Fast Facts

Population:
11,658,000
Capital:
Dakar; 2,167,000
Area:
196,722 square kilometers (75,955 square miles)
Language:
French, Wolof, Pulaar, Diola, Jola, Mandinka
Religion:
Muslim, Christian
Currency:
CFA franc
Life Expectancy:
53
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $1,500
Literacy Percent:
40
Flag: Senegal
Map: Senegal

Senegal lies on West Africa's Atlantic coast. One of the first multiparty democracies in today's Africa, this river-laced land of marshes and plains was once ruled by Wolof chieftains. Three centuries of French administration ended in 1960. The moderate socialist government has initiated economic reforms. A deep natural harbor at Dakar makes the cosmopolitan city a major West African port. Peanuts from the drought-prone interior are an important export.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Agricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining
  • Agriculture: Peanuts, millet, corn, sorghum; cattle; fish
  • Exports: Fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton


— Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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