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People and Society






The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. 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 carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Senegal since the 1980s, and several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict. Nevertheless, Senegal remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa and has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation. Senegal was ruled by a Socialist Party for 40 years until Abdoulaye WADE was elected president in 2000. He was reelected in 2007 and during his two terms amended Senegal's constitution over a dozen times to increase executive power and to weaken the opposition. His attempt to change the constitution in June 2011 prompted large public protests and his decision to run for a third presidential term sparked a large public backlash that led to his defeat in a March 2012 runoff election with Macky SALL.


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People And Society

Senegalese (singular and plural)
Adjective Senegalese

Ethnic groups
Wolof 43.3%, Pular 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Jola 3.7%, Mandinka 3%, Soninke 1.1%, European and Lebanese 1%, other 9.4%

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

Muslim 94%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 1%

Population World Ranking: 71
12,969,606 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
43.3% (male 2,748,457/female 2,722,633)
15-64 years
53.9% (male 3,200,056/female 3,611,173)
65 years and over
2.9% (male 166,577/female 194,903) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 18.2 years
Male 17.3 years
Female 19 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 28
2.532% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 23
36.19 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 66
9.05 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 159
-1.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 42% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
3.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
DAKAR (capital) 2.777 million (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.85 male(s)/female
Total population
0.94 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 27
370 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 37
Total 55.16 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 61.57 deaths/1,000 live births
48.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 189
Total population 60.18 years
Male 58.22 years
Female 62.19 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 26
4.69 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 121
5.7% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.059 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density
0.34 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 53
0.9% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 56
59,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 50
2,600 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk Very high
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and yellow fever
Water contact disease Schistosomiasis
Respiratory disease Meningococcal meningitis
Animal contact disease Rabies (2009)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 56
14.5% (2005)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 35
5.8% of GDP (2009)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 39.3%
Male 51.1%
Female 29.2% (2002 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 8 years
Male 8 years
Female 7 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 77
Total 14.8%
Male 11.9%
Female 20.1% (2006)


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  Senegal (Dakar):

  GPS points from Senegal (Dakar)

Dialit Region De Diourbel

Kolane Region De Sedhiou

Kouloumbodou Region De Kaolack

Ouro Aldiouma Region De Matam

M'baldy Tambacounda

Sinntiou Hara Tambacounda

Foret Classee De Blaz Region De Ziguinchor

Soura Guinde Tambacounda
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