Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



The French began to expand onto the Senegalese mainland in the second half of the 19th century and made it a French colony. The French colonies of Senegal and French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. The union broke up after only a few months. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982. The envisaged integration of the two countries was never implemented, and the union was dissolved in 1989.



total: 196,722 sq km

land: 192,530 sq km

water: 4,192 sq km


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

Natural resources

fish, phosphates, iron ore

People and Society


17,923,036 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

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


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


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

Population growth rate

2.57% (2022 est.)


Government type

presidential republic


name: Dakar

Executive branch

chief of state: President Macky SALL (since 2 April 2012)

head of government: On 11 December 2021, the National Assembly approved a constitutional amendment re-establishing the position of Prime Minister which SALL eliminated after his re-election in 2019. The new Prime Minister will be appointed in early 2022.

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblée Nationale (165 seats; 105 members including 15 representing Senegalese diaspora directly elected by plurality vote in single- and multi-seat constituencies and 60 members directly elected by proportional representation vote in single- and multi-seat constituencies)


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)

$55.26 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

groundnuts, watermelons, rice, sugar cane, cassava, millet, maize, onions, sorghum, vegetables


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


$5.29 billion (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

Mali 22%, Switzerland 14%, India 9%, China 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, refined petroleum, phosphoric acid, fish, ground nuts (2019)


$8.96 billion (2018 est.)

Imports - partners

China 17%, France 11%, Belgium 7%, Russia 7%, Netherlands 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, crude petroleum, rice, cars, malt extract, clothing and apparel (2019)

Page last updated: Thursday, May 12, 2022