Photos of Senegal

Various fish species are available at the Central Fish Market in Dakar. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Introduction

Background

Senegal is one of the few countries in the world with evidence of continuous human life from the Paleolithic period to present. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, the Jolof Empire ruled most of Senegal. Starting in the 15th century, Portugal, the Netherlands, France, and Great Britain traded along the Senegalese coast. Senegal’s location on the western tip of Africa made it a favorable base for the European slave trade. European powers used the Senegalese island of Goree as a base to purchase slaves from the warring chiefdoms on the mainland, and at the height of the slave trade in Senegal, over one-third of the Senegalese population was enslaved. In 1815, France abolished slavery and began expanding inland. During the second half of the 19th century, France took possession of Senegal as a French colony. In 1959, the French colonies of Senegal and French Sudan were merged and granted independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. The union broke up after only a few months. In 1982, Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia. The envisaged integration of the two countries was never implemented, and the union dissolved in 1989.

Since the 1980s, the Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance -- a separatist movement based in southern Senegal -- has led a low-level insurgency. Several attempts at reaching a comprehensive peace agreement have failed. Since 2012, despite sporadic incidents of violence, an unofficial cease-fire has remained largely in effect. Senegal is one of the most stable democracies in Africa and has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation. The Socialist Party of Senegal ruled for 40 years until Abdoulaye WADE was elected president in 2000 and re-elected in 2007. WADE amended Senegal's constitution over a dozen times to increase executive power and weaken the opposition. In 2012, WADE’s decision to run for a third presidential term sparked public backlash that led to his loss to current President Macky SALL. A 2016 constitutional referendum limited future presidents to two consecutive five-year terms. President Bassirou Diomaye FAYE took office in April 2024.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania

Geographic coordinates

14 00 N, 14 00 W

Area

total: 196,722 sq km

land: 192,530 sq km

water: 4,192 sq km

comparison ranking: total 88

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than South Dakota; slightly larger than twice the size of Indiana

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 2,684 km

border countries (5): The Gambia 749 km; Guinea 363 km; Guinea-Bissau 341 km; Mali 489 km; Mauritania 742 km

Coastline

531 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind

Terrain

generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast

Elevation

highest point: unnamed elevation 2.8 km southeast of Nepen Diaka 648 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 69 m

Natural resources

fish, phosphates, iron ore

Land use

agricultural land: 46.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 17.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 29.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 43.8% (2018 est.)

other: 9.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,200 sq km (2012)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Senegal (shared with Guinea [s], Mali, and Mauritania [m] ) - 1,641 km; Gambie (Gambia) (shared with Guinea [s] and The Gambia [m]) - 1,094 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Senegal (456,397 sq km)

Major aquifers

Senegalo-Mauritanian Basin

Population distribution

the population is concentrated in the west, with Dakar anchoring a well-defined core area; approximately 70% of the population is rural as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts

Geography - note

westernmost country on the African continent; The Gambia is almost an enclave within Senegal

People and Society

Population

total: 18,847,519

male: 9,283,314

female: 9,564,205 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 66; male 66; total 66

Nationality

noun: Senegalese (singular and plural)

adjective: Senegalese

Ethnic groups

Wolof 39.7%, Pulaar 27.5%, Sereer 16%, Mandinka 4.9%, Jola 4.2%, Soninke 2.4%, other 5.4% (includes Europeans and persons of Lebanese descent) (2019 est.)

Languages

French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka, Serer, Soninke

Religions

Muslim 97.2% (most adhere to one of the four main Sufi brotherhoods), Christian 2.7% (mostly Roman Catholic) (2019 est.)

Demographic profile

Senegal has a large and growing youth population but has not been successful in developing its potential human capital. Senegal’s high total fertility rate of almost 4.5 children per woman continues to bolster the country’s large youth cohort – more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25. Fertility remains high because of the continued desire for large families, the low use of family planning, and early childbearing. Because of the country’s high illiteracy rate (more than 40%), high unemployment (even among university graduates), and widespread poverty, Senegalese youths face dim prospects; women are especially disadvantaged.

Senegal historically was a destination country for economic migrants, but in recent years West African migrants more often use Senegal as a transit point to North Africa – and sometimes illegally onward to Europe. The country also has been host to several thousand black Mauritanian refugees since they were expelled from their homeland during its 1989 border conflict with Senegal. The country’s economic crisis in the 1970s stimulated emigration; departures accelerated in the 1990s. Destinations shifted from neighboring countries, which were experiencing economic decline, civil wars, and increasing xenophobia, to Libya and Mauritania because of their booming oil industries and to developed countries (most notably former colonial ruler France, as well as Italy and Spain). The latter became attractive in the 1990s because of job opportunities and their periodic regularization programs (legalizing the status of illegal migrants).

 

Age structure

0-14 years: 40.7% (male 3,907,986/female 3,760,594)

15-64 years: 55.9% (male 5,098,038/female 5,437,195)

65 years and over: 3.4% (2024 est.) (male 277,290/female 366,416)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 81.5

youth dependency ratio: 75.8

elderly dependency ratio: 5.7

potential support ratio: 17.4 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 19.2 years (2024 est.)

male: 18.4 years

female: 20 years

comparison ranking: total 213

Population growth rate

2.46% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 20

Birth rate

30.2 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 25

Death rate

4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 198

Net migration rate

-0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 134

Population distribution

the population is concentrated in the west, with Dakar anchoring a well-defined core area; approximately 70% of the population is rural as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 49.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.59% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

3.340 million DAKAR (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

21.9 years (2019 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

261 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 35

Infant mortality rate

total: 31.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 34.4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 27.6 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 47

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70.6 years (2024 est.)

male: 68.8 years

female: 72.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 172

Total fertility rate

4.06 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 22

Gross reproduction rate

1.98 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 95.9% of population

rural: 79.3% of population

total: 87.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 4.1% of population

rural: 20.7% of population

total: 12.7% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

5.2% of GDP (2020)

Physician density

0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 94.1% of population

rural: 55.5% of population

total: 74.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 5.9% of population

rural: 44.5% of population

total: 25.9% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and sexually transmitted diseases: hepatitis B (2024)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

8.8% (2016)

comparison ranking: 146

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.25 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.21 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 170

Tobacco use

total: 6.9% (2020 est.)

male: 13.1% (2020 est.)

female: 0.7% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 156

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

14.4% (2019)

comparison ranking: 37

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 8.8%

women married by age 18: 30.5%

men married by age 18: 0.7% (2019 est.)

Education expenditures

5.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 59

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 56.3%

male: 68.4%

female: 45.4% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 8 years

female: 10 years (2021)

Environment

Environment - current issues

deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; periodic droughts; seasonal flooding; overfishing; weak environmental protective laws; wildlife populations threatened by poaching

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind

Land use

agricultural land: 46.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 17.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 29.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 43.8% (2018 est.)

other: 9.4% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 49.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.59% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to localized shortfalls in cereal production and reduced incomes - according to the latest analysis, about 881,000 people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance between June and August 2022, mostly on account of localized shortfalls in cereal production in 2021 and reduced incomes owing to the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic (2022)

Revenue from forest resources

1.46% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 45

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 76

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 38.21 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 10.9 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 11.74 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2,454,059 tons (2016 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Senegal (shared with Guinea [s], Mali, and Mauritania [m] ) - 1,641 km; Gambie (Gambia) (shared with Guinea [s] and The Gambia [m]) - 1,094 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Senegal (456,397 sq km)

Major aquifers

Senegalo-Mauritanian Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 260 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 58 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 2.76 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

38.97 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Senegal

conventional short form: Senegal

local long form: Republique du Sénégal 

local short form: Sénégal

former: Senegambia (along with The Gambia), Mali Federation

etymology: named for the Senegal River that forms the northern border of the country; many theories exist for the origin of the river name; perhaps the most widely cited derives the name from "Azenegue," the Portuguese appellation for the Berber Zenaga people who lived north of the river

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Dakar

geographic coordinates: 14 44 N, 17 38 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, D.C., during Standard Time)

etymology: the Atlantic coast trading settlement of Ndakaaru came to be called "Dakar" by French colonialists

Administrative divisions

14 regions (regions, singular - region); Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kéedougou, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda, Thies, Ziguinchor

Independence

4 April 1960 (from France); note - complete independence achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960

National holiday

Independence Day, 4 April (1960)

Constitution

history: previous 1959 (pre-independence), 1963; latest adopted by referendum 7 January 2001, promulgated 22 January 2001

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the National Assembly; passage requires Assembly approval and approval in a referendum; the president can bypass a referendum and submit an amendment directly to the Assembly, which requires at least three-fifths majority vote; the republican form of government is not amendable; amended several times, last in 2019

Legal system

civil law system based on French law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Council

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Senegal

dual citizenship recognized: no, but Senegalese citizens do not automatically lose their citizenship if they acquire citizenship in another state

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Bassirou Diomaye FAYE (since 2 April 2024)

head of government: Prime Minister Ousmane SONKO (since 2 April 2024)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a single, renewable 5-year term; election last held on 24 March 2024 (next to be held in 2029)

election results: 2024: Bassirou Diomaye FAYE elected president in first round; percent of vote - Bassirou Diomaye FAYE (PASTEF) 54%, Amadou BA (APR) 36%, other 10%

2019:
Macky SALL reelected president in first round; percent of vote - Macky SALL (APR) 58.3%, Idrissa SECK (Rewmi) 20.5%, Ousmane SONKO (PASTEF) 15.7%, other 5.5%

 

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblée Nationale (165 seats; 112 members including 15 representing Senegalese diaspora directly elected by plurality vote in single- and multi-seat constituencies and 53 members directly elected by proportional representation vote in a single nationwide constituency; member term is 5-years)

elections: last held on 31 July 2022 (next scheduled to be held in July 2027)

election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - BBY 46.6%, YAW 32.9%, WS 14.5%, other 6%; seats by party/coalition - BBY 82, YAW 42, WS 24, other 17; composition - men 89, women 76, percentage women 46.1%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Suprême  (consists of the court president and 12 judges and organized into civil and commercial, criminal, administrative, and social chambers); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel  (consists of 7 members, including the court president, vice president, and 5 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president of the republic upon recommendation of the Superior Council of the Magistrates, a body chaired by the president and minister of justice; judge tenure varies, with mandatory retirement either at 65 or 68 years; Constitutional Council members appointed - 5 by the president and 2 by the National Assembly speaker; judges serve 6-year terms, with renewal of 2 members every 2 years

subordinate courts: High Court of Justice (for crimes of high treason by the president); Courts of Appeal; Court of Auditors; assize courts; regional and district courts; Labor Court

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for Citizenship and Work or ACT [Abdoul MBAYE]
Alliance for the Republic-Yakaar or APR [Macky SALL]
Alliance of Forces of Progress or AFP [Moustapha NIASSE]
AND (National Alliance for Democracy) [Aissatou MBODJ]
And-Jef/African Party for Democracy and Socialism or AJ/PADS [Landing SAVANE]
ARC (Alternative for the next generation of citizens) [Anta Babacar NGOM] 
Awalé [Abdourahmane DIOUF] 
Benno Bokk Yakaar or BBY (United in Hope) [vacant] (coalition includes AFP, APR, BGC, LD-MPT, PIT, PS, and UNP)
Bokk Gis Gis coalition [Pape DIOP]
Citizen Movement for National Reform or MCRN-Bes Du Nakk [Mansour Sy DJAMIL]
Coalition Mimi 2024 [Aminata TOURE]
Dare the Future movement [Aissata Tall SALL]
Democratic League-Labor Party Movement or LD-MPT [Mamadou NDOYE]
Democratic Renaissance Congress [NA]
Front for Socialism and Democracy/Benno Jubel or FSD/BJ [Cheikh Abdoulaye Bamba DIEYE]
Gainde Centrist Bloc or BCG [Jean-Paul DIAS MENDES ]
General Alliance for the Interests of the Republic or AGIR [Thierno BOCOUM]
Grand Party or GP [Malick GAKOU]
Gueum sa Bopp (Believe in yourself) [Bougane Dany GUEYE]
Independence and Labor Party or PIT [Maguette THIAM]
Jotna Coalition [Dr Abdoulaye NIANE]
Liberate the People (Yewwi Askan Wi) or YAW [Ousmane SONKO, Déthié FALL, Cheikh Tidiane YOUM]
Madicke 2019 coalition [Madicke NIANG]
National Union for the People or UNP [Abdoul MBAYE]
Only Senegal Movement [Pierre Goudiaby ATEPA]
Party for Truth and Development or PVD [Cheikh Ahmadou Kara MBAKE]
Party of Unity and Rally or PUR [Cheikh Mouhamadou Moustapha SY]
Patriotic Convergence Kaddu Askan Wi or CP-Kaddu Askan Wi [Abdoulaye BALDE]
PRP (Republican party for Progress) [Déthié FALL]
Rewmi Party [Idrissa SECK]
Save Senegal (Wallu Senegal Grand Coalition) or WS [Karim WADE] (coalition includes PDS, Jotna Coalition, Democratic Renaissance Congress)
Senegalese Democratic Party or PDS [Karim WADE]
Socialist Party or PS [vacant]
Tekki Movement [Mamadou Lamine DIALLO]
Réewum Ngor (Republic of Values) [Thierno Alassane SALL]
Servants (Les Serviteurs) [Pape Djibril FALL]



International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, CPLP (associate), ECOWAS, EITI (candidate country), FAO, FZ, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNOOSA, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Mansour Elimane KANE (since 6 January 2020)

chancery: 2215 M ST NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

telephone: [1] (202) 234-0540

FAX: [1] (202) 629-2961

email address and website:
contact@ambasenegal-us.org

http://www.ambasenegal-us.org/index.php

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael RAYNOR (since 10 March 2022); note - also accredited to Guinea-Bissau

embassy: Route des Almadies, Dakar

mailing address: 2130 Dakar Place, Washington D.C.  20521-2130

telephone: [221] 33-879-4000

email address and website:
DakarACS@state.gov

https://sn.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red with a small green five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; green represents Islam, progress, and hope; yellow signifies natural wealth and progress; red symbolizes sacrifice and determination; the star denotes unity and hope

note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the same as those of neighboring Mali and the reverse of those on the flag of neighboring Guinea

National symbol(s)

lion; national colors: green, yellow, red

National anthem

name: "Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons" (Pluck Your Koras, Strike the Balafons)

lyrics/music: Leopold Sedar SENGHOR/Herbert PEPPER

note: adopted 1960; lyrics written by Leopold Sedar SENGHOR, Senegal's first president; the anthem sometimes played incorporating the Koras (harp-like stringed instruments) and Balafons (types of xylophones) mentioned in the title

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 7 (5 cultural, 2 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Island of Gorée (c); Niokolo-Koba National Park (n); Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (n); Island of Saint-Louis (c); Stone Circles of Senegambia (c); Saloum Delta (c); Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula, and Bedik Cultural Landscapes (c)

Economy

Economic overview

lower middle-income, services-driven West African economy; key mining, construction, agriculture, and fishing industries; tourism and exports hit hard by COVID-19; large informal economy; developing offshore oil and gas fields; systemic corruption

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$61.727 billion (2022 est.)
$59.265 billion (2021 est.)
$55.627 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 107

Real GDP growth rate

4.15% (2022 est.)
6.54% (2021 est.)
1.34% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 103

Real GDP per capita

$3,600 (2022 est.)
$3,500 (2021 est.)
$3,400 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 185

GDP (official exchange rate)

$27.684 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

9.7% (2022 est.)
2.18% (2021 est.)
2.54% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 157

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: Ba3 (2017)

Standard & Poors rating: B+ (2000)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 16.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 24.3% (2017 est.)

services: 58.8% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 132; industry 114; agriculture 57

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 71.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 15.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 25.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 3.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 27% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -42.8% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

groundnuts, watermelons, rice, cassava, sugarcane, millet, maize, onions, sorghum, milk (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage

Industries

agricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, zircon, and gold mining, construction materials, ship construction and repair

Industrial production growth rate

1.14% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 145

Labor force

5.124 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 84

Unemployment rate

3.01% (2022 est.)
3.32% (2021 est.)
3.34% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 43

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 5% (2021 est.)

male: 3.5%

female: 7.5%

comparison ranking: total 188

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

38.3 (2018 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 69

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 30.8% (2018 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Remittances

9.03% of GDP (2022 est.)
11.23% of GDP (2021 est.)
10.63% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $4.76 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $5.662 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 149

Public debt

48.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
47.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 114

Taxes and other revenues

18.66% (of GDP) (2022 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 97

Current account balance

-$3.327 billion (2021 est.)
-$2.662 billion (2020 est.)
-$1.898 billion (2019 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 164

Exports

$6.78 billion (2021 est.)
$5.063 billion (2020 est.)
$5.836 billion (2019 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 126

Exports - partners

Mali 18%, India 16%, Switzerland 11%, US 8%, China 4% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

gold, phosphoric acid, refined petroleum, fish, precious metal products (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$12.278 billion (2021 est.)
$9.627 billion (2020 est.)
$9.17 billion (2019 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 112

Imports - partners

China 22%, India 8%, France 7%, Belgium 5%, Netherlands 4% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, ships, rice, crude petroleum, plastic products (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.827 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$116.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 124

Debt - external

$8.571 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.327 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 118

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
623.76 (2022 est.)
554.531 (2021 est.)
575.586 (2020 est.)
585.911 (2019 est.)
555.446 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 67.9% (2022 est.)

electrification - urban areas: 96.6%

electrification - rural areas: 43.4%

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 1.668 million kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 7.025 billion kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 326.425 million kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 1.057 billion kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 99; imports 101; consumption 117; installed generating capacity 127

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 74.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 10.9% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

wind: 9.5% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

hydroelectricity: 4% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.4% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

Coal

consumption: 502,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

imports: 502,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 9,000 bbl/day (2023 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 55,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

Natural gas

production: 54.646 million cubic meters (2022 est.)

consumption: 54.498 million cubic meters (2022 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

9.152 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 1.134 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 7.926 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 92,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 108

Energy consumption per capita

7.836 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 156

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 297,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 108

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 20.855 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 120 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 59

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Senegal’s telecom market continues to show steady growth in all sectors; this has been supported by the particular demands made on consumers during the pandemic, which resulted in a particularly strong increase in the number of subscribers; the mobile subscriber base increased 6.7% in 2020, year-on-year, and by 4.1% in 2021, while the number of fixed broadband subscribers increased 17.5% year-on-year in 2021; mobile internet platforms account for the vast majority of all internet accesses; quality of service issues continue to plague the market, with the regulator periodically issuing fines to the market players (2022)

domestic: fixed-line is 2 per 100 and mobile-cellular 118 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 221; landing points for the ACE, Atlantis-2, MainOne and SAT-3/WASC submarine cables providing connectivity from South Africa, numerous western African countries, Europe and South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)

Broadcast media

Senegal’s media environment includes over 25 private television stations, hundreds of radio stations, and more than 45 newspapers.  State-run Radiodiffusion Television Senegalaise (RTS) broadcasts from five cities in Senegal and a wide range of independent TV programming is available via satellite; transmissions of several international broadcasters are accessible on FM in Dakar

Internet users

total: 9.86 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 58% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 59

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 153,813 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 122

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 11

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 21,038 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 40,000 (2018) mt-km

Airports

19 (2024)

comparison ranking: 136

Pipelines

43 km gas, 8 km refined products (2017)

Railways

total: 906 km (2017) (713 km operational in 2017)

narrow gauge: 906 km (2017) 1.000-m gauge

comparison ranking: total 93

Roadways

total: 16,665 km

paved: 6,126 km (includes 241 km of expressways)

unpaved: 10,539 km (2017)

comparison ranking: total 119

Waterways

1,000 km (2012) (primarily on the Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance Rivers)

comparison ranking: 68

Merchant marine

total: 36 (2023)

by type: general cargo 5, oil tanker 1, other 30

comparison ranking: total 129

Ports

total ports: 6 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 1

small: 1

very small: 4

ports with oil terminals: 4

key ports: Dakar, Karabane, Lyndiane, M'bao Oil Terminal, Rufisque, St. Louis

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Senegalese Armed Forces (les Forces Armées Sénégalaises, FAS): Army (l’Armée de Terre, AT), Senegalese National Navy (Marine Séenéegalaise, MNS), Senegalese Air Force (l'Arméee de l'Air du Séenéegal, AAS), National Gendarmerie (includes Territorial and Mobile components)

Ministry of Interior: National Police (2024)

note: the National Police operates in major cities, while the Gendarmerie under the FAS primarily operates outside urban areas; both services have specialized anti-terrorism units

Military expenditures

1.6% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.7% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.5% of GDP (2020 est.)
1.5% of GDP (2019 est.)
1.6% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 86

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 27,000 active personnel (15,000 Army; 1,500 Navy; 1,500 Air Force; 16,000 National Gendarmerie); 15,000 National Police (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAS inventory includes mostly older or secondhand equipment from a variety of countries, including France, South Africa, and Russia/former Soviet Union; in recent years, the FAS has undertaken a modernization program and has received small amounts of newer equipment from more than 10 countries, with France as the leading supplier (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; 20 years of age for selective compulsory service for men and possibly women; 24-month service obligation (2023)

Military deployments

200 Central African Republic (MINUSCA; plus about 525 police); 800 (ECOWAS Military Intervention in The Gambia--ECOMIG); 500 (ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea-Bissau--EESMGB); 450 police Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (2024)

Military - note

despite limited resources, the FAS is considered to be a well-equipped, experienced, and effective military; it has a history of non-interference in the country’s political process and positive relations with civil authorities; the FAS is experienced in foreign deployments and has received assistance from the French military, which maintains a presence in Senegal, as well as Germany, Spain, the UK, and the US; the FAS’s primary focuses are border, internal, and maritime security; it is watching the prevalence of multiple active terrorist groups across the region and political instability in neighboring Mali and Guinea and has recently established new military and gendarmerie camps along its eastern border with Mali; the FAS also works with the civilian government in areas such as preventive healthcare, infrastructure development, environmental protection, and disaster response

Senegalese security forces have been engaged in a low-level counterinsurgency campaign in the southern Casamance region against various factions of the separatist Movement of Democratic Forces of the Casamance (MDFC) since 1982; the conflict is one of longest running low-level insurgencies in the World, having claimed more than 5,000 lives while leaving another 60,000 displaced; in May 2023, a faction of the MFDC agreed to a peace deal (2023)

Space

Space agency/agencies

Senegalese Space Study Agency (Agence Sénégalaise d'Etudes Spatiales or ASES; launched in 2023 under the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation) (2024)

Space program overview

small, nascent program focused on acquiring satellites, largely for socio-economic development and research; conducts research in such fields as astronomy and planetary sciences; has cooperated with the European Space Agency, and the space agencies of France and the US (2024)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM)

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 11,518 (Mauritania) (2023)

IDPs: 8,400 (2022)

Illicit drugs

a transit point on the cocaine route from South America to Europe; large production of cannabis in southern Casamance region; the high domestic use of cannabis, ecstasy, and to a lesser extent crack cocaine