Modern states /
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Independent republic in West-Africa with 3.4 million inhabitants (2009 estimate) and an area of 1,030,700 kmē. The capital is Nouakchott, which is also the only city of the country.
Head of state is President General Ould Abdel Aziz, who has been in office since August 5, 2009. Prime minister is since 2008 Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf. The National Assembly: 81 seats. Mauritania is divided into 12 regions plus the capital district. Day of independence, November 28, 1960, commemorating the end of French supremacy.
There is little industry in Mauritania only some fishing along the coast and iron extraction in the interior.
Mauritania is poor by North African standards, and the country today is in phase of great social challenges.
Mauritania scores poorly on the Human Development Index where it comes in as no. 154 of the 182 states that are ranked in the world, and last of the MENA countries. On a scale with 1.000 as maximum, Mauritania gains 0.520 points.
The currency of Mauritania is the ouguiya (MRO). It is neither a weak nor strong currency, falling towards other currencies at a relatively stable rate.
Mauritania is by all measures a poor country. With a GDP per capita at US$2,100 (2008 estimate), the country is 80% below world average. Unemployment at 13% and 23% of the population below the poverty line are comparatively less dramatic figures.
Mauritania has a very poor record on all aspects of health, and in large areas there are no services available.
The situation for education is better than for health, but only marginally. A substantial part of the higher education in Mauritania have received their education at national institutions.
There is no good data on ethnic groups in Mauritania, it is divided into groups like "Moors" and blacks.
Information on languages is better than for people groups, Hassaniya Arabic is the elite language, but there are several more languages that cross into neighbouring countries.
Close to 100% of the Mauritanian population are reported to belong to Sunni Islam, with Sufism is important movements.
Mauritanian women have an alarmingly high fertility rate. What curtails what could have been an explosive growth is the short life expectancy.
Mauritania's history is prouder than the today's society might indicate; historical empires could trace their origins back Mauritania.