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Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara) in 1976 and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco's sovereignty ended in a 1991 UN-brokered cease-fire and the nearly 1,700 mile-long defensive sand berm built by the Moroccans from 1980 to 1987 separates the opposing forces with Morocco controlling the roughly 80 percent of the territory west of the berm. A UN-organized referendum on the territory's final status has been repeatedly postponed. The UN since 2007 has sponsored intermittent talks between representatives of the Government of Morocco and the Polisario Front to negotiate the status of Western Sahara. Morocco has put forward an autonomy proposal for the territory, which would allow for some local administration while maintaining Moroccan sovereignty. The Polisario, with Algeria's support, demands a popular referendum that includes the option of independence. Ethnic tensions in Western Sahara occasionally erupt into violence requiring a Moroccan security force response.



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People And Society

Nationality
Noun Sahrawi(s), Sahraoui(s)
Adjective Sahrawi, Sahrawian, Sahraouian

Ethnic groups
Arab, Berber

Languages
Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic

Religions
Muslim

Population World Ranking: 172
522,928 (July 2012 est.)
Note
Estimate is based on projections by age, sex, fertility, mortality, and migration; fertility and mortality are based on data from neighboring countries

Age structure
0-14 years
38.9% (male 99,797/female 97,700)
15-64 years
57.5% (male 143,808/female 147,823)
65 years and over
3.6% (male 7,918/female 10,114) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 20.5 years
Male 20 years
Female 21 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 12
3.027% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 40
31.65 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 75
8.8 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Urbanization
Urban population 82% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
3.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
Laayoune 237,000 (2011)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.04 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.78 male(s)/female
Total population
0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 33
Total 58.96 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 64.02 deaths/1,000 live births
Female
53.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 186
Total population 61.52 years
Male 59.3 years
Female 63.82 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 36
4.22 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate
NA

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids
NA

Hiv/aids - deaths
NA

Education expenditures
NA

Literacy
NA


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  Western Sahara [ Undetermined ] (El Aaiun):


  GPS points from Western Sahara [ Undetermined ] (El Aaiun)

El Biar Nezara Western Sahara (general)

Guedeim Aguerguer Western Sahara (general)

Hofrat El Bel Western Sahara (general)

Dahar El Jauli Western Sahara (general)

Galb Gursiat Western Sahara (general)

Hasi Auhaifrit Western Sahara (general)

Imirikli A Hamar Western Sahara (general)

Ledbtaina El Gueblia Western Sahara (general)




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