Statistical information The Gambia 2001The%20Gambia

Map of The Gambia | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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The Gambia in the World
The Gambia in the World

World Nomads

The Gambia - Introduction 2001
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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 but a new 1996 constitution and presidential elections followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997 have completed a nominal return to civilian rule.

The Gambia - Geography 2001
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Location: Western Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

Geographic coordinates: 13 28 N 16 34 W

Map referenceAfrica

Total: 11,300 km²
Land: 10,000 km²
Water: 1,300 km²
Comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Delaware

Land boundaries
Total: 740 km
Border countries: (1) 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: unnamed location 53 m

Natural resources: fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 18%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 9%
Forests and woodland: 28%
Other: 45% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 150 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: drought (rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years)

Note: almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa

The Gambia - People 2001
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Population: 1,411,205 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 3.14% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Gambian
Adjective: Gambian

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

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

Religions: Muslim 90% Christian 9% indigenous beliefs 1%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 45.22% (male 320,458; female 317,647)
15-64 years: 52.13% (male 364,900; female 370,717)
65 years and over: 2.65% (male 19,660; female 17,823) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 3.14% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 41.76 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 12.92 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.59 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.01 male/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male/female
65 years and over: 1.1 male/female
Total population: 1 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 77.84 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 53.59 years
Male: 51.65 years
Female: 55.58 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.68 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 1.95% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 13,000 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 1400 (1999 est.)

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 can read and write
Total population: 47.5%
Male: 58.4%
Female: 37.1% (2001 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

The Gambia - Government 2001
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
Conventional short form: The Gambia

Government type: republic under multiparty democratic rule

Capital: Banjul

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

Dependent areas

Independence: 18 February 1965 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day 18 February (1965)

Constitution: 24 April 1970; suspended July 1994; rewritten and approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; reestablished in January 1997

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: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); 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 A. J. J. JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); Vice President Isatou Njie SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Cabinet is appointed by the president
Elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; the number of terms is not restricted; election last held 26 September 1996 (next to be held NA October 2001)
Election results: Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH elected president; percent of vote - Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH 55.8%, Ousainou DARBOE 35.8%

Legislative branch
Elections: last popular election held 2 January 1997 (next to be held NA January 2002)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - APRC 33, UDP 7, NRP 2, PDOIS 1, independents 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders
Note: in August 1996 the government banned the following from participation in the elections of 1996: People's Progressive Party or PPP [former President Dawda K. JAWARA (in exile)], and two opposition parties - the National Convention Party or NCP [former Vice President Sheriff DIBBA] and the Gambian People's Party or GPP [Hassan Musa CAMARA]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador John P. BOJANG
In the us chancery: Suite 1000, 1155 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,005
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 785-1399
In the us fax: [1] (202) 785-1430
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador George W. B. HALEY
From the us embassy: Fajara, Kairaba Avenue, Banjul
From the us mailing address: P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul
From the us telephone: [220] 392,856, 392,858, 391,970, 391,971
From the us fax: [220] 392,475

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 2001
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Economy overview: The Gambia has no important mineral or other natural resources and has a limited agricultural base. About 75% of the population depends on crops and livestock for its livelihood. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of peanuts fish and hides. Reexport trade normally constitutes a major segment of economic activity but a 1999 government-imposed preshipment inspection plan instability of the Gambian dalasi and the stable political situation in Senegal have drawn some of the reexport trade away from Banjul. The government's 1998 seizure of the private peanut firm Alimenta eliminated the largest purchaser of Gambian groundnuts; the following two marketing seasons have seen significantly lower prices and sales. A decline in tourism from 1999 to 2000 has also held back growth. Unemployment and underemployment rates are extremely high. Shortrun economic progress remains highly dependent on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid on responsible government economic management as forwarded by IMF technical help and advice and on expected growth in the construction sector.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4.9% (2000 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: 21%
Industry: 12%
Services: 67% (1998 est.)

Agriculture products: peanuts millet sorghum rice corn sesame cassava (tapioca) palm kernels; cattle sheep goats; forest and fishery resources not fully exploited

Industries: processing peanuts fish and hides; tourism; beverages; agricultural machinery assembly woodworking metalworking; clothing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 400,000
By occupation agriculture: 75%
By occupation industry commerce and services: 19%
By occupation government: 6%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $90.5 million
Expenditures: $80.9 million, including capital expenditures of $4.1 million (2001 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 3.4% (2000 est.)

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: $125.8 million (f.o.b. 1999)
Commodities: peanuts and peanut products fish cotton lint palm kernels
Partners: Benelux 59% Japan 20% UK 7% Spain 2% (1999)

Imports: $202.5 million (f.o.b. 1999)
Commodities: foodstuffs manufactures fuel machinery and transport equipment
Partners: China (including Hong Kong) 49% UK 15% Netherlands 11.6% Brazil 10% Senegal 10% (1997)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $440 million (2001 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: dalasi per US dollar - 15.000 (January 2001) 12.729 (3d quarter 1999) 11.395 (1999) 10.643 (1998) 10.200 (1997) 9.789 (1996)

The Gambia - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 75 million kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 69.8 million kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1999)

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 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 5,624 (2000)

Telephone system
General assessment: adequate; a packet switched data network is available
Domestic: adequate network of microwave radio relay and open wire
International: microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .gm

Internet users: 5,000 (2001)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

The Gambia - Military 2001
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $2.6 million (2001 est.)
Percent of gdp: 2% (FY96/97)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

The Gambia - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
Over 3047 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: 400 km

Merchant marine: none (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

The Gambia - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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