Statistical information The Gambia 1996The%20Gambia

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

The Gambia in the World
The Gambia in the World


The Gambia - Introduction 1996
top of page

Background: The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965; it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia with Senegal between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty. A military coup in 1994 overthrew the president and banned political activity.

The Gambia - Geography 1996
top of page

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 11,300 km²
Land: 10,000 km²
Comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Delaware

Land boundaries: Total 740 km, Senegal 740 km

Coastline: 80 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 18 nm
Continental shelf: not specified
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: 53 m

Natural resources: Fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 16%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 9%
Forests and woodland: 20%
Other: 55%

Irrigated land: 120 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


The Gambia - People 1996
top of page

1,204,984 (July 1996 est.)
989,273 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
3.55% (1996 est.)
3.08% (1995 est.)

Noun: Gambian(s)
Adjective: Gambian

Ethnic groups:
African 99% (Mandinka 42%
Fula 18%
Wolof 16%
Jola 10%
Serahuli 9%
Other 4%)
Non-Gambian 1%

Languages: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars

Muslim 90%
Christian 9%
Indigenous beliefs 1%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
46% (male 276,782; female 275,683) (July 1996 est.)
47% (male 231,053; female 231,636) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
51% (male 307,405; female 312,736) (July 1996 est.)
51% (male 244,947; female 257,329) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
3% (male 17,278; female 15,100) (July 1996 est.)
2% (male 12,458; female 11,850) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
3.55% (1996 est.)
3.08% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
44.44 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
45.97 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
13.66 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
15.19 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
4.72 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
Current issues Natural hazards: rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last thirty years
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling; signed, but not ratified_Desertification
International agreements note: Almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.14 male(s)/female
All ages:
1 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:80.5 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
120.8 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 52.96 years (1996 est.); 50.55 years (1995 est.)
Male: 50.74 (1996 est.); 48.25 years (1995 est.)
Female: 55.24 years (1996 est.); 52.92 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
6.06 children born/woman (1996 est.)
6.23 children born/woman (1995 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

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 38.6%
Male: 52.8%
Female: 24.9%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

The Gambia - Government 1996
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
Conventional short form: The Gambian

Government type: Republic under multiparty democratic rule

Capital: Banjul

Administrative divisions: 5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Lower River, MacCarthy Island, North Bank, Upper River, Western

Dependent areas

Independence: 18 February 1965 (from U.K.; The Gambia and Senegal signed an agreement on 12 December 1981 that called for the creation of a loose confederation to be known as Senegambia, but the agreement was dissolved on 30 September 1989)

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 February (1965)

Constitution: 24 April 1970

Legal system: Based on a composite of English common law, Koranic law, and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government:
Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council Capt. Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since the military coup of 22 July 1994); Vice Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council Capt. Edward SINGHATEH (since March 1995); election last held NA 1996; results_Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH 55%
Last elections prior to coup held on 29 April 1992; results_Sir Dawda JAWARA (PPP) 58.5%, Sherif Mustapha DIBBA (NCP) 22.2%, Assan Musa CAMARA (GPP) 8.0% (prior to the 22 July 1994 coup, next election was scheduled for April 1997)

Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president from members of the House of Representatives (present cabinet appointed by Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council)

Legislative branch: Unicameral House of Representatives:Elections last held on 29 April 1992 (next to be held April 1997); results_PPP 58.1%; seats_(43 total, 36 elected) PPP 30, NCP 6
Note: following the military coup on 22 July 1994, all elective offices were dissolved; in April 1996, the military government announced that voter registrations would begin in May and democratic elections would be held in October 1996

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of The%20Gambia: Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

The Gambia - Economy 1996
top of page

Economy overview: The Gambia has no important mineral or other natural resources and has a limited agricultural base. About 75% of the population is engaged in crop production and livestock raising. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of peanuts, fish, and hides. A sustained structural adjustment program, including a liberalized trade policy, had fostered a respectable 4% annual rate of growth in 1990-93. Reexport trade normally constitutes one-third of economic activity; however, border closures associated with Senegal's monetary crisis in late 1993 led to a halving of reexport trade, reducing government revenues in turn. The 50% devaluation of the CFA franc in January 1994 has made Senegalese goods more competitive and apparently prompted a relaxation of Senegalese controls, paving the way for a comeback in reexports. But, in response to the military's takeover in July 1994, cuts in foreign trade and a decline in tourism have undermined economic growth.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2% (1995 est.)

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: Accounts for 27% of GDP; one-third of food requirements is imported; major export crop is peanuts; other principal crops_millet, sorghum, rice, corn, cassava, palm kernels; livestock_cattle, sheep, goats; forestry and fishing resources not fully exploited

Peanut processing
Agricultural machinery assembly

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 6.7%

Labor force: 400,000 (1986 est.)
By occupation agriculture: 75.0%
By occupation industry commerce and services: 18.9%
By occupation government: 6.1%
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

Revenues: $91.4 million (FY95/96 est.); $94 million (FY92/93 est.)
Expenditures: $90 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY95/96 est.) ; $89 million, including capital expenditures of $24 million (FY92/93 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 July_30 June

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

total value. $35 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
$81 million (f.o.b., FY92/93 est.)

Peanuts and peanut products
Cotton lint
Palm kernels

Japan 60%
Europe 29%
Africa 5%
U.S. 1%
Other 5% (1989)

Total value:
$209 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
$154 million (f.o.b., FY92/93 est.)

Raw materials
Machinery and transport equipment

Europe 57%
Asia 25%
Former USSR and Eastern Europe 9%
U.S. 6%
Other 3% (1989)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $386 million (1993 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Dalasi (D) per US$1_9.555 (August 1996), 9.576 (1994), 9.129 (1993), 8.888 (1992), 8.803 (1991), 7.883 (1990)

The Gambia - Energy 1996
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 70 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 64 kWh (1993)

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

The Gambia - Communication 1996
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 11,000 telephones
Local: NA
Intercity: adequate network of radio relay and wire
International: microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station_1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

The Gambia - Military 1996
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $14 million, 3.8% of GDP (FY93/94)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

The Gambia - Transportation 1996
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1
With paved runways: over 3,047 m :1

Airports with paved runways: over 3,047 m :1

Airports with unpaved runways





Waterways: 400 km

Merchant marine: none

Ports and terminals

The Gambia - Transnational issues 1996
top of page

Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it