Western Sahara

Official nameSahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Name in local languageالجمهورية العربية الصحراوية الديمقراطية (ar) ; República árabe saharaui democrática (es)
SubcontinentNorth Africa
Population (ranking: 173e)654,052 inhabitants (2018)
Population growth3.34 % / year
Area266,000 km²
Density2.46 inhabitants / km²
GDP (ranking: 224e)1.138 billions $USD (2007)
GDP/capita (ranking)2,500 $USD (2007)
GDP growth0.00 % / year (2007)
Life expectancy (ranking)63.00 years (2016)
Birth rate29.80 ‰ (2016)
Fertility rate3.93 children / woman (2016)
Death rate (ranking)8.20 ‰ (2016)
Infant mortality rate (ranking)53.30 ‰ (2016)
Literacy rate0.00 % (2018)
Official languagesArabic, French, Spanish
CurrencySahrawi peseta (EHP), Moroccan dirham (de jure), Algerian dinar, Mauritanian ouguiya (de facto)
HDI (ranking: n.c.)0.000 / 1 (2017)
EPI (ranking)0.00 (2018)
GovernmentOne-party semi-presidential republic
Head of StatePresident Brahim Ghali
National Day27 February (Republic declared in 1976)
DemonymSahrawi, Western Saharan, Sahrawian
Sahara occidental – petite

Western Sahara, or Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), is located in northern Africa, southern Morocco, northern Mauritania. It shares a small border with Algeria, and a maritime border with Spain, at the level of the Canary Islands.
It is an internationally unrecognized state, proclaimed on 27 February 1976 by the Polisario Front, which claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara. This territory is also claimed by Morocco, which controls 80% of its area, and calls this region “Southern Provinces”.

Sahara occidental - dunes
Dunes in Western Sahara
Laâyoune, capitale du Sahara occidental
Laâyoune, capitale of Western Sahara

The statistics provided here are purely indicative and based on estimates (UN, CIA), with the exception of urban populations (2014 Morocco census, updated in 2017).

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Urban areas (2017)
Urban areasPopulation
Laâyoune (capitale proclamée, sous contrôle marocain)262,759 inhabitants
Dakhla117,286 inhabitants
Bir Lahlou (capitale temporaire)0 inhabitants
See all urban areas
See also