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Fact File for the Wolof of Senegal

Welcome to our version of the world famous CIA Fact Book. We will attempt to keep this as up to date as possible. This is based on information last updated on May 13 2010.

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

Geographic coordinates: 14 00 N, 14 00 W

total area: 196,190 sq km
land area: 192,000 sq km
water: 4,190 sq km comparative area: slightly smaller than South Dakota in the USA or the state of Victoria in Australia.

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

Coastline: 531 km

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

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

Terrain: generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha 581 m

Natural resources: fish, phosphates, iron ore

Land use:
arable land: 12%
permanent crops: 0.24%
other: 87% (2005 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,200 sq km (2003 est.)

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

 Note: The Gambia is almost an enclave of Senegal



Population: 14,086,103 (July 2010 est.) [67th most populous nation in the World]

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42% (male 2,975,870; female 2,940,929)
15-64 years: 55% (male 3,842,942; female 3,903,169)
65 years and over: 3% (male 197,422; female 225,771) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 18.7 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.68% (2010 est.) [23rd fastest in the world]

Birth rate: 36.23 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) [26th greatest in the world]

Death rate: 9.55 deaths/1,000 population (2010 est.) [67th greatest in the world]

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)

Urbanization: urban population 42% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.1% annual rate of change (2005-2010 est)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 57.7 deaths/1,000 live births [38th highest in the world]
male: 64.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 59.38 years [189th highest out of 224 nations in the world]
male: 57.48 years
female: 61.34 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.86 children born/woman (2010 est.) [27th highest in the world]

adult prevalence rate: 1% (2007 est.)
people living with HIV/AIDS: 67,000 (2007 est.)
deaths: 1,800 (2007 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2009)

noun: Senegalese (singular and plural)
adjective: Senegalese

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

Religions: Muslim 94%, indigenous beliefs 1%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic)

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

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 39.3%
male: 51.1%
female: 29.2% (2002 est.)



conventional long form: Republic of Senegal
conventional short form: Senegal
local long form: Republique du Sénégal
local short form: Sénégal

Digraph: SG

Type: republic under multiparty democratic rule

Capital: Dakar Time zone UTC 0

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

Independence: 4 April 1960 from France; complete independence was achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960 (The Gambia and Senegal signed an agreement on 12 December 1981 (constituted February 1982) that called for the creation of a loose confederation to be known as Senegambia, but the agreement was dissolved on 30 September 1989)

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 April (1960)

Constitution: 3 March 1963, revised 1991, 2001

Legal system: based on French civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court, the Council of State audits the government's accounting office; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Abdoulaye WADE (since 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Soulayemane Ndene NDIAYE (since 1 May 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term under new constitution; election last held 25 February 2007 (next to held in 2012); prime minister appointed by the president

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate, reinstituted in 2007, (100 seats; 35 members indirectly elected and 65 members appointed by the president) and the 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: last held 19 August 2007

Judicial branch: under the terms of a reform of the judicial system implemented in 1992, the principal organs of the judiciary are as follows: Constitutional Court; Council of State; Court of Final Appeals or Cour de Cassation; Court of Appeals

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]; 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]; People's Labor Party or PTP [El Hadji DIOUF]; Reform Party or PR [Abdourahim AGNE]; 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); Union for Democratic Renewal or URD [Djibo Leyti KA]

Other political or pressure groups: labor; Muslim brotherhoods; students; teachers


Flag: three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red with a small green five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia



Overview: In January 1994, Senegal undertook a bold and ambitious economic reform program with the support of the international donor community. This reform began with a 50% devaluation of Senegal's currency, the CFA franc, which was linked at a fixed rate to the French franc, and now to the euro. Government price controls and subsidies have been steadily dismantled. After seeing its economy contract by 2.1% in 1993, Senegal made an important turnaround, thanks to the reform program, with real growth in GDP averaging over 5% annually during 1995-2008. Annual inflation had been pushed down to the single digits. As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Senegal is working toward greater regional integration with a unified external tariff and a more stable monetary policy. High unemployment, however, continues to prompt illegal migrants to flee Senegal in search of better job opportunities in Europe. Senegal was also beset by an energy crisis that caused widespread blackouts in 2006 and 2007. The phosphate industry has struggled for two years to secure capital. Reduced output has directly impacted GDP. In 2007, Senegal signed agreements for major new mining concessions for iron, zircon, and gold with foreign companies. Firms from Dubai have agreed to manage and modernize Dakar's maritime port and create a new special economic zone. Senegal still relies heavily upon outside donor assistance. Under the IMF's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief program, Senegal has benefited from eradication of two-thirds of its bilateral, multilateral, and private-sector debt. In 2007, Senegal and the IMF agreed to a new, non-disbursing, Policy Support Initiative program. In September 2009, Senegal signed a Compact with the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation, which will provide $540 million in infrastructure development, primarily in road construction along Senegal's northern and southern borders in conjunction with adjacent irrigation and agriculture projects.

GDP: purchasing power parity - US$22.38 billion (2009 est.) [118th of 227 nations in the world]

GDP - real growth rate: 1.7% (2009 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - US$1,600 (2009 est.) [195th poorest of 227 nations in the world]

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 13.8%
industry: 23.3%
services: 62.9% (2009 est.)

Labor force: 5.578 million (77% are engaged in subsistence farming; 22% wage earners)
by occupation: private sector 40%, government and parapublic 60%

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)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.8% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate: 48% (urban youth 40%) (2001 est.)

revenues: $2.431 billion
expenditures: $3 billion (2009 est.)

Public Debt: 24% of GDP (2009 est) [98th lowest in the world]

Exports: $1.652 million (2009 est increased from previous year)
commodities: fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton
partners: Mali 19.2%, India 9.4%, France 5.4%, Gambia 5.3%, Italy 4.8% (2008)

Imports: $3.864 billion (2009 est. increased from previous year)
commodities: foods and beverages, capital goods, fuels
partners: France 19.9%, UK 15.3%, China 6.8%, Belgium 4.6%, Thailand 4.5%, Netherlands 4.1% (2008)

External debt: $2.763 billion (31 Dec 2009 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 1.7% (2009 est.)

Industries: agricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, construction materials

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

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

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States

Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 481.35 (2009), 447.81 (2008), 481.83 (2007), 522.89 (2006), 527.47 (2005)
note: The official rate is pegged to the French franc, and beginning 12 January 1994, the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948. Since 1 January 1999, the CFAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro 

Fiscal year: calendar year



total: 906 km
narrow gauge: 906 km 1.000-meter gauge (70 km double track)

total: 13,576 km
paved: 3,972 km
unpaved: 9,604 km (2003)

Inland waterways: 897 km total; 785 km on the Senegal, 112 km on the Saloum

Ports: Dakar, Kaolack, Matam, Podor, Richard-Toll, Saint-Louis, Ziguinchor

Merchant marine:
total: 1 bulk ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,995 GRT/3,775 DWT

total: 19 (2009)
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 6
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 1 (2009.)



Telephone 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; microwave radio relay, coaxial cable and fiber-optic cable in trunk system
international: 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) (2007)

broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 20, shortwave 1 (2001)
radios: 1.24 million (1997)

broadcast stations: 7 (2008)

Internet hosts: 227 (2009)

Internet users: 1.02 million (2008)


Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Police (Surete Nationale)

Manpower availability:
males age 16-49: 3,211,279
females age 16-49: 3,250,128 (2010 est.)
males fit for military service age 11-49: 2,109,080 (2010 est.)
males  reaching military age annually: 157,468 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures: 1.4% of GDP (2005 est)



Originally published by the Central Intelligence Agency Attn.: Office of Public and Agency Information Washington, DC 20505 Telephone: [1] (703) 351-2053

Links to Profiles on Senegal

Senegal - Introduction   Short profile in prose covering geography, people, natural resources and history from the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan.
UNICEF Country Statistics - Senegal   Health and education statistics.

USA Government:

CIA -- The World Factbook 2010 -- Senegal The whole factbook for the years 2000 to 2010 can also be downloaded
U.S. Dept of State, Background Notes on Senegal   More detailed profile than the CIA World Factbook.
Senegal US Consular Information Sheet   A profile tailored for travellers covering mainly safety and health concerns.
Human Rights reports - Senegal:
   US State Dept 2009;
   Amnesty International 2009;
   Human Rights Watch
Religious Freedom report - Senegal 2009

World Bank:

Main page for Senegal
Data profile   Table of statistical figures for the years 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008.
Senegal at a glance   Document in .pdf format with detailed economic indicator statistics.