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World Atlas: Mauritania

World Atlas: Mauritania. On this page you can see the map, country flag and many detailed information about the people, history and economy of Mauritania.

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Information about Mauritania

Here you can find online selected information about the geography, inhabitants, government, economy and history of Mauritania. Included are selected statistics, an overview map and the detailed map of Mauritania. But let's start with the flag of Mauritania here:

Mauritania - Overview:

What you should know about Mauritania? Let's start with this: Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976 but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA seized power in a coup in 1984 and ruled Mauritania with a heavy hand for more than two decades. A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August 2005 deposed President TAYA and ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule. Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was inaugurated in April 2007 as Mauritania's first freely and fairly elected president. His term ended prematurely in August 2008 when a military junta led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ deposed him and installed a military council government. AZIZ was subsequently elected president in July 2009 and sworn in the following month. AZIZ sustained injuries from an accidental shooting by his own troops in October 2012 but has continued to maintain his authority. He was reelected in 2014 to a second and final term as president (according to the present constitution). The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among three major groups: Arabic-speaking descendants of slaves (Haratines), Arabic-speaking "White Moors" (Bidhan), and members of Sub-Saharan ethnic groups mostly originating in the Senegal River valley (Halpulaar, Soninke, and Wolof). Mauritania confronts a terrorism threat by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb, which launched successful attacks between 2005 and 2011. The activities of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and similar groups, pose a severe security threat to Mauritanians and foreign visitors. AQIM launched a series of attacks in Mauritania between 2005 and 2011, murdering American and foreign tourists and aid workers, attacking diplomatic and government facilities, and ambushing Mauritanian soldiers and gendarmes. A successful strategy against terrorism that combines dialogue with the terrorists and military actions has prevented the country from further terrorist attacks since 2011.

Geography of Mauritania

Where on the globe is Mauritania? The location of this country is Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara. Total area of Mauritania is 1,030,700 sq km, of which 1,030,700 sq km is land. So this is very large country. How could we describe the terrain of the country? This way: mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills. The lowest point of Mauritania is Sebkhet Te-n-Dghamcha -5 m, the highest point Kediet Ijill 915 m. And the climate is desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty.


Inhabitants of Mauritania

Let's take a look how many people live in Mauritania. The number is: 3,758,571 (July 2017 est.). So this is not very populous country. Who lives here? black Moors (Haratines - Arab-speaking slaves, former slaves, and their descendants of African origin, enslaved by white Moors) 40%, white Moors (of Arab-Berber descent, known as Bidhan) 30%, Sub-Saharan Mauritanians (non-Arabic speaking, Halpulaar, Soninke, Wolof, and Bamara ethnic groups) 30%. What are the languages in Mauritania? Arabic (official and national), Pular, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French. And the religions: Muslim (official) 100%. How old are the people in average? 20.5 years. We have to add that this number is the median - so one half of the people is older than this, one half is younger. And what is their life expectancy (at birth)? This: 63.4 years. Where the people live in Mauritania? Here: with most of the country being a desert, vast areas of the country, particularly in the central, northern, and eastern areas, are without sizeable population clusters; half the population lives in or around the coastal capital of Nouakchott; smaller clusters are found near the southern border with Mali and Senegal. The major urban areas of Mauritania are: Nouakchott (capital) 968,000 (2015).

Government and Economy of Mauritania

The capital of Mauritania is Nouakchott and the government type presidential republic. Let's take a look at the administrative divisions - 15 regions (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Assaba, Brakna, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh ech Chargui, Hodh El Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott Nord, Nouakchott Ouest, Nouakchott Sud, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza. Regarding the economy of Mauritania, important industrial products are fish processing, oil production, mining (iron ore, gold, copper). Important agricultural products are dates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, camel and sheep. The most important export commodities are iron ore, fish and fish products, livestock, gold, copper, crude oil and the most important export partners are China 36.9%, Switzerland 13.5%, Spain 8.9%, Japan 7.5%, Russia 4.8%, Nigeria 4.1%, Italy 4.1% (2016). The most important import commodities are machinery and equipment, petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods and the most important import partners are US 13.4%, UAE 11.9%, Belgium 9.2%, China 8.9%, Netherlands 7.1%, France 6.6%, Morocco 6.3%, Vanuatu 5% (2016). How rich is Mauritania and how rich are people in this country? The most important number here is GDP per capita (PPP): $4,500 (2017 est.). This is a very low number. Let's add that this means Gross Domestic Product per person, which is recalculated with respect to the relative cost of local goods and services. And one more important number - population below poverty line: 31% (2014 est.).


Map of Mauritania



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