Senegal

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

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.

Geography

Area

total: 196,722 sq km
land: 192,530 sq km
water: 4,192 sq km

Climate

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

Population

18,384,660 (2023 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.)

Languages

French (official), Wolof, Pular, 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.)

Population growth rate

2.52% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Dakar

Executive branch

chief of state: President Macky SALL (since 2 April 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Amadou BA (since 17 September 2022)

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)

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)

$58.991 billion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,500 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

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

Exports

$5.287 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)

Imports

$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)

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
554.531 (2021 est.)


Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023