Page last updated on January 28, 2014

Introduction:
Background:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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. The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among its black population (Afro-Mauritanians) and white and black Moor (Arab-Berber) communities, and is having to confront a growing terrorism threat by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Geography:
Location:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara
Geographic coordinates:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
20 00 N, 12 00 W
Map references:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
Africa
Area:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total: 1,030,700 sq km
country comparison to the world: 29
land: 1,030,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico
Land boundaries:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total: 5,074 km
border countries: Algeria 463 km, Mali 2,237 km, Senegal 813 km, Western Sahara 1,561 km
Coastline:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
754 km
Maritime claims:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
Terrain:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
Elevation extremes:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
lowest point: Sebkhet Te-n-Dghamcha -5 m
highest point: Kediet Ijill 915 m
Natural resources:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
iron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil, fish
Land use:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
arable land: 0.44%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99.55% (2011)
Irrigated land:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
450.1 sq km (2004)
Total renewable water resources:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
11.4 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total: 1.35 cu km/yr (7%/2%/91%)
per capita: 420.2 cu m/yr (2005)
Natural hazards:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind blows primarily in March and April; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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 and Society:
Nationality:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
noun: Mauritanian(s)
adjective: Mauritanian
Ethnic groups:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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 Bidhan) 30%, black Africans (non-Arabic speaking, Halpulaar, Soninke, Wolof, and Bamara ethnic groups) 30%
Languages:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French, Hassaniya (a variety of Arabic)
Religions:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
Muslim (official) 100%
Population:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
3,437,610 (July 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
Age structure:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0-14 years: 39.8% (male 686,596/female 681,224)
15-24 years: 20% (male 335,998/female 351,367)
25-54 years: 32.2% (male 512,045/female 595,195)
55-64 years: 4.5% (male 68,960/female 84,303)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 51,736/female 70,186) (2013 est.)
population pyramid: "> Dependency ratios:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total dependency ratio: 76.3 %
youth dependency ratio: 70.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 5.6 %
potential support ratio: 17.9 (2013)
Median age:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total: 19.8 years
male: 18.8 years
female: 20.7 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
2.29% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
Birth rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
32.31 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
Death rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
8.5 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
Net migration rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
-0.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
Urbanization:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
urban population: 41.5% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.91% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
NOUAKCHOTT (capital) 709,000 (2009)
Sex ratio:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
at birth: 1.03 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 (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
21.9 (2001 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
510 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 19
Infant mortality rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total: 57.48 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 31
male: 62.51 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 52.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total population: 61.91 years
country comparison to the world: 188
male: 59.65 years
female: 64.23 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
4.15 children born/woman (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
9.3% (2007)
Health expenditures:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
5.4% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 125
Physicians density:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0.13 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0.4 beds/1,000 population (2006)
Drinking water source:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
improved:
unimproved:
Sanitation facility access:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
improved:
unimproved:
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0.7% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
14,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
Major infectious diseases:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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 (2013)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
12.7% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 127
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
15.9% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 48
Education expenditures:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
3.9% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 114
Literacy:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 58.6%
male: 65.3%
female: 52% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 8 years (2011)
Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total number: 127,251
percentage: 16 % (2007 est.)
Government:
Country name:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
conventional short form: Mauritania
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah
local short form: Muritaniyah
Government type:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
military junta
Capital:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
13 regions (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Assaba, Brakna, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh ech Chargui, Hodh el Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza
Independence:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
28 November 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
Independence Day, 28 November (1960)
Constitution:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
previous 1964; latest adopted 12 July 1991; amended 2006, 2012 (2012)
Legal system:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
mixed legal system of Islamic and French civil law
International law organization participation:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
chief of state: President Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ (since 5 August 2009); note - AZIZ, who deposed democratically elected President Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDELLAHI in a coup and installed himself as President of the High State Council on 6 August 2008, retired from the military and stepped down from the presidency in April 2009 to run for president; he was elected president in an election held on 18 July 2009
head of government: Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed LAGHDAF (since 14 August 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held on 18 July 2009 (next to be held by 2014)
election results: percent of vote - Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ 52.6%, Messaoud Ould BOULKHEIR 16.3%, Ahmed Ould DADDAH 13.7%, other 17.4%
Legislative branch:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
bicameral legislature consists of the Senate or Majlis al-Shuyukh (56 seats; 53 members elected by municipal leaders and 3 members elected for Mauritanians abroad to serve six-year terms; a portion of seats up for election every two years) and the National Assembly or Al Jamiya Al Wataniya (146 seats; 106 members elected in single- and multi-member constituencies to serve five-year terms and 40 are elected nationwide through a closed list proportional representation system to serve five-year terms; of the 40 seats elected at the nationwide level, 20 are reserved for women)
elections: Senate - last held in November 2009; National Assembly - first round last held on 23 November and second round on 21 December 2013
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPM (Coalition of Majority Parties) 45, COD 7, RNRD-TAWASSOUL 4; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UPR 75, RNRD-TAWASSOUL 16, El Wiam 10, APP 7, UDP 6, El Karam Party 6, AJD/MR 4, El Vadila Party 3, PUD 3, Ravah Party 3, PRDR 3, others 6
Judicial branch:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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); courts of appeal; wilaya (regional) courts (located at the headquarters of each of the 13 regions); commercial and labor courts; criminal courts; moughataa (district) courts; informal/customary courts
Political parties and leaders:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
Alliance for Justice and Democracy/Movement for Renewal or AJD/MR [Ibrahima Moctar SARR]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
General Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CGTM [Abdallahi Ould MOHAMED, secretary general]
other: Arab nationalists; Ba'thists; Islamists
International organization participation:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
ABEDA, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, CAEU (candidate), EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed Lemine El HAYCEN (since 28 July 2010)
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:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
chief of mission: Ambassador Jo Ellen POWELL (since 29 October 2010)
embassy: 288 Rue Abdallaye, Rue 42-100 (between Presidency building and Spanish Embassy), Nouakchott
mailing address: BP 222, Nouakchott
telephone: [222] 4525-2660 through 2663
FAX: [222] 4525-1592
Flag description:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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; the gold color stands for the sands of the Sahara
National symbol(s):
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
star and crescent
National anthem:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
Half the population still depends on agriculture and livestock for a livelihood, even though many of the nomads and subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s. Mauritania has extensive deposits of iron ore, which account for nearly 40% of total exports. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world but overexploitation by foreigners threatens this key source of revenue. The country's first deepwater port opened near Nouakchott in 1986. Before 2000, drought and economic mismanagement resulted in a buildup of foreign debt. In February 2000, Mauritania qualified for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and nearly all of its foreign debt has since been forgiven. A new investment code approved in December 2001 improved the opportunities for direct foreign investment. Mauritania and the IMF agreed to a three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement in 2006. Mauritania made satisfactory progress, but the IMF, World Bank, and other international actors suspended assistance and investment in Mauritania after the August 2008 coup. Since the presidential election in July 2009, donors have resumed assistance. Oil prospects, while initially promising, have largely failed to materialize, and the government has placed a priority on attracting private investment to spur economic growth. The government also emphasizes reduction of poverty, improvement of health and education, and privatization of the economy. Economic growth remained around 5% in 2010-12, mostly because of rising prices of gold, copper, iron ore, and oil.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$7.604 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$3.886 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
6.9% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$2,100 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
26.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
GDP - composition, by end use:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
household consumption: 54.7%
government consumption: 21.8%
investment in fixed capital: 64.5%
investment in inventories: -8.9%
exports of goods and services: 58.6%
imports of goods and services: -90.7%
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
agriculture: 16.7%
industry: 53.4%
services: 29.9% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
dates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, sheep
Industries:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
fish processing, oil production, mining (iron ore, gold, and copper)
note: gypsum deposits have never been exploited
Industrial production growth rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
14.7% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
Labor force:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
1.318 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 136
Labor force - by occupation:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
agriculture: 50%
industry: 10%
services: 40% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
30% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
Population below poverty line:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
40% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
39 (2000)
country comparison to the world: 67
Budget:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
revenues: $1.561 billion
expenditures: $1.449 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
40.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
2.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
Fiscal year:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
4.9% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
Central bank discount rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
9% (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
17% (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
Stock of domestic credit:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$1.514 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$NA
Current account balance:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$-1.263 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
Exports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$2.642 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
Exports - commodities:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
iron ore, fish and fish products, gold, copper, petroleum
Exports - partners:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
China 50.5%, Italy 7.8%, Japan 7.3%, France 4.9%, Spain 4.2%, Cote dIvoire 4.1%, Netherlands 4% (2012)
Imports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$3.176 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
Imports - commodities:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
machinery and equipment, petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
China 12.9%, Netherlands 10.5%, US 7.8%, France 7.8%, Brazil 5.6%, Germany 5.5%, Spain 5.1%, Belgium 4.7% (2012)
Debt - external:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
$2.922 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
Exchange rates:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
ouguiyas (MRO) per US dollar -
Energy:
Electricity - production:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
701 million kWh (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Electricity - consumption:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
651.9 million kWh (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Electricity - exports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 kWh (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
Electricity - imports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 kWh (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
263,000 kW (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
63.1% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
36.9% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
Crude oil - production:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
6,577 bbl/day (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
Crude oil - exports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
7,337 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
Crude oil - imports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
Crude oil - proved reserves:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
20 million bbl (1 January 2013 es)
country comparison to the world: 84
Refined petroleum products - production:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
18,120 bbl/day (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
Refined petroleum products - exports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
Refined petroleum products - imports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
12,810 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
Natural gas - production:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Natural gas - consumption:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
Natural gas - exports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
Natural gas - imports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
0 cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2013 es)
country comparison to the world: 71
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
1.774 million Mt (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
Communications:
Telephones - main lines in use:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
65,100 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 158
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
4.024 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 121
Telephone system:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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: Mauritel, the national telecommunications company, was privatized in 2001 but remains the monopoly provider of fixed-line services; fixed-line teledensity 2 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 (ADSL) cables for Internet access (2009)
Broadcast media:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
broadcast media state-owned; 1 state-run TV and 1 state-run radio network; Television de Mauritanie, the state-run TV station, has an additional 6 regional TV stations that provide local programming (2008)
Internet country code:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
.mr
Internet hosts:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
22 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 220
Internet users:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
75,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 170
Transportation:
Airports:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
30 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 116
Airports - with paved runways:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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:
Railways:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
728 km
standard gauge: 728 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Roadways:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
total: 10,628 km
country comparison to the world: 133
paved: 3,158 km
unpaved: 7,470 km (2010)
Waterways:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
(some navigation is possible on the Senegal River) (2011)
Ports and terminals:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
major seaport(s): Nouadhibou, Nouakchott
Military:
Military branches:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
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:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Manpower available for military service:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
males age 16-49: 718,713
females age 16-49: 804,622 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
males age 16-49: 480,042
females age 16-49: 581,473 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
male: 36,116
female: 36,826 (2010 est.)
Transnational Issues:
Disputes - international:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
Mauritanian claims to Western Sahara remain dormant
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Field Background: For all countries in alphabetical order
refugees (country of origin): 26,000 (Western Saharan - Sahrawis) (2012); 68,461 (Mali) (2014)