europe and North America; illicit cultivator of cannabis

Largest cities of Senegal

These are the 50 largest cities of Senegal ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Dakar 2,702,820
2 Thiès 320,721
3 Kaolack 289,633
4 Ziguinchor 255,391
5 Mbour 194,682
6 Saint-Louis 176,048
7 Diourbel 126,400
8 Louga 117,333
9 Richard Toll 91,500
10 Tambacounda 83,467
11 Kolda 80,632
12 Mbacké 78,635
13 Fatick 62,987
14 Tivaouane 56,828
15 Bignona 45,918
16 Kaffrine 33,572
17 Bambey 32,874
18 Dagana 31,310
19 Pout 29,387
20 Vélingara 27,566
21 Nioro 21,846
22 Kébémèr 21,409
23 Sédhiou 20,756
24 Mékhé 20,207
25 Dahra 17,656
26 Kédougou 16,612
27 Sokone 15,460
28 Guinguinéo 15,201
29 Koungheul 14,786
30 Khombole 14,762
31 Waoundé 13,688
32 Matam 12,277
33 Gossas 10,244
34 Linguère 10,228
35 Bakel 10,202
36 Goudomp 10,098
37 Ourossogui 9,741
38 Marsassoum 9,116
39 Thiadiaye 7,495
40 Oussouye 7,107
41 Podor 6,984
42 Diofior 6,407
43 Gandiaye 5,984
44 Ndioum 5,304
45 Kanel 5,138