Statistical information The Gambia 2023The%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 2023
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Background: In the 10th century, Muslim merchants established some of The Gambia’s earliest large settlements as trans-Saharan trade hubs. These settlements eventually grew into major export centers sending slaves, gold, and ivory across the Sahara. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, European colonial powers began establishing trade with The Gambia. In 1664, the United Kingdom established a colony in The Gambia focused on exporting enslaved people across the Atlantic. During the roughly 300 years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the UK and other European powers may have exported as many as 3 million people from The Gambia.

The Gambia - Geography 2023
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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: 10,120 km²
Water: 1,180 km²
Comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Delaware

Land boundaries
Total: 749 km
Border countries: (1) Senegal 749 km

Coastline: 80 km

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

Highest point: unnamed elevation 63 m; 3 km southeast of the town of Sabi
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Mean elevation: 34 m

Natural resources: fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon
Land use

Land use
Agricultural land: 56.1% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land arable land: 41% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent crops: 0.5% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent pasture: 14.6% (2018 est.)
Forest: 43.9% (2018 est.)
Other: 0% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land: 50 km² (2012)

Major rivers
By length in km:
Gambia river mouth (shared with Senegal and Guinea [s]) - 1,094 km
note: - [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal
Municipal: 40 million cubic meters (2020 est.)
Industrial: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)
Agricultural: 40 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources: 8 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Natural hazards: droughts

Note: almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the African mainland

The Gambia - People 2023
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Distribution: settlements are found scattered along the Gambia River; the largest communities, including the capital of Banjul, and the country's largest city, Serekunda, are found at the mouth of the Gambia River along the Atlantic coast as shown in this [link]: 2,468,569 (2023 est.)
Growth rate: 2.23% (2023 est.)
Below poverty line: 48.6% (2015 est.)

Noun: Gambian(s)
Adjective: Gambian

Ethnic groups: Mandinka/Jahanka 33.3%, Fulani/Tukulur/Lorobo 18.2%, Wolof 12.9%, Jola/Karoninka 11%, Serahuleh 7.2%, Serer 3.5%, other 4%, non-Gambian 9.9% (2019-20 est.)

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

Religions: Muslim 96.4%, Christian 3.5%, other or none 0.1% (2019-20 est.)

Demographic profile: The Gambia’s youthful age structure - approximately 55% of the population is under the age of 25 as of 2021 - is likely to persist because the country’s total fertility rate remains strong at nearly 4 children per woman. The overall literacy rate is around 50%, and is significantly lower for women than for men. At least 70% of the populace are farmers who are reliant on rain-fed agriculture and cannot afford improved seeds and fertilizers. Crop failures caused by droughts between 2011 and 2013 increased poverty, food shortages, and malnutrition.
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 38.86% (male 484,113/female 475,134)
15-64 years: 57.57% (male 700,049/female 721,057)
65 years and over: 3.57% (2023 est.) (male 38,954/female 49,262)

Dependency ratios
Total dependency ratio: 85
Youth dependency ratio: 80.5
Elderly dependency ratio: 4.5
Potential support ratio: 22.2 (2021 est.)

Median age
Total: 19.9 years (2023 est.)
Male: 19.5 years
Female: 20.3 years

Population growth rate: 2.23% (2023 est.)

Birth rate: 28 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate: 5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution: settlements are found scattered along the Gambia River; the largest communities, including the capital of Banjul, and the country's largest city, Serekunda, are found at the mouth of the Gambia River along the Atlantic coast as shown in this [link]

Urban population: 64.5% of total population (2023)
Rate of urbanization: 3.75% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas
Population: 481,000 BANJUL (capital) (2023)
Population note: includes the local government areas of Banjul and Kanifing

Current issues: deforestation due to slash-and-burn agriculture; desertification; water pollution; water-borne diseases
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
International agreements signed, but not ratified: Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants
Particulate matter emissions: 39.1 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions: 0.53 megatons (2016 est.)
Methane emissions: 1.96 megatons (2020 est.)

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth: 20.7 years (2019/20 est.)
Note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio: 458 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate
Total: 36.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)
Male: 39.9 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 32.9 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 68 years (2023 est.)
Male: 66.3 years
Female: 69.8 years

Total fertility rate: 3.66 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate: 18.9% (2019/20)

Drinking water source
Improved urban: 91.8% of population
Improved rural: 85.7% of population
Improved total: 89.5% of population
Unimproved urban: 8.2% of population
Unimproved rural: 14.3% of population
Unimproved total: 10.5% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure: 2.6% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density: 0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density: 1.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Sanitation facility access
Improved urban:
75.8% of population

rural: 33.6% of population

total: 60% of population

Unimproved urban:
24.2% of population

rural: 66.4% of population

total: 40% of population (2020 est.)


Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk: very high (2023)
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
Water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
Animal contact diseases: rabies
Respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Obesity adult prevalence rate: 10.3% (2016)

Alcohol consumption
Per capita total: 2.67 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita beer: 0.21 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita spirits: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita other alcohols: 2.44 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use
Total: 11.1% (2020 est.)
Male: 21.4% (2020 est.)
Female: 0.8% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 11.6% (2019/20)

Education expenditures: 2.8% of GDP (2020 est.)

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 58.1%
Male: 65.2%
Female: 51.2% (2021)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 15.5% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 11.4%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 20.5%

The Gambia - Government 2023
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
Conventional short form: The Gambia
Etymology: named for the Gambia River that flows through the heart of the country

Government type: presidential republic

Name: Banjul
Geographic coordinates: 13 27 N, 16 34 W
Time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Etymology: Banjul is located on Saint Mary's Island at the mouth of the Gambia River; the Mandinka used to gather fibrous plants on the island for the manufacture of ropes; "bang julo" is Mandinka for "rope fiber"; mispronunciation over time caused the term became the word Banjul

Administrative divisions: 5 regions, 1 city*, and 1 municipality**; Banjul*, Central River, Kanifing**, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, West Coast

Dependent areas

Independence: 18 February 1965 (from the UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 February (1965)

History: previous 1965 (Independence Act), 1970; latest adopted 8 April 1996, approved by referendum 8 August 1996, effective 16 January 1997; note - in early 2018, the "Constitutional Review Commission," was established to draft and assist in instituting a new constitution; a second draft completed in March 2020 was rejected by the National Assembly in September; the president announced in January 2022 government plans to draft a new constitution 
Amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the Assembly membership in each of several readings and approval by the president of the republic; a referendum is required for amendments affecting national sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedoms, government structures and authorities, taxation, and public funding; passage by referendum requires participation of at least 50% of eligible voters and approval by at least 75% of votes cast; amended 2001, 2004, 2018

Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law

International law organization participation: accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship by birth: yes
Citizenship by descent only: yes
Dual citizenship recognized: no
Residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2022); Vice President Isatou TOURAY (since 15 March 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2022); Vice President Isatou TOURAY (since 15 March 2019)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 4 December 2021 (next to be held in 2,026); vice president appointed by the president
Election results:

Adama BARROW reelected president; percent of vote - Adama BARROW (NPP) 53.2%, Ousainou DARBOE (UDP) 27.7%, Mamma KANDEH (GDC) 12.3%, other 6.8%

2016: Adama BARROW elected president; percent of vote - Adama BARROW (Coalition 2016) 43.3%, Yahya JAMMEH (APRC) 39.6%, Mamma KANDEH (GDC) 17.1%

Legislative branch
Description: unicameral National Assembly (58 seats; 53 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 5 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
Elections: last held on 9 April 2022 (next to be held in 2,027)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NPP 33.9%, UDP 28.3%, independent 22.6%, NRP 7.5%, PDOIS 3.7%, APRL 3.7%; seats by party - NPP 18, UDP 15, independent 12,NRP 4, APRL 2, PDOIS 2; composition - men 52, women 6, percent of women 10.3%

Judicial branch
Highest courts: Supreme Court of The Gambia (consists of the chief justice and 6 justices; 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 at age 75
Subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Special Criminal Court; Khadis or Muslim courts; district tribunals; magistrates courts; cadi courts

Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Fabakary JATTA]
Coalition 2016 [collective leadership] (electoral coalition includes UDP, PDOIS, NRP, GMC, GDC, PPP, and GPDP)
Gambia Democratic Congress or GDC [Mama KANDEH]
Gambia Moral Congress or GMC [Mai FATTY]
Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress or GPDP [Sarja JARJOU]
National Convention Party or NCP [Yaya SANYANG and Majanko SAMUSA (both claiming leadership)]
National Democratic Action Movement or NDAM [Lamin Yaa JUARA]
National People's Party or NPP [Adama BARROW]
National Reconciliation Party or NRP [Hamat BAH]
People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS [Halifa SALLAH]
People's Progressive Party or PPP [Yaya CEESAY)]
United Democratic Party or UDP [Ousainou DARBOE]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission:
Ambassador Momodou Lamin BAH (12 December 2022)

In the us chancery: 5,630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,011
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 785-1399; [1] (202) 785-1428
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430
In the us email address and website:;


From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Sharon L. CROMER (since 18 March 2022)
From the us embassy: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, P.M.B. 19, Banjul
From the us mailing address: 2,070 Banjul Place, Washington DC 20,521-2,070
From the us telephone: [220] 439-2,856
From the us FAX: [220] 439-2,475
From the us email address and website:


Flag descriptionflag of The%20Gambia: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green; red stands for the sun and the savannah, blue represents the Gambia River, and green symbolizes forests and agriculture; the white stripes denote unity and peace

National symbols: lion; national colors: red, blue, green, white

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"

National heritage
Total World Heritage Sites: 2 (both cultural)
Selected World Heritage Site locales: Kunta Kinteh Island and Related Sites; Stone Circles of Senegambia

The Gambia - Economy 2023
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Economy overview: small West African economy; COVID-19 reversed robust growth trends; good fiscal management; substantial foreign direct investment and remittances; G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative participant; widespread poverty; increasing Chinese relations

Real gdp purchasing power parity:
$5.482 billion (2021 est.)
$5.258 billion (2020 est.)
$5.227 billion (2019 est.)

Note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real gdp growth rate:
4.27% (2021 est.)
0.59% (2020 est.)
6.22% (2019 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use
Household consumption: 90.7% (2017 est.)
Government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)
Investment in fixed capital: 19.2% (2017 est.)
Investment in inventories: -2.7% (2017 est.)
Exports of goods and services: 20.8% (2017 est.)
Imports of goods and services: -40% (2017 est.)

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 20.4% (2017 est.)
Industry: 14.2% (2017 est.)
Services: 65.4% (2017 est.)

Agriculture products

Industries: peanuts, fish, hides, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing

Industrial production growth rate: 10.4% (2021 est.)

Labor force: 856,100 (2021 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
11.21% (2021 est.)
11.08% (2020 est.)
9.5% (2019 est.)


Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 15.5% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 11.4%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 20.5%

Population below poverty line: 48.6% (2015 est.)

Gini index
Coefficient distribution of family income: 35.9 (2015 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10%: 2%
Highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $252 million (2018 est.)
Expenditures: $353 million (2018 est.)
Surplus  or deficit: -2.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt:
88% of GDP (2017 est.)
82.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues: 20.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

From forest resources: 2.47% of GDP (2018 est.)
From coal: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance:
-$94.081 million (2021 est.)
-$86.553 million (2020 est.)
-$37.078 million (2019 est.)

Inflation rate consumer prices:
7.37% (2021 est.)
5.93% (2020 est.)
7.12% (2019 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:
-$94.081 million (2021 est.)
-$86.553 million (2020 est.)
-$37.078 million (2019 est.)

$135.448 million (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$175.682 million (2020 est.)
$360.208 million (2019 est.)

Partners: China 38%, India 22%, Mali 7%, Chile 5% (2017)
Commodities: cashews, lumber, refined petroleum, shellfish, scrap iron, fish, sesame seeds (2021)

$726 million (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$691 million (2020 est.)
$641 million (2019 est.)

Partners: China 33%, India 10%, Senegal 5%, Brazil 5% (2019)
Commodities: clothing and apparel, refined petroleum, rice, raw sugar, palm oil (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$652.671 million (31 December 2021 est.)
$387.046 million (31 December 2020 est.)
$256.957 million (31 December 2019 est.)

Debt external:
$586.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$571.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates:
dalasis (GMD) per US dollar - 51.484 (2021 est.)
51.502 (2020 est.)
50.062 (2019 est.)
48.152 (2018 est.)
46.609 (2017 est.)

The Gambia - Energy 2023
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Electricity access
Population without electricity: (2020) less than 1 million
Electrification-total population: 63.6% (2021)
Electrification-urban areas: 82.5% (2021)
Electrification-rural areas: 31.2% (2021)

Electricity production

Electricity consumption: 235.035 million kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity installed generating capacity: 137,000 kW (2020 est.)

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources
Fossil fuels: 98.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Solar: 1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)
Refined petroleum consumption: 3,900 bbl/day (2019 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum
Products production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Products exports: 42 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Products imports: 3,738 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas
Production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions: 606,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From petroleum and other liquids: 606,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Energy consumption per capita: 3.547 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

The Gambia - Communication 2023
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Telephones fixed lines
Total subscriptions: 60,000 (2021 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2021 est.)

Telephones mobile cellular
Total subscriptions: 27 million (2021 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 100 (2021 est.)

Telephone system

Broadcast media: 1 state-run TV-channel; one privately-owned TV-station; 1 Online TV-station; three state-owned radio station and 31 privately owned radio stations; eight community 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 

Internet country code: .gm

Internet users
Total: 858,000 (2021 est.)
Percent of population: 33% (2021 est.)

Broadband fixed subscriptions
Total: 5,000 (2020 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.2 (2020 est.)

The Gambia - Military 2023
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Military expenditures:
0.7% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.8% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.8% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.8% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security forces: Gambian Armed Forces (GAF; aka Armed Forces of the Gambia): the Gambian National Army (GNA), Gambia Navy, Gambia Air Force, Republican National Guard (2023)
Note: the National Guard is responsible for VIP protection, riot control, and presidential security; the Gambia Police Force under the Ministry of Interior maintains internal security

Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (18-22 for officers); no conscription; service obligation six months (2023)

Terrorist groups

The Gambia - Transportation 2023
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National air transport system
Number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
Inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6
Annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 53,735 (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix: C5

Airports: 1 (2021)
With paved runways: 1
With paved runways note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports with paved runways: 1
Note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports with unpaved runways




Total: 2,977 km (2011)
Paved: 518 km (2011)
Unpaved: 2,459 km (2011)

Waterways: 390 km (2010) (on River Gambia; small oceangoing vessels can reach 190 km)

Merchant marine
Total: 9 (2022)
By type: general cargo 1, other 8

Ports and terminals
Major seaports: Banjul

The Gambia - Transnational issues 2023
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Disputes international: border issues include 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
IDPs: 5,600 (2022)

Illicit drugs


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