Mauritania Demographics

What is the population of Mauritania?

Population 4,005,475
Population Growth Rate 2.29%
Urban Population 41.5%
Population in Major Urban Areas NOUAKCHOTT (capital) 786,000
Nationality Noun Mauritanian(s)
Nationality Adjective Mauritanian
Ethnic Groups mixed Maur/black 40%, Maur 30%, black 30%
Languages Spoken Hassaniya Arabic (official), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (official), French

Mauritania Health Information

What are the health conditions in Mauritania?

Animal Contact Disease (s) rabies
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 15-49 9.3%
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.5
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 47.7%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 50.4%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 52.3%
Food or Waterborne Disease (s) bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 5.4%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.7%
HIV/Aids Deaths 800
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population .4
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 52.3
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 62.51
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 57.48
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 510
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 21.9
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 12.7%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 14,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .13
Respiratory disease (s) meningococcal meningitis
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 73.3%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 51.1%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of rural population improved 9.2%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.15
Underweight - percent of children under five years 19.5%
Vectorborne Disease (s) malaria and dengue fever

Mauritania Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Mauritania?

Life Expectancy at Birth 61 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 64 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 59 Years
Median Age 19 Years
Median Age - female 20 Years
Median Age - male 18 Years

Mauritania Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

Mauritania median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 32
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.5
Median Age 19 Years
Median Age - female 20 Years
Median Age - male 18 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.87
Population Growth Rate 2.29%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female .96
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female .86
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female .93
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.03
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female .93
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .74

Mauritania Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Mauritania?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities in Mauritania are limited. There are few modern clinics or hospitals beyond the capital and a few major towns. At local pharmacies, some medicines are difficult to obtain or may be counterfeit; travelers are advised to carry their own medical supplies and medications (over-the-counter and prescription). There are no modern mortuary services available in Mauritania. Procurement of caskets and materials to ship the remains of deceased citizens internationally are not available in Mauritania.

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. Chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum malaria is a severe form of the disease that is found in many parts of western Africa, including Mauritania. Because travelers to Mauritania are at high risk for contracting malaria, they should take one of the following anti-malarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam™), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone™). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that a traveler who is on an appropriate anti-malarial drug has a greatly reduced chance of contracting the disease. In addition, other personal protective measures, such as the use of insect repellents, may help to reduce malaria risk. Travelers, who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area, and up to one year after returning home, should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and the names of the anti-malarial drugs they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, please visit the CDC travelers’ health website.

The latest outbreak of Rift Valley Fever occurred in October 2012 in the Tagant region of Mauritania. The first outbreak was recorded in December 2010 and subsequently detected in the Adrar and Inchiri regions of Mauritania. According to the CDC, Rift Valley Fever is a viral disease that primarily affects animals, but also has the capacity to infect humans. Infection can cause severe disease and death in both animals and humans. Humans usually get Rift Valley Fever through bites from infected mosquitoes and other insects. Humans can also get the disease if they are exposed to the blood, body fluids, or tissues of infected animals.

Mauritania Education

What is school like in Mauritania?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 3.7%
Literacy - female 31.9%
Literacy - male 51.8%
Literacy - total population 51.2%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
School Life Expectancy - female 8 Years
School Life Expectancy - male 8 Years
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 8 Years

Mauritania Literacy

Can people in Mauritania read?

Literacy - female 31.9%
Literacy - male 51.8%
Literacy - total population 51.2%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language Hassaniya Arabic (official), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (official), French

Mauritania Crime

Is Mauritania a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Overall, crime in Mauritania is not unlike crime in any major city in the United States. Most incidents occur in the cities and larger towns and are petty crimes, such as pick-pocketing and the theft of improperly secured or openly visible valuables left in vehicles. To reduce exposure to theft and increase personal safety, lock up valuable items and keep them out of sight. Walking alone at any time is discouraged, especially for Western women. Residential burglaries and robberies, particularly at the beaches in Nouakchott, are not uncommon. In Nouakchott, travelers should avoid the beach at night.

Violent crimes and crimes involving the use of weapons are rare. Rapes and assaults have occurred and, in some instances, involved U.S. citizens. The majority of sexual assaults have occurred at night in taxi cabs. Combined with the lack of government regulation of taxi fares and poor regular maintenance, Westerners should avoid taxis and public transportation. Foreign tourists, including U.S. citizens, might be targeted for kidnapping in Mauritania.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, purchasing them may also be breaking local law.

Mauritania Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While traveling in Mauritania, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Mauritania, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

Mauritania Population Comparison

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