Area: 272 190 sq km
Population: 542 100 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 1.99 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 27° - 21° N; long. 17° - 9° W
Capital: Laayoune=El Aaiún (chief town) 232 388 inhab. (2018);
President: Brahim Ghali (Polisario), since 12 July 2016
Prime Minister: Abdelkader Taleb Omar (Polisario), since 29 October 2003
Member of  AU

Western Sahara

Aș-Șaḥrā’ al-Gharbīyah
Useful information

GMT  0
DST  +1
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October



Politics and current affairs

Western Sahara comprises the territories of the former Spanish Sahara, which were annexed by Morocco in 1976. They include the provinces of Boujdour, Laayoune=El Aaiún and Es-Semara, and those annexed in 1979 (formerly Río de Oro, once administered by Mauritania under the name of Western Tiris), now forming the province of Oued ed Dahab (capital Dakhla). Moroccan sovereignty has not been recognised by the international community and it has been disputed by means of armed uprisings by the Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Río de Oro).
On 27 February 1976, with the support of Algeria, it proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (admitted to the OAU, now the African Union, in 1982). The Polisario camps are located in the region of Tindouf, in the south of Algeria. After years of armed conflict and about ten years of negotiations, on 16 September 1997, representatives of Morocco and the Polisario signed a preliminary agreement for the self-government of the region, though nothing came of it due to Morocco’s clear opposition to having a popular referendum (in 2000, the UN recorded just over 84 000 eligible voters). The UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has been deployed in the region since 1991.

Administrative division

Administrative division
ProvinceAREAINHABITANTSYEAR
Aousserd33 700 sq km15 100 inhab.2018
Boujdour51 100 sq km51 700 inhab.2018
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Laayoune=El Aaiún232 388inhab.2018
Dakhla106 277inhab.2014
TOP

Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Females50.4%2018
Fertility rate4.3units2011
Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Muslim99.4%2010
other0.6%2010


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Arabic
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years36.9%2018
15-29 years27.7%2018


TOP

Economy

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)106.65index2016
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture22.9%2014
industry and services77.1%2014
TOP

Agriculture

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land0.02%2015
forests2.66%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley1.841000 t2017
cereals, total1.841000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley3.3891000 ha2017
TOP

Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep36.9681000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats180.1331000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses0.5221000 heads2017
asses and mules0.5221000 heads2017
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels111.3291000 heads2017
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hides and skins0.1331000 t2013
meat2.4561000 t2017
TOP

Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
non-renewable electricity generation100%2014
- thermal90M kWh2014
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal581000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation90M kWh2014
total installed capacity581000 kW2016
TOP

Social and welfare

Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
CO2 emissions0.269M t2016
CO2 emissions per capita0.538t2016
TOP