Discover Mauritania in Africa

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Mauritania with its capital Nouakchott is located in Africa (Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 1,030,701 square kilometres (slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico) with 3,364,000 citizens. Arabic, , , French, and Wolof are some of the languages used by the majority in Mauritania (consider regional differences). Senegal, Algeria, Western Sahara and Mali are bordering countries.

Mauritania is a country in northwest Africa. Geographically part of the Maghreb, Mauritania borders Algeria, Senegal and Mali, along with the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Mauritania is a land about desert and ocean. It is of course no wonder that the main attractions for most tourists are the desert in Adrar and Tagant areas (around Atar), and the ocean in Banc d'Arguin (a natural reserve with dunes ending in the sea, full of millions of birds and protected by UNESCO). The climate is characterized by extremes in temperature and by meager and irregular rainfall. Annual temperature variations are small, although diurnal variations can be extreme.

Pictures from the Mauritanian capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Nouakchott is like. We have selected more pictures from Nouakchott on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate, hints for travelling

The terrain offers mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara having some central hills. The average density of population is about 3 per km². The climate in Mauritania can be described as desert with constantly hot, dry, dusty. Possible natural disasters include hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind blows primarily in March and April or periodic droughts.

To reach someone in Mauritania dial +222 prior to a number. There are 74,500 installed telephones. And there are 2,182,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".mr". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 220V - 50Hz.

Description of the flag of Mauritania

Green with a yellow five-pointed star above a yellow, horizontal crescent; the closed side of the crescent is down; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam; the gold color stands for the sands of the Sahara.

National administrative regions of Mauritania

Historical background information

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. The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among its black population (Afro-Mauritanians) and white and black Moor (Arab-Berber) communities, and is having to confront a growing terrorism threat by al-Qa''ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Demographic Information

Mauritania has 3 persons having reached the age of 100 years. Girls make up for 2 of this count (which is 67%). 483,524 young citizens below the age of five (and make up for 15% of the total population). 33.7 babies are born per thousand citizens.

Mauritanian Age Distribution

Blue bars represent male citizens. Red bars represent female citizens. A pair or bars represents a single age group spanning five years each. Data has been released 2011.

Gender Distribution (Full Population)

Total share of male (blue) and female (red) citizens of the total population of Mauritania

Growth of Population (per thousands)

Babies born per thousand citizens (blue) and deaths (red) over the past ten years.

Geography And Economy Facts

Geographic Fact Data
Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Senegal, Algeria, Western Sahara, Mali
Capital: Nouakchott
Size 1,030,700 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 397,955 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico
Population 3,364,000

Economy Facts

Technology and Economy Data
Currency Name: Ouguiya, Currency Code: MRO
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .mr
Telephone Country Prefix +222
Mobile Phone Connections 2,182,000
Landline Phone Connections 74,500
Military Spendings 5.5% (of GDP, Gross Domestic Product)

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Type of Data Value World Rank
Area 1,030,700 (sq km) 29

People and Society

Type of Data Value World Rank
Population 3,437,610 133
Population growth rate 2.29 (%) 36
Birth rate 32.31 (births/1,000 population) 35
Death rate 8.50 (deaths/1,000 population) 81
Net migration rate -0.87 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 145
Maternal mortality rate 510.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 18
Infant mortality rate 57.48 (deaths/1,000 live births) 31
Life expectancy at birth 61.91 (years) 188
Total fertility rate 4.15 (children born/woman) 36
Health expenditures 4.40 (% of GDP) 157
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.70 (%) 61
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 14,000 88
HIV/AIDS - deaths 1,000 77
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 12.70 (%) 127
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 15.90 (%) 48
Education expenditures 3.90 (% of GDP) 114


Type of Data Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 7,824,000,000 157
GDP - real growth rate 6.40 (%) 39
GDP - per capita (PPP) 2,200 190
Labor force 1,318,000 135
Unemployment rate 30.00 (%) 182
Distribution of family income - Gini index 39 67
Taxes and other revenues 37.3 (% of GDP) 56
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -1.80 (% of GDP) 83
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 7.00 (%) 177
Central bank discount rate 12.00 (%) 17
Commercial bank prime lending rate 18.00 (%) 24
Stock of domestic credit 2,349,000,000 136
Industrial production growth rate 2.00 (%) 113
Current account balance -659,800,000 103
Exports 2,878,000,000 132
Imports 3,152,000,000 147
Debt - external 2,942,000,000 134


Type of Data Value World Rank
Electricity - production 474,000,000 (kWh) 162
Electricity - consumption 440,800,000 (kWh) 170
Electricity - installed generating capacity 253000 (kW) 152
Electricity - from fossil fuels 61.7 (% of total installed capacity) 134
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 38.3 (% of total installed capacity) 58
Crude oil - production 7,738 (bbl/day) 83
Crude oil - exports 10,000 (bbl/day) 59
Crude oil - proved reserves 20000000 (bbl) 86
Refined petroleum products - consumption 18,120 (bbl/day) 134
Refined petroleum products - imports 12,870 (bbl/day) 126
Natural gas - proved reserves 28,320,000,000 (cu m) 72
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 2,890,000 (Mt) 142


Type of Data Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 72,300 157
Telephones - mobile cellular 3,315,000 122
Internet hosts 22 221
Internet users 75,000 170


Type of Data Value World Rank
Airports 28 121
Roadways 11,066 (km) 133


Type of Data Value World Rank
Military expenditures 5.50 (% of GDP) 13

Based on the content from The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by, CIA world facts book Edition 2010, 2013 and 2014, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases as well as other sources.