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Countries of the World: Mauritania
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 billion. 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 fishing. 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 Type: Republic. Independence: November 28, 1960. Constitution: Approved 1991. Original constitution promulgated 1961. 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 criminal cases. 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). Population: 3,162,338. Annual population growth rate: 2.5%. Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber (White Moor), Arab-Berber-Negroid (Black Moor), Haalpulaar, Soninke, Wolof (Black African Mauritanians). Religion: Islam. 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 yrs. Work force: Agriculture and fisheries--50%. Services and commerce--20%. Government--20%. Industry and transportation-- 10%.

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