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Mauritania People 2020

SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











Mauritania People 2020
SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on January 27, 2020

Population:
4,005,475 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 128
[see also: Population country ranks ]
[see also: Population country ranks ]

Nationality:
noun: Mauritanian(s)
adjective: Mauritanian

Ethnic groups:
black Moors (Haratines - Arab-speaking slaves, former slaves, and their descendants of African origin, enslaved by white Moors) 40%, white Moors (of Arab-Berber descent, known as Beydane) 30%, Sub-Saharan Mauritanians (non-Arabic speaking, largely resident in or originating from the Senegal River Valley, including Halpulaar, Fulani, Soninke, Wolof, and Bambara ethnic groups) 30%

Languages:
Arabic (official and national), Pular, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French
note: the spoken Arabic in Mauritania differs considerably from the modern standard Arabic used for official written purposes or in the media; the Mauritanian dialect, which incorporates many Berber words, is referred to as Hassaniya

Religions:
Muslim (official) 100%

Demographic profile:
With a sustained total fertility rate of about 4 children per woman and almost 60% of the population under the age of 25, Mauritania's population is likely to continue growing for the foreseeable future. Mauritania's large youth cohort is vital to its development prospects, but available schooling does not adequately prepare students for the workplace. Girls continue to be underrepresented in the classroom, educational quality remains poor, and the dropout rate is high. The literacy rate is only about 50%, even though access to primary education has improved since the mid-2000s. Women's restricted access to education and discriminatory laws maintain gender inequality - worsened by early and forced marriages and female genital cutting.

The denial of education to black Moors also helps to perpetuate slavery. Although Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981 (the last country in the world to do so) and made it a criminal offense in 2007, the millenniums-old practice persists largely because anti-slavery laws are rarely enforced and the custom is so ingrained.  According to a 2018 nongovernmental organization's report, a little more than 2% of Mauritania's population is enslaved, which includes individuals sujbected to forced labor and forced marriage, although many thousands of individuals who are legally free contend with discrimination, poor education, and a lack of identity papers and, therefore, live in de facto slavery.  The UN and international press outlets have claimed that up to 20% of Mauritania's population is enslaved, which would be the highest rate worldwide.

Drought, poverty, and unemployment have driven outmigration from Mauritania since the 1970s. Early flows were directed toward other West African countries, including Senegal, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, and Gambia. The 1989 Mauritania-Senegal conflict forced thousands of black Mauritanians to take refuge in Senegal and pushed labor migrants toward the Gulf, Libya, and Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Mauritania has accepted migrants from neighboring countries to fill labor shortages since its independence in 1960 and more recently has received refugees escaping civil wars, including tens of thousands of Tuaregs who fled Mali in 2012.

Mauritania was an important transit point for Sub-Saharan migrants moving illegally to North Africa and Europe. In the mid-2000s, as border patrols increased in the Strait of Gibraltar, security increased around Spain's North African enclaves (Ceuta and Melilla), and Moroccan border controls intensified, illegal migration flows shifted from the Western Mediterranean to Spain's Canary Islands. In 2006, departure points moved southward along the West African coast from Morocco and Western Sahara to Mauritania's two key ports (Nouadhibou and the capital Nouakchott), and illegal migration to the Canaries peaked at almost 32,000. The numbers fell dramatically in the following years because of joint patrolling off the West African coast by Frontex (the EU's border protection agency), Spain, Mauritania, and Senegal; the expansion of Spain's border surveillance system; and the 2008 European economic downturn.

Age structure:
0-14 years: 37.56% (male 755,788/female 748,671)
[see also: Age structure - 0-14 years country ranks ]
15-24 years: 19.71% (male 387,140/female 402,462)
[see also: Age structure - 15-24 years country ranks ]
25-54 years: 33.91% (male 630,693/female 727,518)
[see also: Age structure - 25-54 years country ranks ]
55-64 years: 4.9% (male 88,888/female 107,201)
[see also: Age structure - 55-64 years country ranks ]
65 years and over: 3.92% (male 66,407/female 90,707) (2020 est.)


[see also: Age structure - 65 years and over country ranks ]
population pyramid:population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Mauritania. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page under the References tab.

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 76.5 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - total dependency ratio country ranks ]
youth dependency ratio: 71 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - youth dependency ratio country ranks ]
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - elderly dependency ratio country ranks ]
potential support ratio: 18.3 (2015 est.)
[see also: Dependency ratios - potential support ratio country ranks ]

Median age:
total: 21 years
[see also: Median age - total country ranks ]
male: 20.1 years
[see also: Median age - male country ranks ]
female: 22 years (2020 est.)
[see also: Median age - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 188

Population growth rate:
2.09% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 42
[see also: Population growth rate country ranks ]
[see also: Population growth rate country ranks ]

Birth rate:
29 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 36
[see also: Birth rate country ranks ]
[see also: Birth rate country ranks ]

Death rate:
7.5 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 105
[see also: Death rate country ranks ]
[see also: Death rate country ranks ]

Net migration rate:
-0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 135
[see also: Net migration rate country ranks ]
[see also: Net migration rate country ranks ]

Population distribution:
with most of the country being a desert, vast areas of the country, particularly in the central, northern, and eastern areas, are without sizeable population clusters; half the population lives in or around the coastal capital of Nouakchott; smaller clusters are found near the southern border with Mali and Senegal

Urbanization:
urban population: 54.5% of total population (2019)
[see also: Urbanization - urban population country ranks ]
rate of urbanization: 4.28% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
[see also: Urbanization - rate of urbanization country ranks ]

Major urban areas - population:
1.259 million NOUAKCHOTT (capital) (2019)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - at birth country ranks ]
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 0-14 years country ranks ]
15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 15-24 years country ranks ]
25-54 years: 0.87 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 25-54 years country ranks ]
55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 55-64 years country ranks ]
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio - 65 years and over country ranks ]
total population: 92.9 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
[see also: Sex ratio country ranks ]
[see also: Sex ratio country ranks ]

Maternal mortality rate:
766 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 7
[see also: Maternal mortality rate country ranks ]
[see also: Maternal mortality rate country ranks ]

Infant mortality rate:
total: 47.9 deaths/1,000 live births
[see also: Infant mortality rate - total country ranks ]
male: 52.5 deaths/1,000 live births
[see also: Infant mortality rate - male country ranks ]
female: 43.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
[see also: Infant mortality rate - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 25

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.5 years
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - total population country ranks ]
male: 62.1 years
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - male country ranks ]
female: 67 years (2020 est.)
[see also: Life expectancy at birth - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 201
[See also: Healthy Life Expectancy ]
[See also: Health Performance ]

Total fertility rate:
3.65 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 37
[see also: Total fertility rate country ranks ]
[see also: Total fertility rate country ranks ]

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
17.8% (2015)
[see also: Contraceptive prevalence rate country ranks ]
[see also: Contraceptive prevalence rate country ranks ]

Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 58.4% of population
[see also: Drinking water source - improved - urban country ranks ]
rural: 57.1% of population
[see also: Drinking water source - improved - rural country ranks ]
total: 57.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 41.6% of population
rural: 42.9% of population
total: 42.1% of population (2015 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:
4.2% (2016)
[see also: Current Health Expenditure country ranks ]

Physicians density:
0.18 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
[see also: Physicians density country ranks ]
[see also: Physicians density country ranks ]

Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 57.5% of population (2015 est.)
[see also: Sanitation facility access - improved - urban country ranks ]
rural: 13.8% of population (2015 est.)
[see also: Sanitation facility access - improved - rural country ranks ]
total: 40% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved:
urban: 42.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 86.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 60% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 106
[see also: HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]
[see also: HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,600 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 118
[see also: HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS country ranks ]
[see also: HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS country ranks ]

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
<500 (2018 est.)
[see also: HIV/AIDS - deaths country ranks ]
[see also: HIV/AIDS - deaths country ranks ]

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high (2016)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever (2016)
animal contact diseases: rabies (2016)
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
12.7% (2016)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 132
[see also: Obesity - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]
[see also: Obesity - adult prevalence rate country ranks ]

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
24.9% (2015)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 19
[see also: Children under the age of 5 years underweight country ranks ]
[see also: Children under the age of 5 years underweight country ranks ]

Education expenditures:
2.6% of GDP (2016)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 155
[see also: Education expenditures country ranks ]
[see also: Education expenditures country ranks ]

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 52.1%
[see also: Literacy - total population country ranks ]
male: 62.6%
[see also: Literacy - male country ranks ]
female: 41.6% (2015)
[see also: Literacy - female country ranks ]

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 8 years
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - total country ranks ]
male: 8 years
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - male country ranks ]
female: 8 years
[see also: School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) - male country ranks ] (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 15.2%
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - total country ranks ]
male: 14.1%
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - male country ranks ]
female: 17% (2012 est.)
[see also: Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 - female country ranks ]
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 92


NOTE: 1) The information regarding Mauritania on this page is re-published from the 2020 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Mauritania People 2020 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritania People 2020 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may have the following issues:
  a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assigns counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order.






This page was last modified 27-Jan-20
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