Statistical information Western Sahara 1990Western%20Sahara

Map of Western Sahara | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Western Sahara in the World
Western Sahara in the World


Western Sahara - Introduction 1990
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Background: Morocco virtually annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara) in 1976 and the rest of the territory in 1979 following Mauritania's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Rabat's sovereignty ended in a 1990 cease-fire; a referendum on final status has been repeatedly postponed and is not expected to occur until at least 2002.

Western Sahara - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 2,046 km total; Algeria 42 km, Mauritania 1,561 km, Morocco 443 km

Coastline: 1,110 km

Maritime claims: contingent upon resolution of sovereignty issue

Climate: hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore currents produce fog and heavy dew

Terrain: mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast


Natural resources: phosphates, iron ore
Land use

Land use: NEGL% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 19% meadows and pastures; 0% forest and woodland; 81% other

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Western Sahara - People 1990
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Population: 191,707 (July 1990), growth rate 2.7% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Saharan(s), Moroccan(s; adjective--Saharan, Moroccan

Ethnic groups: Arab and Berber

Languages: Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic

Religions: Muslim

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 48 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 23 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 2 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility; sparse water and arable land: geoad2

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 177 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 39 years male, 41 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 7.3 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 20% among Moroccans, 5% among Saharans (est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Western Sahara - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: none

Government type: legal status of territory and question of sovereignty unresolved; territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro; territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976, with Morocco acquiring northern two-thirds; Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979; Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control; the Polisario's government in exile was seated as an OAU member in 1984; guerrilla activities continue to the present

Capital: none

Administrative divisions: none (under de facto control of Morocco)

Dependent areas


National holiday


Legal system

International law organization participation



Executive branch: none

Legislative branch: NA

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none

Flag descriptionflag of Western%20Sahara

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Western Sahara - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: Western Sahara, a territory poor in natural resources and having little rainfall, has a per capita GDP of just a few hundred dollars. Fishing and phosphate mining are the principal industries and sources of income. Most of the food for the urban population must be imported. All trade and other economic activities are controlled by the Moroccan Government.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: practically none; some barley is grown in nondrought years; fruit and vegetables are grown in the few oases; food imports are essential; camels, sheep, and goats are kept by the nomadic natives; cash economy exists largely for the garrison forces

Industries: phosphate, fishing, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 12,000; 50% animal husbandry and subsistence farming
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $NA; expenditures $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: NA

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $8 million (f.o.b., 1982 est.)
Commodities: phosphates 62%
Partners: Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, so trade partners are included in overall Moroccan accounts

Imports: $30 million (c.i.f., 1982 est.)
Commodities: fuel for fishing fleet, foodstuffs
Partners: Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, so trade partners are included in overall Moroccan accounts

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Moroccan dirhams (DH) per US$1--8.093 (January 1990), 8.488 (1989), 8.209 (1988), 8.359 (1987), 9.104 (1986), 10.062 (1985)

Western Sahara - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Western Sahara - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Western Sahara - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: NA

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Western Sahara - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 16 total, 14 usable; 3 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 6 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Western Sahara - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international: claimed and administered by Morocco, but sovereignty is unresolved and guerrilla fighting continues in the area

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Undercover Tourist

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