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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 196,190 square kilometres (slightly smaller than South Dakota) with 12,853,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Senegal

The topography includes 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 and dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind. Possible natural disasters include 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

Senegal Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: Africa
Neighbours: Guinea, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Mali
Capital: Dakar
Size196,190 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 75,749 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than South Dakota
CurrencyName Franc, Currency Code:XOF
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).sn
Telephone Country Prefix+221
Mobile Phone Connections6,902,000
Landline Phone Connections278,800

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area196,722 (sq km)88

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population13,300,410 71
Population growth rate2.51 (%)29
Birth rate35.64 (births/1,000 population)24
Death rate8.85 (deaths/1,000 population)71
Net migration rate-1.74 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)155
Maternal mortality rate370.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)27
Infant mortality rate53.93 (deaths/1,000 live births)36
Life expectancy at birth60.57 (years)192
Total fertility rate4.61 (children born/woman)27
Health expenditures5.70 (% of GDP)116
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.90 (%)50
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS59,000 56
HIV/AIDS - deaths2,600 50
Obesity - adult prevalence rate6.80 (%)145
Children under the age of 5 years underweight19.20 (%)37
Education expenditures5.60 (% of GDP)50
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2414.80 (%)85


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)27,010,000,000 118
GDP - real growth rate3.50 (%)98
GDP - per capita (PPP)2,100 193
Labor force5,852,000 67
Unemployment rate48.00 (%)193
Distribution of family income - Gini index41.30 54
Investment (gross fixed)24.80 (% of GDP)54
Taxes and other revenues23.90 (% of GDP)131
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5.80 (% of GDP)168
Public debt33.60 (% of GDP)106
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.50 (%)26
Central bank discount rate4.25 (%)87
Commercial bank prime lending rate14.50 (%)49
Stock of narrow money3,538,000,000 114
Stock of broad money5,818,000,000 122
Stock of domestic credit4,315,000,000 119
Industrial production growth rate4.90 (%)61
Current account balance-1,298,000,000 120
Exports2,458,000,000 138
Imports5,109,000,000 129
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold2,250,000,000 120
Debt - external4,117,000,000 127


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production2,608,000,000 (kWh)131
Electricity - consumption2,123,000,000 (kWh)140
Electricity - installed generating capacity638,000 (kW)131
Electricity - from fossil fuels99.70 (% of total installed capacity)49
Electricity - from other renewable sources0.30 (% of total installed capacity)82
Crude oil - imports13,040 (bbl/day)76
Refined petroleum products - production16,850 (bbl/day)98
Refined petroleum products - consumption40,600 (bbl/day)109
Refined petroleum products - exports7,046 (bbl/day)93
Refined petroleum products - imports16,700 (bbl/day)111
Natural gas - production50,000,000 (cu m)84
Natural gas - consumption50,000,000 (cu m)109
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy6,679,000 (Mt)114


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use346,400 110
Telephones - mobile cellular9,353,000 79
Internet hosts237 198
Internet users1,818,000 76


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports20 136
Railways906 (km)92
Roadways14,008 (km)125
Waterways1,000 (km)65
Merchant marine1 153


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.60 (% 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

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 settled fr ...
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 ...