Senegal Flag Icon

Senegal Country Guide

Explore Senegal in Africa

Senegal with the capital city Dakar is located in Africa (Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 196,191 square kilometres (slightly smaller than South Dakota) with 12,853,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The landscape offers generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast. The average density of population is approximately 66 per km². The notable climate conditions in Senegal can be described as tropical with hot, humid, rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds, dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind. Potential threats by nature are lowlands seasonally flooded or periodic droughts.

To reach someone in Senegal dial +221 prior to a number. There are 278,800 installed telephones. And there are 6,902,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".sn". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Senegal

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.

The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. 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 carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) 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 to 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.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Guinea, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Mali
Capital: Dakar
Size 196,190 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 75,749 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than South Dakota
Population 12,853,000
Currency Name: Franc, Currency Code: XOF
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .sn
Telephone Country Prefix +221
Mobile Phone Connections 6,902,000
Landline Phone Connections 278,800

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).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 196,722 (sq km) 88

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 13,300,410 71
Population growth rate 2.51 (%) 29
Birth rate 35.64 (births/1,000 population) 24
Death rate 8.85 (deaths/1,000 population) 71
Net migration rate -1.74 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 155
Maternal mortality rate 370.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 27
Infant mortality rate 53.93 (deaths/1,000 live births) 36
Life expectancy at birth 60.57 (years) 192
Total fertility rate 4.61 (children born/woman) 27
Health expenditures 5.70 (% of GDP) 116
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.90 (%) 50
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 59,000 56
HIV/AIDS - deaths 2,600 50
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 6.80 (%) 145
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 19.20 (%) 37
Education expenditures 5.60 (% of GDP) 50
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 14.8 (%) 85


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 27,010,000,000 118
GDP - real growth rate 3.50 (%) 98
GDP - per capita (PPP) 2,100 193
Labor force 5,852,000 67
Unemployment rate 48.00 (%) 193
Distribution of family income - Gini index 41 54
Investment (gross fixed) 24.80 (% of GDP) 54
Taxes and other revenues 23.9 (% of GDP) 131
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -5.80 (% of GDP) 168
Public debt 33.60 (% of GDP) 106
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.50 (%) 26
Central bank discount rate 4.25 (%) 87
Commercial bank prime lending rate 14.50 (%) 49
Stock of narrow money 3,538,000,000 114
Stock of broad money 5,818,000,000 122
Stock of domestic credit 4,315,000,000 119
Industrial production growth rate 4.90 (%) 61
Current account balance -1,298,000,000 120
Exports 2,458,000,000 138
Imports 5,109,000,000 129
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 2,250,000,000 120
Debt - external 4,117,000,000 127


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 2,608,000,000 (kWh) 131
Electricity - consumption 2,123,000,000 (kWh) 140
Electricity - installed generating capacity 638000 (kW) 131
Electricity - from fossil fuels 99.7 (% of total installed capacity) 49
Electricity - from other renewable sources 0.3 (% of total installed capacity) 82
Crude oil - imports 13,040 (bbl/day) 76
Refined petroleum products - production 16,850 (bbl/day) 98
Refined petroleum products - consumption 40,600 (bbl/day) 109
Refined petroleum products - exports 7,046 (bbl/day) 93
Refined petroleum products - imports 16,700 (bbl/day) 111
Natural gas - production 50,000,000 (cu m) 84
Natural gas - consumption 50,000,000 (cu m) 109
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 6,679,000 (Mt) 114


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 346,400 110
Telephones - mobile cellular 9,353,000 79
Internet hosts 237 198
Internet users 1,818,000 76


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 20 136
Railways 906 (km) 92
Roadways 14,008 (km) 125
Waterways 1,000 (km) 65
Merchant marine 1 153


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.60 (% of GDP) 92

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes
The site, located in south-east Senegal, includes three geographical areas: the Bassari–Salémata area, the Bedik–Bandafassi area and the Fula–Dindéfello area, each with its specific morphological traits. The Bassari, Fula and Bedik peoples se ...
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary
Situated in the Senegal River delta, the Djoudj Sanctuary is a wetland of 16,000 ha, comprising a large lake surrounded by streams, ponds and backwaters. It forms a living but fragile sanctuary for some 1.5 million birds, such as the white pelican, t ...
Island of Gorée
The island of Gorée lies off the coast of Senegal, opposite Dakar. From the 15th to the 19th century, it was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast. Ruled in succession by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and French, its architecture is ...
Island of Saint-Louis
Founded as a French colonial settlement in the 17th century, Saint-Louis was urbanised in the mid-19th century. It was the capital of Senegal from 1872 to 1957 and played an important cultural and economic role in the whole of West Africa. The locati ...
Niokolo-Koba National Park
Located in a well-watered area along the banks of the Gambia river, the gallery forests and savannahs of Niokolo-Koba National Park have a very rich fauna, among them Derby elands (largest of the antelopes), chimpanzees, lions, leopards and a large p ...
Saloum Delta
Fishing and shellfish gathering have sustained human life in the 5,000 km2 property, which is formed by the arms of three rivers. The site comprises brackish channels encompassing over 200 islands and islets, mangrove forest, an Atlantic marine envir ...