Dialing code +222
ISO 2 code MR
ISO 3 code MRT
Capital Nouakchott
Main Language Arabic
Currency Ouguiya (MRO)
GDP $6.3 billion 150th
Population 3,205,060 134th


Continent Africa
Location Northern Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Senegal and Western Sahara
Land 1,030,700 km2 29th
Terrain Mostly barren flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
Climate Desert; constantly hot dry dusty
Natural Hazards Mostly barren flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
Note: Most of the population concentrated in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou and along the Senegal River in the southern part of the country

Neighbouring Countries

Algeria Mali Senegal Western Sahara


Independent from France in 1960 Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976 but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA seized power in a coup in 1984 and ruled Mauritania with a heavy hand for more than two decades. A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August 2005 deposed President TAYA and ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule. Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDALLAHI was inaugurated in April 2007 as Mauritania's first freely and fairly elected president. His term ended prematurely in August 2008 when a military junta deposed him and ushered in a military council government. Meanwhile the country continues to experience ethnic tensions among its black population (Afro-Mauritanians) and White and Black Moor (Arab-Berber) communities.
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Life Expectancy 60.37 years 165th
Median Age 19.2 years 165th
Birth Rate 34.11 births/1,000 population 37th
Death Rate 9.16 births/1,000 population 78th
Sex Ratio 0.74 male(s)/female 127th
Literacy 51.2% 185th

3.2 million


Roadways 11066 km 134th
Railways None km
Airports 24 130th
Waterways None km
Heliports None
Airports paved 4 36th


Currency Ouguiya (MRO)
GDP $6.3 billion 150th
GDP per capita (PPP) $2100 165th