Mauritania - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

Mauritania's economy is dominated by extractive industries (oil and mines), fisheries and agriculture. Half the population still depends on farming and raising livestock, even though many nomads and subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s, 1980s and 2000s. Recently, GDP growth has been driven largely by foreign investment in the mining and oil sectors. Mauritania's extensive mineral resources include iron ore, gold, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock, and exploration is ongoing for tantalum, uranium, crude oil, and natural gas. Extractive...

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GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Real Gross Domestic Product 2023 5.27 5.86 Percent Change Annual
Nominal Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2017 1,051,639,275,500 832,994,100,000 NCU Annual
Real Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2017 477,665,573,800 435,127,100,000 NCU Annual
Real Investment 2017 488,297,044,800 441,407,300,000 NCU Annual
Private Consumption 2016 934,759,977,622 909,726,404,028 MRO Annual
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2016 1,662,381,518,280 1,568,992,227,387 MRO Annual
Investment 2016 634,190,703,531 685,307,203,854 MRO Annual
Government Consumption 2015 374,203 360,747 Mil. MRO Annual
Price Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Jun 2018 131.78 131.29 2010=100, NSA Monthly
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Unemployment Rate 2017 10.18 10.12 % of total labor force Annual
Labor Force 2016 1,272,887 1,234,390 # Annual
Total Employment 2011 771,570 748,758 ages 15+ Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2017 270,114,912,000 250,106,400,000 NCU Annual
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2017 649,599,968,500 543,598,300,000 NCU Annual
Exports of Goods 2017 Q4 427,907,248 444,856,107 USD, NSA Quarterly
Imports of Goods 2017 Q4 502,966,673 599,085,704 USD, NSA Quarterly
Current Account Balance 2017 Q4 -107,007,752 -246,180,019 USD, NSA Quarterly
Balance of Goods 2017 Q4 -75,059,424 -154,229,596 USD, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods and Services 2016 587,263,441,247 529,474,079,162 MRO Annual
Imports of Goods and Services 2016 880,731,032,568 838,468,254,764 MRO Annual
Government Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Government Expenditures 2017 2,208,380,668,500 2,102,934,650,000 NCU Annual
Government Revenues 2011 315,788,000,000 263,738,000,000 current LCU Annual
Government Budget Balance 2011 -26,111,853,120 -19,208,416,178 current LCU Annual
Markets Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Treasury Bills (over 31 days) Feb 2018 4.6 4.58 % p.a., NSA Monthly
Lending Rate Dec 2012 9 9 % Monthly
Business Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Capacity Utilization 2014 57.3 % Annual
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Population 2017 4,420,184 4,301,018 # Annual
Birth Rate 2016 34.16 34.57 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Death Rate 2016 7.88 7.96 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Net Migration 2012 40,000 # Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
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 led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ deposed him and installed a military council government. AZIZ was subsequently elected president in July 2009 and sworn in the following month. AZIZ sustained injuries from an accidental shooting by his own troops in October 2012 but has continued to maintain his authority. He was reelected in 2014 to a second and final term as president (according to the present constitution). The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among three major groups: Arabic-speaking descendants of slaves (Haratines), Arabic-speaking "White Moors" (Beydane), and members of Sub-Saharan ethnic groups mostly originating in the Senegal River valley (Halpulaar, Soninke, and Wolof). Mauritania confronts a terrorism threat by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb, which launched successful attacks between 2005 and 2011.
The activities of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and similar groups, pose a severe security threat to Mauritanians and foreign visitors. AQIM launched a series of attacks in Mauritania between 2005 and 2011, murdering American and foreign tourists and aid workers, attacking diplomatic and government facilities, and ambushing Mauritanian soldiers and gendarmes. A successful strategy against terrorism that combines dialogue with the terrorists and military actions has prevented the country from further terrorist attacks since 2011.

Geography

Location:
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara
Geographic coordinates:
20 00 N, 12 00 W
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 1,030,700 sq km
land: 1,030,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
country comparison to the world: 30
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico
Land boundaries:
total: 5,002 km
border countries (4): Algeria 460 km, Mali 2,236 km, Senegal 742 km, Western Sahara 1,564 km
Coastline:
754 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:
desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
Terrain:
mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
Elevation:
mean elevation: 276 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Sebkhet Te-n-Dghamcha -5 m
highest point: Kediet Ijill 915 m
Natural resources:
iron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil, fish
Land use:
agricultural land: 38.5%
arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 38.1%
forest: 0.2%
other: 61.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
450 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
with most of the country being a desert, vast areas of the country, particularly in the central, northern, and eastern areas, are without sizeable population clusters; half the population lives in or around the coastal capital of Nouakchott; smaller clusters are found near the southern border with Mali and Senegal
Natural hazards:
hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind primarily in March and April; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
overgrazing, deforestation, and soil erosion aggravated by drought are contributing to desertification; limited natural freshwater resources away from the Senegal, which is the only perennial river; locust infestation
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Mauritania is considered both a part of North Africa's Maghreb region and West Africa's Sahel region; most of the population is concentrated in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou and along the Senegal River in the southern part of the country

People & Society

Population:
3,758,571 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
Nationality:
noun: Mauritanian(s)
adjective: Mauritanian
Ethnic groups:
black Moors (Haratines - Arab-speaking slaves, former slaves, and their descendants of African origin, enslaved by white Moors) 40%, white Moors (of Arab-Berber descent, known as Beydane) 30%, sub-Saharan Mauritanians (non-Arabic speaking, largely resident in or originating from the Senegal River Valley, including Halpulaar, Fulani, Soninke, Wolof, and Bambara ethnic groups) 30%
Languages:
Arabic (official and national), Pular, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French
note: the spoken Arabic in Mauritania differs considerably from the modern standard Arabic used for official written purposes or in the media; the Mauritanian dialect, which incorporates many Berber words, is referred to as Hassaniya
Religions:
Muslim (official) 100%
Demographic profile:
With a sustained total fertility rate of about 4 children per woman and almost 60% of the population under the age of 25, Mauritania’s population is likely to continue growing for the foreseeable future. Mauritania’s large youth cohort is vital to its development prospects, but available schooling does not adequately prepare students for the workplace. Girls continue to be underrepresented in the classroom, educational quality remains poor, and the dropout rate is high. The literacy rate is only about 50%, even though access to primary education has improved since the mid-2000s. Women’s restricted access to education and discriminatory laws maintain gender inequality – worsened by early and forced marriages and female genital cutting.
The denial of education to black Moors also helps to perpetuate slavery. Although Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981 (the last country in the world to do so) and made it a criminal offense in 2007, the millenniums-old practice persists largely because anti-slavery laws are rarely enforced and the custom is so ingrained. Up to 20% of Mauritania’s population is estimated to be enslaved, the highest rate worldwide.
Drought, poverty, and unemployment have driven outmigration from Mauritania since the 1970s. Early flows were directed toward other West African countries, including Senegal, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, and Gambia. The 1989 Mauritania-Senegal conflict forced thousands of black Mauritanians to take refuge in Senegal and pushed labor migrants toward the Gulf, Libya, and Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Mauritania has accepted migrants from neighboring countries to fill labor shortages since its independence in 1960 and more recently has received refugees escaping civil wars, including tens of thousands of Tuaregs who fled Mali in 2012.
Mauritania was an important transit point for sub-Saharan migrants moving illegally to North Africa and Europe. In the mid-2000s, as border patrols increased in the Strait of Gibraltar, security increased around Spain’s North African enclaves (Ceuta and Melilla), and Moroccan border controls intensified, illegal migration flows shifted from the Western Mediterranean to Spain’s Canary Islands. In 2006, departure points moved southward along the West African coast from Morocco and Western Sahara to Mauritania’s two key ports (Nouadhibou and the capital Nouakchott), and illegal migration to the Canaries peaked at almost 32,000. The numbers fell dramatically in the following years because of joint patrolling off the West African coast by Frontex (the EU’s border protection agency), Spain, Mauritania, and Senegal; the expansion of Spain’s border surveillance system; and the 2008 European economic downturn.
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.56% (male 727,855/female 721,508)
15-24 years: 19.81% (male 364,570/female 379,866)
25-54 years: 33.21% (male 578,422/female 669,628)
55-64 years: 4.67% (male 79,162/female 96,297)
65 years and over: 3.76% (male 59,928/female 81,335) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 76.5
youth dependency ratio: 71
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
potential support ratio: 18.3 (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 20.5 years
male: 19.5 years
female: 21.4 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
Population growth rate:
2.17% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
Birth rate:
30.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
Death rate:
7.9 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
Net migration rate:
-0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
Population distribution:
with most of the country being a desert, vast areas of the country, particularly in the central, northern, and eastern areas, are without sizeable population clusters; half the population lives in or around the coastal capital of Nouakchott; smaller clusters are found near the southern border with Mali and Senegal
Urbanization:
urban population: 61% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.2% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
NOUAKCHOTT (capital) 968,000 (2015)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Maternal mortality ratio:
602 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
Infant mortality rate:
total: 51.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 56.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.4 years
male: 61.1 years
female: 65.8 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
Total fertility rate:
3.86 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
17.8% (2015)
Health expenditures:
3.8% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 165
Physicians density:
0.13 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 58.4% of population
rural: 57.1% of population
total: 57.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 41.6% of population
rural: 42.9% of population
total: 42.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 57.5% of population
rural: 13.8% of population
total: 40% of population
unimproved:
urban: 42.5% of population
rural: 86.2% of population
total: 60% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.5% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
11,000 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
<1000 (2016 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
12.7% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 132
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
24.9% (2015)
country comparison to the world: 32
Education expenditures:
2.6% of GDP (2016)
country comparison to the world: 120
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 52.1%
male: 62.6%
female: 41.6% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2015)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
conventional short form: Mauritania
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah
local short form: Muritaniyah
etymology: named for the ancient kingdom of Mauretania (3rd century B.C. to 1st century A.D.), which existed further north in present-day Morocco; the name derives from the Mauri (Moors), the Berber-speaking peoples of northwest Africa
Government type:
presidential republic
Capital:
name: Nouakchott
geographic coordinates: 18 04 N, 15 58 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
15 regions (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Assaba, Brakna, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh ech Chargui, Hodh El Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott Nord, Nouakchott Ouest, Nouakchott Sud, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza
Independence:
28 November 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 28 November (1960)
Constitution:
history: previous 1964; latest adopted 12 July 1991
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by either house of Parliament; consideration of amendments by Parliament requires approval of at least one-third of the membership of either house; a referendum is held only if it is approved by two-thirds majority vote in both houses; passage by referendum requires simple majority vote by eligible voters; passage of amendments proposed by the president can bypass a referendum if approved by at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament in joint session; amended several times, last in 2017 (2017)
Legal system:
mixed legal system of Islamic and French civil law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Mauritania
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ (since 5 August 2009); note - AZIZ deposed President Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDELLAHI in a coup and installed himself as president in August 2008; he subsequently retired from the military, stepped down from the appropriated presidency in April 2009 to run for the legitimate presidency; he was elected president in July 2009 and reelected in June 2014
head of government: Prime Minister Yahya Ould HADEMINE (since 21 August 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers - nominees suggested by the prime minister, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 June 2014 (next to be held by 2019); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ elected president in first round; percent of vote - Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ (UPR) 81.9%, Biram Dah ABEID (IRA) 8.7%, Boidiel Ould HOUMEIT (El Wiam) 4.5%, Ibrahima Moctar SARR (SJD/MR) 4.4%, other 0.5%
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Parliament or Barlamane consists of the National Assembly or Al Jamiya Al Wataniya (147 seats; 107 members directly elected in single- and two-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed and 40 directly elected in constituencies with 3 or more seats by proportional representation vote; members serve a 5-year term); note - a referendum held in August 2017 approved a constitutional amendment to change the Parliament structure from bicameral to unicameral by abolishing the Senate and creating Regionl Councils for development
elections: Senate - last held on 23 November 2013 (next election scheduled for 2015 but delayed because of opposition party threats to boycott election); National Assembly - first round last held on 23 November and second round on 21 December 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UPR 75, RNRD-TAWASSOUL 16, El Wiam 10, APP 7, El Karama Party 6, UDP 6, AJD/MR 4, Burst of Youth for the Nation 4, El Vadila Party 3, PRDR 3, PUD 3, Ravah Party 3, other 6; note - parties winning fewer than 3 seats sit as independents unless they join a coalition
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (subdivided into 1 criminal and 2 civil chambers, each with a president and 5 counselors); Constitutional Council (consists of 6 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the president of the republic to serve a 5-year renewable term; Constitutional Council members appointed - 3 by the president of the republic, 2 by the president of the National Assembly, and 1 by the president of the Senate; members serve single, 9-year terms with one-third of membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: High Court of Justice (cases involving treason and criminal acts of high government officials, including the president); courts of appeal; wilaya (regional) courts (located at the headquarters of each of the 15 regions); commercial and labor courts; criminal courts; moughataa (district) courts; informal/customary courts
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Justice and Democracy/Movement for Renewal or AJD/MR [Ibrahima Moctar SARR]
Burst of Youth for the Nation [Lalla CHERIVA]
Coalition for Unity, Pacific and Democratic Alternation or CUPAD (coalition of opposition parties, including APP, El Wiam)
Coalition of Majority Parties or CPM (includes UPR, UDP)
El Karama Party [Cheikhna Ould Mohamed Ould HAJBOU]
El Vadila Party [Ethmane Ould Ahmed ABOULMAALY]
El Wiam [Boidiel Ould HOUMEIT]
National Forum for Democracy and Unity or FNDU [Mohamed Ould MAOLOUD] (coalition includes RNRD-TAWASSOUL)
National Rally for Reform and Development or RNRD-TAWASSOUL [Mohamed Mahmoud Ould SEYIDI]
Party for Liberty, Equality and Justice [Ba ALASSANE]
Party of Unity and Development or PUD [Mohamed BARO]
Popular Progressive Alliance or APP [Messaoud Ould BOULKHEIR]
Ravah Party [ Mohamed Ould VALL]
Republican Party for Democracy and Renewal or PRDR [Mint HEDEID]
Union for Democracy and Progress or UDP [Naha Mint MOUKNASS]
Union for Progress [Mohamed Ould MAOULOUD]
Union for the Republic or UPR [Sidi Mohamed Ould MAHAM]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Association of Women Heads of Household [Aminetou Mint ElMOCTAR]
General Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CGTM [Abdallahi Ould MOHAMED]
Independent Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CLTM and El Hor [Samory Ould BEYE] (civil society organization, anti-slavery)
Initiative for Resurgent Abolitionist Movement or IRA-Mauritania [Biram Dah ABEID] (US-based, anti-slavery group)
Mauritanian Human Rights Association or AMDH [Fatimata M'BAYE]
Mauritanian Workers Union or UTM [Mohamed Ely Ould BRAHIM]
SOS-Esclaves [Boubacar Ould MESSAOUD] (anti-slavery)
other: Arab nationalists; Ba'athists; Islamists; Nasserists (small but very influential groups)
International organization participation:
ABEDA, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, CAEU (candidate), EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MIUSMA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamedoun DADDAH (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-5700 through 5701
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2623
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael DODMAN (since 5 January 2018)
embassy: Nouadhibou Road, Avenue Al Quds, NOT PRTZ, Nouakchott
mailing address: Nouadhibou Road, Avenue Al Quds, NOT PRTZ, Nouakchott
telephone: [222] 4525-2660 or [222] 2660-2663
FAX: [222] 4525-1592
Flag description:
green with a yellow five-pointed star above a yellow, horizontal crescent; the closed side of the crescent is down; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam; green also represents hope for a bright future; the yellow color stands for the sands of the Sahara
National symbol(s):
star and crescent; national colors: green, yellow
National anthem:
name: "Hymne National de la Republique Islamique de Mauritanie" (National Anthem of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania)
lyrics/music: Baba Ould CHEIKH/traditional, arranged by Tolia NIKIPROWETZKY
note: adopted 1960; the unique rhythm of the Mauritanian anthem makes it particularly challenging to sing

Economy

Economy - overview:
Mauritania's economy is dominated by extractive industries (oil and mines), fisheries and agriculture. Half the population still depends on farming and raising livestock, even though many nomads and subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s, 1980s and 2000s. Recently, GDP growth has been driven largely by foreign investment in the mining and oil sectors.
Mauritania's extensive mineral resources include iron ore, gold, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock, and exploration is ongoing for tantalum, uranium, crude oil, and natural gas. Extractive commodities make up about three-quarters of Mauritania's total exports, subjecting the economy to price swings in world commodity markets. Mining is also a growing source of government revenue, rising from 13% to 30% of total revenue from 2006 to 2016. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, and fishing accounts for about 20% of budget revenues, 45% of foreign currency earnings. Mauritania processes a total of 1,800,000 tons of fish per year, but overexploitation by foreign and national fleets threaten the sustainability of this key source of revenue.
The economy is highly sensitive to international food and extractive commodity prices. Other risks to Mauritania's economy include its recurring droughts, dependence on foreign aid and investment, and insecurity in neighboring Mali, as well as significant shortages of infrastructure, institutional capacity, and human capital. Mauritania has sought additional IMF support by focusing efforts on poverty reduction. Investment in agriculture and infrastructure are the largest components of the country’s public expenditures.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$17.37 billion (2017 est.)
$16.74 billion (2016 est.)
$16.45 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 155
GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.985 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.8% (2017 est.)
1.7% (2016 est.)
0.9% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$4,500 (2017 est.)
$4,400 (2016 est.)
$4,400 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 174
Gross national saving:
28.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
24.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 56.9%
government consumption: 19.1%
investment in fixed capital: 48.6%
investment in inventories: 21.7%
exports of goods and services: 30.1%
imports of goods and services: -76.4% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 22.5%
industry: 37.8%
services: 39.7% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products:
dates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, camel and sheep
Industries:
fish processing, oil production, mining (iron ore, gold, copper)
note: gypsum deposits have never been exploited
Industrial production growth rate:
0.7% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
Labor force:
1.437 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 50%
industry: 1.9%
services: 48.1% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate:
11.7% (2016 est.)
11.7% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
Population below poverty line:
31% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2000 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
37 (2014 est.)
39 (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
Budget:
revenues: $1.248 billion
expenditures: $1.301 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
25% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-1.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
Public debt:
99.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
98.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.1% (2017 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
Central bank discount rate:
9% (31 December 2009 est.)
12% (31 December 2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
17% (31 December 2017 est.)
17% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
Stock of domestic credit:
$1.451 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.495 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA
Current account balance:
$-709 million (2017 est.)
$-707 million (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
Exports:
$1.606 billion (2017 est.)
$1.401 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
Exports - commodities:
iron ore, fish and fish products, livestock, gold, copper, crude oil
Exports - partners:
China 36.9%, Switzerland 13.5%, Spain 8.9%, Japan 7.5%, Russia 4.8%, Nigeria 4.1%, Italy 4.1% (2016)
Imports:
$2.097 billion (2017 est.)
$1.9 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
US 13.4%, UAE 11.9%, Belgium 9.2%, China 8.9%, Netherlands 7.1%, France 6.6%, Morocco 6.3%, Vanuatu 5% (2016)
Debt - external:
$4.117 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.899 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
Exchange rates:
ouguiyas (MRO) per US dollar -
363.6 (2017 est.)
352.37 (2016 est.)
352.37 (2015 est.)
319.7 (2014 est.)
299.5 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 2,800,000
electrification - total population: 28%
electrification - urban areas: 47%
electrification - rural areas: 2% (2013)
Electricity - production:
1.191 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
Electricity - consumption:
1.108 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
412,000 kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
63.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
23.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
16.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
Crude oil - production:
5,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
Crude oil - exports:
6,750 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
Crude oil - proved reserves:
20 million bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
16,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
Refined petroleum products - imports:
16,390 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
Natural gas - proved reserves:
28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
2.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 53,191
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 3,614,172
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 96 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
Telephone system:
general assessment: limited system of cable and open-wire lines, minor microwave radio relay links, and radiotelephone communications stations; mobile-cellular services expanding rapidly
domestic: fixed-line teledensity 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular network coverage extends mainly to urban areas with a teledensity of roughly 100 per 100 persons; mostly cable and open-wire lines; a domestic satellite telecommunications system links Nouakchott with regional capitals
international: country code - 222; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intelsat - Atlantic Ocean, 2 Arabsat); fiber-optic and asymmetric digital subscriber line cables for Internet access (2016)
Broadcast media:
1 state-run TV (Television de Mauritanie) and one state-run radio network (Radio de Mauritanie); Television de Mauritanie has three channels, Al Mahadra station (for Islamic content) and Channels 1 and 2, which cover news, sports, and other programming; Radio de Mauritanie runs 12 regional stations, as well as a radio station for youth and the Holy Quran station; five private TV channels and five private radio stations also broadcast from Mauritania; six private international radio stations broadcast in Mauritania on the FM band; with satellite connections, Mauritanians also have access to hundreds of foreign TV channels (2013)
Internet country code:
.mr
Internet users:
total: 661,913
percent of population: 18.0% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 4
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 248,158
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
5T (2016)
Airports:
30 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 116
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 21
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Railways:
total: 728 km
standard gauge: 728 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
country comparison to the world: 101
Roadways:
total: 12,253 km
paved: 3,988 km
unpaved: 8,265 km (2018)
country comparison to the world: 133
Waterways:
(some navigation possible on the Senegal River) (2011)
Merchant marine:
total: 6
by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 2, other 3 (2017)
country comparison to the world: 160
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Nouadhibou, Nouakchott

Military & Security

Military expenditures:
2.97% of GDP (2016)
2.75% of GDP (2015)
2.7% of GDP (2014)
2.56% of GDP (2013)
2.72% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 29
Military branches:
Mauritanian Armed Forces: Army, Mauritanian Navy (Marine Mauritanienne; includes naval infantry), Islamic Republic of Mauritania Air Group (Groupement Aerienne Islamique de Mauritanie, GAIM) (2013)
Military service age and obligation:
18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
Mauritanian claims to Western Sahara remain dormant
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 26,001 (Western Saharan - Sahrawis) (2016); 56,221 (Mali) (2018)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Mauritania is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; adults and children from traditional slave castes are subjected to slavery-related practices rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships; Mauritanian boy students called talibes are trafficked within the country by religious teachers for forced begging; Mauritanian girls, as well as girls from Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, and other West African countries, are forced into domestic servitude; Mauritanian women and girls are forced into prostitution domestically or transported to countries in the Middle East for the same purpose, sometimes through forced marriages
tier rating: Tier 3 - Mauritania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts were negligible; one slavery case identified by an NGO was investigated, but no prosecutions or convictions were made, including among the 4,000 child labor cases NGOs referred to the police; the 2007 anti-slavery law remains ineffective because it requires slaves, most of whom are illiterate, to file their own legal complaint, and the government agency that can submit claims on them did not file any in 2014; authorities arrested, prosecuted, and convicted several anti-slavery activists; NGOs continued to provide the majority of protective services to trafficking victims without support from the government; some steps were taken to raise public awareness about human trafficking (2015)

Economic Indicators for Mauritania including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Mauritania economy.