Western Sahara (Disputed)

Facts & Figures

Map of Western Sahara (proposed state)
  • Total area: 102,703 sq mi (266,001 sq km)

    Population (2013 est.): 554,795 (growth rate: 2.89); birth rate: 30.71; infant mortality rate: 56.09; life expectancy: 62.27; density per sq mi: 5

    Largest city (2010 est.): El Aaiun 196,331

    Monetary unit: Tala

    Languages: Standard Arabic (national), Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic

    Ethnicity/race: Arab, Berber

    Religion: Islam

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP: $906.5 million (2007 est.) Inflation: n.a. Arable land: 0.02%. Agriculture: fruits and vegetables (grown in the few oases); camels, sheep, goats (kept by nomads); fish. Labor force: 144,000 (2010 est.); animal husbandry and subsistence farming 50%. Industries: phosphate mining, handicrafts. Natural resources: phosphates, iron ore. Exports: n.a.: phosphates 62%. Imports: n.a.: fuel for fishing fleet, foodstuffs. Major trading partners: Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, so trade partners are included in overall Moroccan accounts.

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: about 2,000 (1999 est.); mobile cellular: 0 (1999). Radio broadcast stations: Morocco's state-owned broadcaster, Radio-Television Marocaine (RTM), operates a radio service from Laayoune and relays TV service; a Polisario-backed radio station also broadcasts (2008). Radios: 56,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: n.a. Televisions: 6,000 (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000).

    Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 6,200 km; paved: 1,350 km; unpaved: 4,850 km (1991 est.). Ports and harbors: Ad Dakhla, Cabo Bojador, Laayoune (El Aaiun). Airports: 6 (2013).

    International disputes: Many neighboring states reject Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; several states have extended diplomatic relations to the "Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" represented by the Polisario Front in exile in Algeria, while others recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara; approximately 90,000 Sahrawi refugees continue to be sheltered in camps in Tindouf, Algeria, which has hosted Sahrawi refugees since the 1980s.

    Major sources and definitions

Flag of Western Sahara (proposed state)