Senegal facts on every entity in the world

The French colonies of Senegal and French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. 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 implemented, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance 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 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, a former ally and prime minister. Since taking office, SALL has launched an economic reform program aimed at boosting economic growth, and his administration has been very active attempting to mediate regional conflicts



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

Geographic coordinates

14.00° N, 14.00° W

Area 88/257

total: 196,722 sq km

land: 192,530 sq km

water: 4,192 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than South Dakota

Land boundaries

total: 2,684 km

border countries (5): The Gambia 749 km, Guinea 363 km, Guinea-Bissau 341 km, Mali 489 km, Mauritania 742 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


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed elevation southwest of Kedougou 581 m

Natural resources

fish, phosphates, iron ore

Land use

agricultural land: 46.8%

arable land 17.4%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 29.1%

forest: 43.8%

other: 9.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

1,197 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources

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 38.7%, Pular 26.5%, Serer 15%, Mandinka 4.2%, Jola 4%, Soninke 2.3%, other 9.3% (includes Europeans and persons of Lebanese descent) (2010-11 est.)


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


Muslim 95.4% (most adhere to one of the four main Sufi brotherhoods), Christian 4.2% (mostly Roman Catholic), animist 0.4% (2010-11 est.)

Population 73/238

13,975,834 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.16% (male 2,960,395/female 2,931,298)

15-24 years: 20.4% (male 1,420,180/female 1,431,571)

25-54 years: 30.67% (male 1,960,745/female 2,325,620)

55-64 years: 3.84% (male 233,892/female 303,394)

65 years and over: 2.92% (male 184,196/female 224,543) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 87.6%

youth dependency ratio: 82.1%

elderly dependency ratio: 5.5%

potential support ratio: 18.2% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 18.5 years

male: 17.7 years

female: 19.4 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 29/233

2.45% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 24/224

34.52 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 78/225

8.46 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 159/222

-1.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 43.7% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

DAKAR (capital) 3.52 million (2015)

Sex ratio

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: 0.77 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth


note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010/11 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 28/184

315 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 34/224

total: 51.54 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 57.62 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 45.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 195/224

total population: 61.32 years

male: 59.29 years

female: 63.42 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 30/224

4.44 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

17.8% (2012/13)

Health expenditures 141/191

4.2% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density

0.3 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking water source


urban: 92.9% of population

rural: 67.3% of population

total: 78.5% of population


urban: 7.1% of population

rural: 32.7% of population

total: 21.5% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 65.4% of population

rural: 33.8% of population

total: 47.6% of population


urban: 34.6% of population

rural: 66.2% of population

total: 52.4% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.53% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

44,000 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

2,400 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 145/191

8.3% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 40/138

16.8% (2013)

Education expenditures 53/173

5.6% of GDP (2010)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 8 years

male: 8 years

female: 8 years (2010)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 77/134

total: 12.7%

male: 8.3%

female: 19% (2011 est.)


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 2009 (2015)

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


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Senegal

dual citizenship recognized: no, but Senegalese citizens do not automatically lose their citizenship if they acquire citizenship in another state

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Macky SALL (since 2 April 2012)

head of government: Prime Minister Mohammed Abdallah Boun DIONNE (since 4 July 2014)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 February 2012 with a runoff on 25 March 2012 (next to be held in 2019); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Macky SALL elected president; percent of vote in runoff - Macky SALL ( Alliance for the Republic-Yakaar ) 65.8%, Abdoulaye WADE (PDS) 34.2%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (150 seats; 90 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 60 directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-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 Gis Gis coalition 4, MCRN-Bes Du Nakk 4, PVD 2, MRSD 2, URD 1, AJ/PADS 1, other 5

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Final Appeals or Cour de Cassation (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 5 members including the court president, vice-president, and 3 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Court of Final Appeals judges' appointed by the president upon recommendation of the Higher Council of the Judiciary, a body chaired by the president of the republic; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members appointed by the president of the republic to serve 6-year terms with renewal of 3 members every 2 years

subordinate courts: High Court of Justice (for crime of high treason by president); Supreme Court (for abuses by government executives and local officials); Court of Auditors; Courts of Appeal; Assize Courts (4); Regional and District Courts, Labor Court

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for the Republic-Yakaar or APR-Yakaar [Macky SALL]

And-Jef/African Party for Democracy and Socialism or AJ/PADS [Mamadou Diop DECROIX, Landing SAVANE]

Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition or BBY [Macky SALL] (includes APR-Yakaar, AFP)

Benno Siggil Senegal (a coalition of opposition parties)

Bokk Gis Gis coalition [Pape DIOP]

Citizen Movement for National Reform or MCRN-Bes Du Nakk

Front for Socialism and Democracy/Benno Jubel or FSD/BJ [Cheikh Abdoulaye Bamba DIEYE]

Party for Truth and Development or PVD [Cheikh Ahmadou Kara MBAKE]

Republican Movement for Socialism and Democracy or MRSD

Senagalese Patriotic Movement

United in Hope Coalition

Senegalese Democratic Party or PDS [Abdoulaye WADE]

Political pressure groups and leaders

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

International organization participation


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)

lion; national colors: green, yellow, red

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; lyrics written by Leopold Sedar SENGHOR, Senegal's first president; the anthem 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 mining, construction, tourism, fisheries and agriculture which is the primary source of employment in rural areas. The country's key export industries include phosphate mining, fertilizer production, agricultural products and commercial fishing and it is also working on oil exploration projects. Senegal relies heavily on donor assistance, remittances and foreign direct investment.

President Macky SALL, who was elected in March 2012 under a reformist policy agenda, inherited an economy with high energy costs, a challenging business environment, and a culture of overspending. President SALL unveiled an ambitious economic plan, the Emerging Senegal Plan, which aims to implement priority economic reforms and investment projects to increase economic growth while preserving macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability. Bureaucratic bottlenecks and a challenging business climate are among the perennial challenges that may slow the implementation of this plan.

Senegal is receiving technical support from the IMF from 2015-2017 under a Policy Support Instrument to assist with implementation of the Emerging Senegal Plan. Investors have signaled confidence in the country through Senegal’s successful Eurobond issuances in recent years, including in 2014.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 119/230

$36.3 billion (2015 est.)

$34.54 billion (2014 est.)

$32.98 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$13.99 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 38/225

5.1% (2015 est.)

4.7% (2014 est.)

3.6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 196/230

$2,500 (2015 est.)

$2,400 (2014 est.)

$2,300 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 81/179

20.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

19.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

17.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 76.5%

government consumption: 15.2%

investment in fixed capital: 25.7%

investment in inventories: 0.9%

exports of goods and services: 27%

imports of goods and services: -45.3%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 17.1%

industry: 24.3%

services: 58.6% (2015 est.)

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, zircon, and gold mining, construction materials, ship construction and repair

Industrial production growth rate 23/202

5.8% (2015 est.)

Labor force 67/233

6.515 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 77.5%

industry and services: 22.5% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate 200/207

48% (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line

46.7% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.5%

highest 10%: 31.1% (2011)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 60/144

40.3 (2011)

40.3 (2011)


revenues: $3.394 billion

expenditures: $4.031 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 127/219

24.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 162/220

-4.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 68/176

55.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

53.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 23/226

-0.4% (2015 est.)

-1.1% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 135/156

0.25% (31 December 2010)

4.25% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 46/184

14.3% (31 December 2015 est.)

14.5% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 105/192

$4.067 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.931 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 122/193

$6.351 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$6.446 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 121/191

$5.315 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$4.882 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance 114/197

-$849 million (2015 est.)

-$1.377 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 134/224

$2.307 billion (2015 est.)

$2.678 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

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

Exports - partners

Mali 16%, Switzerland 10.5%, UAE 5.2%, France 4.6% (2014)

Imports 125/223

$4.668 billion (2015 est.)

$5.696 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

food and beverages, capital goods, fuels

Imports - partners

France 18.4%, Nigeria 8.7%, China 7.7%, Netherlands 6.3%, India 5.8%, Turkey 4.6%, Belgium 4.3% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 118/170

$2.099 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.038 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 123/206

$6.536 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$5.223 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -

580.5 (2015 est.)

494.42 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)

510.53 (2012 est.)

471.87 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 131/220

3.148 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 140/219

2.586 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 193/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 199/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 135/214

623,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 44/214

99.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 178/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 200/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 105/212

0.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 188/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 186/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 71/214

15,560 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 187/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 97/214

16,190 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 108/212

38,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 106/214

2,070 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 104/213

23,820 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 84/216

46 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 110/215

46 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 177/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 131/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 191/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 115/212

7.139 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 115/219

total subscriptions: 310,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 67/217

total: 14.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 105 (2014 est.)

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 8, FM 20, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

7 (2008)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 197/232

237 (2012)

Internet users 84/217

total: 3 million

percent of population: 22.0% (2014 est.)


Airports 136/236

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)


gas 43 km; refined products 8 km (2013)

Railways 92/136

total: 906 km

narrow gauge: 906 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 125/223

total: 15,000 km

paved: 5,300 km (includes 7 km of expressways)

unpaved: 9,700 km (2015)

Waterways 64/107

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

Merchant marine 154/156

total: 1

by type: passenger/cargo 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Dakar

Military and Security

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

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

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): 13,699 (Mauritania) (2014)

IDPs: up to 24,000 (clashes between government troops and separatists in Casamance region) (2014)

Illicit drugs

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