Gambia, The

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Joining Senegal, it formed a short-lived Confederation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. A new constitution and presidential election in 1996, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule.

Geography

Area

total: 11,300 sq km

land: 10,120 sq km

water: 1,180 sq km

Climate

tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)

Natural resources

fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon

People and Society

Population

2,413,403 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Mandinka/Jahanka 33.3%, Fulani/Tukulur/Lorobo 18.2%, Wolof 12.9%, Jola/Karoninka 11%, Serahuleh 7.2%, Serer 3.5%, other 4%, non-Gambian 9.9% (2019-20 est.)

Languages

English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars

Religions

Muslim 96.4%, Christian 3.5%, other or none 0.1% (2019-20 est.)

Population growth rate

2.29% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Banjul

Executive branch

chief of state: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2022); Vice President Isatou TOURAY (since 15 March 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2022); Vice President Isatou TOURAY (since 15 March 2019)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (58 seats; 53 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 5 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

small West African economy; COVID-19 reversed robust growth trends; good fiscal management; substantial foreign direct investment and remittances; G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative participant; widespread poverty; increasing Chinese relations

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$5.22 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,200 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

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

Exports

$448 million (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

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

Exports - commodities

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

Imports

$851 million (2018 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)


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022