- Nouakchott; 600,000
- 1,030,700 square kilometers (397,955 square miles)
- Hassaniya Arabic, Wolof, Pulaar, Soninke, French
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $1,700
- Literacy Percent:
Mauritania Facts Flag
Part of French West Africa until independence in 1960, Mauritania is influenced by Arab as well as African cultures. Crop growing is largely confined to the floodplain of the Sénégal River, straining relations with the country of Senegal over use of the river. Some of the world's richest fishing grounds lie off the coast. The population still largely depends on agriculture and livestock for their livelihood, even though recurring droughts forced most nomads and many subsistence farmers into the cities. The country has been further strained by internal racial divisions between blacks and Arabs.
Industry: Fish processing, mining of iron ore and gypsum
Agriculture: Dates, millet, sorghum, rice; cattle
Exports: Iron ore, fish and fish products, gold
Get inspired with our Ultimate Adventure Bucket List, a collection of 40 trips that range from totally extreme to actually doable.
Whether you trace it to New York's South Bronx or the villages of West Africa, hip-hop has become the voice of a generation.
On the savannas of Senegal, chimpanzees are hunting bush babies with spearlike sticks, offering clues to our own evolution.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
View scenes of Canada's city life and countryside—all taken by our Nat Geo photo community.