Senegal Demographics

What is the population of Senegal?

Population 15,736,368
Population Growth Rate 2.51%
Urban Population 42.5%
Population in Major Urban Areas DAKAR (capital) 3.035 million
Nationality Noun Senegalese (singular and plural)
Nationality Adjective Senegalese
Ethnic Groups Wolof 43.3%, Pular 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Jola 3.7%, Mandinka 3%, Soninke 1.1%, European and Lebanese 1%, other 9.4%
Languages Spoken French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka

Senegal Health Information

What are the health conditions in Senegal?

Animal Contact Disease (s) rabies
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 15-49 13.1%
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.85
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 60.3%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 25.9%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 92.5%
Food or Waterborne Disease (s) bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 6%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.9%
HIV/Aids Deaths 1,900
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population .3
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 47.44
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 60.22
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 53.93
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 370
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 21.4
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 6.8%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 59,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .06
Respiratory disease (s) meningococcal meningitis
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 48.1%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 67.1%
Sanitation Facitlity Access - percent of rural population improved 40.5%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.61
Underweight - percent of children under five years 14.4%
Vectorborne Disease (s) dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
Water contact disease (s) schistosomiasis

Senegal Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Senegal?

Life Expectancy at Birth 60 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 62 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 58 Years
Median Age 18 Years
Median Age - female 19 Years
Median Age - male 17 Years

Senegal Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

Senegal median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 36
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.85
Median Age 18 Years
Median Age - female 19 Years
Median Age - male 17 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -1.74
Population Growth Rate 2.51%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female .99
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female .84
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female .94
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.03
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female .94
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .85

Senegal Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Senegal?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Several hospitals and clinics in the capital, Dakar, can treat major and minor injuries and illnesses; however, medical facilities outside Dakar are extremely limited. These facilities are not prepared to handle major injuries. There is inadequate inpatient psychiatric care and limited office-based psychiatric treatment in Dakar.

French medications are far more readily available than U.S. pharmaceuticals, and drugs in stock are often listed under the French trade name. Medications may be obtained at pharmacies throughout Dakar and in other areas frequented by tourists, and are usually less expensive than in the United States – although more expensive than U.S. generics. Travelers should carry a supply of any needed prescription medicines, along with copies of the prescriptions, including the generic name for the drugs, and a supply of preferred over-the-counter medications.

Malaria is a serious risk to travelers in Senegal. Travelers should consult their physician to discuss the benefits and risks of taking anti-malarial medication. 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 what anti-malarial medications they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and anti-malarial drugs, visit the CDC Travelers' Health online.

Water supplies in Senegal are not consistently free of disease-causing microorganisms. For this reason, the U.S. Embassy recommends drinking filtered or boiled water, particularly for babies under one year of age. Raw vegetables and fruits should be washed in a bleach solution before eating.

You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions, on the CDC website. Yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers coming from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission, and recommended for all travelers over 9 months of age. Rabies vaccine is recommended for prolonged stays, with priority for young children.

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Senegal.

Senegal Education

What is school like in Senegal?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 5.6%
Literacy - female 30.7%
Literacy - male 50%
Literacy - total population 39.3%
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

Senegal Literacy

Can people in Senegal read?

Literacy - female 30.7%
Literacy - male 50%
Literacy - total population 39.3%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka

Senegal Crime

Is Senegal a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Minor street crime is very common in Senegal, particularly in cities. Most reported incidents involve pickpockets and purse-snatchers, who are especially active in large crowds and around tourists. Aggressive vendors, panhandlers and street children may attempt to divert the victim’s attention while an accomplice carries out the crime. To avoid theft, U.S. citizens should avoid walking alone in isolated areas or on beaches, particularly at night, lock their doors and close their windows when driving, and avoid public transportation. U.S. citizens should not walk on dark streets at night, even in groups. To minimize inconvenience in the event of theft, U.S. citizens should carry copies, rather than originals, of their passports and other identification documents. U.S. citizens should carry a credit card only if it will be used soon, rather than carrying it as a routine practice. There is traditionally an increase in crime before major religious holidays.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to use common sense and situational awareness to ensure personal safety and to reduce the risk of becoming a crime victim. Always be aware of the surroundings, especially in large cities and crowded places such as markets and taxi parks. Keep a low profile, remain vigilant, and avoid potential conflict situations. Do not wear flashy clothing or jewelry, and be cautious about displaying any amount of currency in public. Use common sense when faced with something out of the ordinary or if someone is following you.

Violent crimes and crimes involving the use of weapons are increasing. There have been incidents in the past year of U.S. citizens in groups of two or three being robbed at knife-point. Such robberies occur with some frequency along the Corniche d’Ouest, an area heavily frequented by tourists and westerners. Walking on the Corniche D’Ouest during hours of darkness should be avoided. If confronted by criminals, remember that cash and valuables can be replaced, but life and health cannot. U.S. citizens are encouraged to walk away from a criminal confrontation no matter the material cost. Break-ins at residential houses occur frequently. Persons who plan to reside in Senegal on a long-term basis are advised to take measures to protect your dwellings by installating window grilles (fire safety issues should be considered), solid core doors with well-functioning locks, and an alarm system. In the past year a number of U.S. citizen residences have experienced burglaries. No violence or personal injuries have been reported in these cases, in which the burglars appear to have been exclusively seeking financial gain.

Fraud is prevalent in Senegal and U.S. citizens are often the target of scams that may cause both financial loss and physical harm. Typically, business scam operations begin with an unsolicited communication (usually by e-mail) from an unknown individual who describes a situation that promises quick financial gain, often by the transfer of a large sum of money or valuables out of West Africa. The perpetrators of these scams often claim to be victims of various western African conflicts (notably refugees from Sierra Leone) or relatives of present or former political leaders.

There are many variations of these business scams. In some cases, a series of “advance fees” must be paid in order to conclude the transaction, such as fees to open a bank account, or to pay certain taxes. In fact, the final payoff does not exist since the purpose of the scam is simply to collect the advance fees. Another common variation consists of a request for the U.S. citizen's bank account information, purportedly to transfer money into the account. Once the perpetrator obtains this information, however, he or she then simply transfers all money out of the victim's account. Other scams extend an apparent job offer, but request upfront payment for “administrative” or visa processing.

Visa scams take advantage of people who wish to travel to the United States. One variant is to “guarantee” a U.S. visa for participants who pay a large sum of money to register for a conference or attend an event in the United States. In other instances, the perpetrator uses links or apparent links to U.S. government websites or email addresses in order to solicit money, purportedly in the name of the U.S. government. Please refer to the State Department’s Travel Information or the U.S. Embassy in Dakar for authoritative information about the visa process and the costs involved.

In addition to business and visa scams, personal and dating scams are also prevalent. U.S. citizens should be wary of persons claiming to live in Senegal who profess friendship or romantic interest over the Internet. The anonymity of the Internet means that the U.S. citizen cannot be sure of the real name, age, marital status, nationality, or even gender of the correspondent. In some cases, the correspondent is a fictitious persona created only to lure the U.S. citizen into sending money.

Don’t wire money to purchase plane tickets. U.S. citizens may prepay a plane ticket directly with an airline rather than wiring money for transportation to the traveler. U.S. citizens may also research the legitimate immigration process online with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of advance-fee fraud, business scam, or visa scam is to use common sense: If an offer seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam. You should carefully research any unsolicited business proposal originating in Senegal before you commit funds, provide goods or services, or undertake travel.

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

Credit card fraud is prevelant in Senegal, particularly in Dakar. Avoid using credit cards if possible. There have been numerous incidents of credit card fraud, mostly believed to related to “skimming” during the past year. Incidents have occurred at major hotels and stores. If use is necessary, careful monitoring of accounts is highly recommended.

Senegal Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Senegal, 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 Senegal specifically, it is forbidden to photograph Embassies, military installations and police stations. For other buildings, such as government ministries, it is best to ask the security personnel guarding the building first before taking any pictures. 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 Senegal, 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.

If you are arrested in Senegal, you have the right to request authorities alert the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. The U.S. Embassy does not always receive timely notification by Senegalese authorities of the arrest of U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available. If arrested, U.S. citizens should always ask to be allowed to contact the U.S. Embassy.

Senegal Population Comparison

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