Countries of the World:
Resources about Mauritania including maps, facts about the land, people, history,
government, political conditions, and economy.
Economy of Mauritania
GDP (at official exchange rate, 2009 est.): U.S. $3.029
Annual growth rate (2009): -0.9%.
Per capita GDP (2009): $939.
Natural resources: petroleum, fish, iron ore, gypsum,
copper, gum arabic, phosphates, salt and gold.
Agriculture (13% of GDP 2007): Products--livestock,
traditional fisheries, millet, maize, wheat, dates, rice.
Industry (47% of GDP 2007): Types--mining, commercial
Services (41% of GDP 2007).
Trade: Exports (2009) 1.37 billion: iron ore, fish and fish
products, gold, copper, petroleum. Export partners (2007)--
China 30.5%, France 9.5%, Italy 8.6%, Spain 8.5%, Japan
5.5%, Netherlands 5.3%, Belgium 5%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.7%.
Imports (2009)--$1.43 billion: machinery and equipment,
petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer
goods. Import partners (2007)--France 16.7%, China 8.2%,
Spain 6.8%, U.S. 6.2%, Belgium 5.8%, Brazil 5.5%.
Currency: Ouguiya (UM).
USAID: Total FY 2009 USAID humanitarian and development
assistance to Mauritania--$11,100,000.
Geography of Mauritania
Area: 1,030,070 sq. km. (419,212 sq. mi.); slightly larger
than Texas and New Mexico combined.
Cities (2004): Capital--Nouakchott (pop. 708,000). Other
cities--Nouadhibou (72,000), Rosso (50,000), Kaedi (34,000),
Zouerate (34,000), Kiffa (33,000), Atar (24,000).
Terrain: Northern four-fifths barren desert; southern 20%
mainly Sahelian with small-scale irrigated and rain-fed
agriculture in the Senegal River basin.
Climate: Predominantly hot and dry.
Government of Mauritania
Independence: November 28, 1960.
Constitution: Approved 1991. Original constitution promulgated
Branches: Executive--president (head of state). Legislative--
bicameral national assembly, directly elected lower house (81
members), and upper house (56 members) chosen indirectly by
municipal councilors. Judicial--a supreme court and lower
courts are nominally independent but subject to control of
executive branch; judicial decisions are rendered mainly on
the basis of Shari'a (Islamic law) for social/family matters
and a western style legal code, applied in commercial and some
Political parties: 21.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
National day: November 28, Independence Day.
Map of Mauritania
This Map of Mauritania shows the borders of the country, as
well as rivers, and cities including Nouakchott the capital of
Mauritania. (Maps from the U.S. State Department)
Official Name of Mauritania
The Official Name of Mauritania is the Islamic Republic of
Mauritania. (Facts from the U.S. State Department)
People of Mauritania
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Mauritanian(s).
Annual population growth rate: 2.5%.
Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber (White Moor), Arab-Berber-Negroid
(Black Moor), Haalpulaar, Soninke, Wolof (Black African
Languages: Arabic (official), Hassaniya (Arabic dialect),
French, Pulaar, Wolof, and Soninke.
Education: Years compulsory--six. Attendance (student
population enrolled in primary school)--82%. Adult literacy (%
of population age 15+)--59%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--67/1,000. Life expectancy--64
Work force: Agriculture and fisheries--50%. Services and
commerce--20%. Government--20%. Industry and transportation--
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