The Gambia Population: 1,883,051

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 History
The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Senegal, it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty, but tensions have flared up intermittently since then. Yahya JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president and banned political activity. A new constitution and presidential elections in 1996, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule. JAMMEH has been elected president in all subsequent elections including most recently in late 2011.

 Geography
Almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal
Geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 16 34 W
Area: total: 11,295 sq km
land: 10,000 sq km
water: 1,295 sq km

Size comparison: slightly less than twice the size of Delaware
Land Boundaries: total: 740 km
border countries: Senegal 740 km
Coastline: 80 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: extent not specified
Climate: tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)
Terrain: flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation 53 m
Natural resources: fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon
Land use: arable land: 39.82%
permanent crops: 0.44%
other: 59.73% (2011)
Irrigated land: 50 sq km (2011)
Natural hazards: drought (rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years)
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
International Environment 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
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 People
Nationality: noun: Gambian(s)
adjective: Gambian
Ethnic groups: African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1% (2003 census)
Languages: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Religions: Muslim 90%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 2%
Population: 1,883,051 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 39.2% (male 369,966/female 367,285)
15-24 years: 21.1% (male 196,194/female 201,206)
25-54 years: 32.5% (male 299,837/female 312,864)
55-64 years: 4% (male 36,330/female 38,464)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 28,722/female 32,183) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 93.5 %
youth dependency ratio: 88.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 4.6 %
potential support ratio: 21.6 (2013)
Median age: total: 19.9 years
male: 19.6 years
female: 20.2 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.29% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 32.59 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 7.38 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 57.3% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3.63% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: BANJUL (capital) 436,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 360 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 67.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 73.15 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 61.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 64.09 years
male: 61.78 years
female: 66.47 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.98 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 13.3% (2010)
Health expenditures: 5.7% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 0.04 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Hospital bed density: 1.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 92% of population
rural: 85% of population
total: 89% of population

unimproved:
urban: 8% of population
rural: 15% of population
total: 11% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 70% of population
rural: 65% of population
total: 68% of population

unimproved:
urban: 30% of population
rural: 35% of population
total: 32% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 18,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 7.9% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 15.8% (2006)
Education expenditures: 3.9% of GDP (2011)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51.1%
male: 60.9%
female: 41.9% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 8.6 years (2008)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
conventional short form: The Gambia
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Banjul
geographic coordinates: 13 27 N, 16 34 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Central River, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, Western
Independence: 18 February 1965 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 18 February (1965)
Constitution: approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; effective 16 January 1997
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Yahya JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); note - from 1994 to 1996 he was chairman of the junta; Vice President Isatou NJIE-SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Yahya JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); Vice President Isatou NJIE-SAIDY (since 20 March 1997)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 24 November 2011 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: Yahya JAMMEH reelected president; percent of vote - Yahya JAMMEH 71.5%, Ousainou DARBOE 17.4%, Hamat BAH 11.1%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (53 seats; 48 members elected by popular vote, 5 appointed by the president; members to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 29 March 2012 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: percent of vote by party - APRC 51.8%, independents 38.8%, NRP 9.4%; seats by party - APRC 43, independents 4, NRP 1 note: except for the NRP, all opposition parties boycotted the 29 March 2012 legislative elections
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of The Gambia (consists of the chief justice and 6 other justices); note - court sessions held with 5 justices judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission, a 6-member independent body of high-level judicial officials, a presidential appointee, and a National Assembly appointee; justices appointed for life or until mandatory retirement age

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Special Criminal Court; Khadis or Muslim courts; district tribunals; magistrates courts
Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Yahya JAMMEH] (the ruling party) Gambia People's Democratic Party or GPDP [Henry GOMEZ] National Alliance for Democracy and Development or NADD [Halifa SALLAH] National Convention Party or NCP [Sheriff DIBBA] National Reconciliation Party or NRP [Hamat BAH] People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS [Halifa SALLAH] United Democratic Party or UDP [Ousainou DARBOE]
Political pressure groups and leaders: National Environment Agency or NEA West African Peace Building Network-Gambian Chapter or WANEB-GAMBIA Youth Employment Network Gambia or YENGambia other: special needs group advocates; teachers and principals
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): lion
National anthem: name: "For The Gambia, Our Homeland"
lyrics/music: Virginia Julie HOWE/adapted by Jeremy Frederick HOWE

note: adopted 1965; the music is an adaptation of the traditional Mandinka song "Foday Kaba Dumbuya"
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Baboucarr JARROW
chancery: Suite 240, Georgetown Plaza, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1379, 1399, 1425
FAX: [1] (202) 342-0240
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Edward M. ALFORD
embassy: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, Banjul
mailing address: P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul
telephone: [220] 439-2856, 437-6169, 437-6170
FAX: [220] 439-2475
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 Economy
The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits and a limited agricultural base, and relies in part on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. About three-quarters of the population depends on the agricultural sector for its livelihood and the sector provides for about one-quarter of GDP. The agricultural sector has untapped potential - less than half of arable land is cultivated. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of peanuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia's natural beauty and proximity to Europe has made it one of the larger markets for tourism in West Africa, boosted by government and private sector investments in eco-tourism and upscale facilities. In 2012, however, sluggish tourism led to a decline in GDP. Tourism brings in about one-fifth of GDP. Agriculture also took a hit in 2012 due to unfavorable weather patterns. The Gambia's re-export trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports. Unemployment and underemployment rates remain high. Economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, and on continued technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors. International donors and lenders continue to be concerned about the quality of fiscal management and The Gambia's debt burden.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.459 billion (2012 est.) $3.327 billion (2011 est.) $3.476 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $918 million (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.9% (2012 est.) -4.3% (2011 est.) 6.5% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,900 (2012 est.) $1,900 (2011 est.) $2,000 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 11.2% of GDP (2012 est.) 15.3% of GDP (2011 est.) 16.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 81.9%
government consumption: 16.1%
investment in fixed capital: 27.8%
investment in inventories: 1.7%
exports of goods and services: 42%
imports of goods and services: -69.6% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 81.9%
government consumption: 16.1%
investment in fixed capital: 27.8%
investment in inventories: 1.7%
exports of goods and services: 42%
imports of goods and services: -69.6% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (manioc), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats
Industries: processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing
Industrial production growth rate: -3% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 777,100 (2007)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 75%
industry: 19%
services: 6% (1996)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: 48.4% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 50.2 (1998)
Budget: revenues: $180.8 million
expenditures: $208.9 million (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 19.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.7% (2012 est.) 4.8% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$155.5 million (2012 est.) -$119.1 million (2011 est.)
Exports: $104.7 million (2012 est.) $104.5 million (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
Exports - partners: China 57.3%, India 18%, France 4.6%, UK 4.1% (2012)
Imports: $360.3 million (2012 est.) $328.4 million (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Imports - partners: China 27.1%, Senegal 8.4%, Brazil 8%, UK 6.3%, India 6%, Indonesia 4.1% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $236.2 million (31 December 2012 est.) $223.2 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $480.6 million (31 December 2012 est.) $466.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: dalasis (GMD) per US dollar - 32.0771 (2012 est.) 29.4615 (2011 est.) 28.012 (2010 est.) 26.6444 (2009) 22.75 (2008)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 240 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 177
Electricity - consumption: 223.2 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 53,000 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 3,181 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 41.62 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,913 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 291,000 Mt (2010 est.)
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 50,400 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 163
Cellular Phones in use: 1.4 million (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: adequate microwave radio relay and open-wire network; state-owned Gambia Telecommunications partially privatized in 2007

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity, aided by multiple mobile-cellular providers, is roughly 80 per 100 persons

international: country code - 220; microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; a landing station for the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) undersea fiber-optic cable is scheduled for completion in 2011; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
Broadcast media: state-owned, single-channel TV service; state-owned radio station and 4 privately owned radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available, some via shortwave radio; cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable in some parts of the country (2007)
Internet country code: .gm
Internet hosts: 656 (2012)
Internet users: 130,100 (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 1 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 216
Airports (paved runways): total 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 3,742 km
paved: 723 km
unpaved: 3,019 km (2004)
Waterways: 390 km (on River Gambia; small ocean-going vessels can reach 190 km) (2010)
Merchant marine: total 4

by type: passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 1 (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Banjul
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 Military
Military branches: Office of the Chief of Defense Staff: Gambian National Army (GNA), Gambian Navy (GN), Republican National Guard (RNG) (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 423,306
females age 16-49: 438,641 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 315,176
females age 16-49: 347,017 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 20,508
female: 20,853 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 0.7% of GDP (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: attempts to stem refugees, cross-border raids, arms smuggling, and other illegal activities by separatists from southern Senegal's Casamance region, as well as from conflicts in other west African states
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 9,042 (Senegal) (2012)
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Source: CIA - The World Factbook

 

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