Statistical information Western Sahara 1994Western%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

Volotea Air

Western Sahara - Introduction 1994
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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 1991 cease-fire; a referendum on final status has been repeatedly postponed and is not expected to occur until at least 2002.

Western Sahara - Geography 1994
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Location: Northern Africa, along the Atlantic Ocean, between Morocco and Mauritania

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAfrica, Standard Time Zones of the World

Total area total: 266,000 km²
Land: 266,000 km²

Land boundaries: total 2,046 km, 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 air 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
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Meadows and pastures: 19%
Forest and woodland: 0%
Other: 81%

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility


Western Sahara - People 1994
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Population: 211,877 (July 1994 est.)
Growth rate: 2.5% (1994 est.)

Nationality: noun:Sahrawi(s), Sahraoui(s)

Ethnic groups: Arab, Berber

Languages: Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic

Religions: Muslim

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.5% (1994 est.)

Birth rate: 47.22 births/1000 population (1994 est.)

Death rate: 19.04 deaths/1000 population (1994 est.)

Net migration rate: -3.21 migrant(s)/1000 population (1994 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: sparse water and arable land
International agreements: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 152.2 deaths/1000 live births (1994 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 45.59 years
Male: 44.66 years
Female: 46.83 years (1994 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.96 children born/woman (1994 est.)

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

Total population: NA%
Male: NA%
Female: NA%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Western Sahara - Government 1994
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Country name
Conventional long form:
conventional short form

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), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government in exile of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR; 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 continued sporadically, until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented 6 September 1991

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: none

Diplomatic representation
From the us:

Flag descriptionflag of Western%20Sahara

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Western Sahara - Economy 1994
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Economy overview: Western Sahara, a territory poor in natural resources and having little rainfall, has a per capita GDP of roughly $300. Pastoral nomadism, fishing, and phosphate mining are the principal sources of income for the population. 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: NA%

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: limited largely to subsistence agriculture; 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 mining, fishing, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

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

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 - 9.669 (January 1994), 9.299 (1993), 8.538 (1992), 8.707 (1991), 8.242 (1990), 8.488 (1989)

Western Sahara - Energy 1994
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 79 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 425 kWh (1989)

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 1994
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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 1994
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA, NA% of GDP

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Western Sahara - Transportation 1994
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 14
Usable: 14
With permanentsurface runways: 3
With runways over 3659 m: 0
With runways 2440-3659 m: 3
With runways 1220-2439 m: 5

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Western Sahara - Transnational issues 1994
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Disputes international: claimed and administered by Morocco, but sovereignty is unresolved and the UN is attempting to hold a referendum on the issue; the UN-administered cease-fire has been currently in effect since September 1991

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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