Gambia The Economy - 2022


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Economic overview

The government has invested in the agriculture sector because three-quarters of the population depends on the sector for its livelihood and agriculture provides for about one-third of GDP, making The Gambia largely reliant on sufficient rainfall. The agricultural sector has untapped potential - less than half of arable land is cultivated and agricultural productivity is low. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of cashews, groundnuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia's reexport trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports and China has been its largest trade partner for both exports and imports for several years.


The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits. It relies heavily on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. Remittance inflows to The Gambia amount to about one-fifth of the country’s GDP. The Gambia's location on the ocean and proximity to Europe has made it one of the most frequented tourist destinations in West Africa, boosted by private sector investments in eco-tourism and facilities. Tourism normally brings in about 20% of GDP, but it suffered in 2014 from tourists’ fears of Ebola virus in neighboring West African countries. Unemployment and underemployment remain high.


Economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, and on continued technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors. International donors and lenders were concerned about the quality of fiscal management under the administration of former President Yahya JAMMEH, who reportedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars of the country’s funds during his 22 years in power, but anticipate significant improvements under the new administration of President Adama BARROW, who assumed power in early 2017. As of April 2017, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, and the African Development Bank were all negotiating with the new government of The Gambia to provide financial support in the coming months to ease the country’s financial crisis.


The country faces a limited availability of foreign exchange, weak agricultural output, a border closure with Senegal, a slowdown in tourism, high inflation, a large fiscal deficit, and a high domestic debt burden that has crowded out private sector investment and driven interest rates to new highs. The government has committed to taking steps to reduce the deficit, including through expenditure caps, debt consolidation, and reform of state-owned enterprises.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$5.22 billion (2020 est.)

$5.22 billion (2019 est.)

$4.92 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real GDP growth rate

4.6% (2017 est.)

0.4% (2016 est.)

5.9% (2015 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,200 (2020 est.)

$2,200 (2019 est.)

$2,200 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.746 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

7.1% (2019 est.)

6.5% (2018 est.)

8% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 20.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 14.2% (2017 est.)

services: 65.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 90.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 19.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -2.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 20.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -40% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

groundnuts, milk, oil palm fruit, millet, sorghum, rice, maize, vegetables, cassava, fruit


peanuts, fish, hides, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing

Industrial production growth rate

-0.8% (2017 est.)

Labor force

777,100 (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 75%

industry: 19%

services: 6% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate


Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 7.1%

male: 8.1%

female: 6.2% (2018 est.)

Population below poverty line

48.6% (2015 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

35.9 (2015 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)


revenues: 300.4 million (2017 est.)

expenditures: 339 million (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

88% of GDP (2017 est.)

82.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

20.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$194 million (2017 est.)

-$85 million (2016 est.)


$350 million (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$448 million (2018 est.)

$435 million (2017 est.)

Exports - partners

China 38%, India 22%, Mali 7%, Chile 5% (2017)

Exports - commodities

lumber, cashews, refined petroleum, fish oil, ground nut oil (2019)


$620 million (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$851 million (2018 est.)

$754 million (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

China 33%, India 10%, Senegal 5%, Brazil 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

clothing and apparel, refined petroleum, rice, raw sugar, palm oil (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$170 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$87.64 million (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$586.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$571.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

dalasis (GMD) per US dollar -

51.75 (2020 est.)

51.4 (2019 est.)

49.515 (2018 est.)

41.89 (2014 est.)

41.733 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Gambia The on this page is re-published from the 2022 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Gambia The 2022 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Gambia The 2022 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 01 Dec 23, Copyright © 23 ITA all rights reserved.