Mauritania Population 2017
Mauritania's estimated population is 3.98 million, but this is a fairly rough estimate as the last official census took place in 1988 and found a population of 1.86 million. Mauritania is one of the world's least densely populated countries with just 3 people per square mile (8/sq mi), which ranks 221st in the world, despite being the 21st largest country, with a size comparable to Egypt.
In 2011, it was estimated that Mauritania's population is 30% Arab (Berber and Beidane/Moors), 30% Black (non-Arabized), which includes the Fula, Toucouleur, Bambara, Soninke, Serer, and Haratin people, and 40% mixed. There are several ethnic groups: the Moors (white or Arab), the Haratins, who are descendants of freed Sub-Saharan black slaves, the Soninke, the Serer, who are farmers and breeders, and the Fulas, which includes farmers and nomadic stock-breeders.
Several black ethnic groups, particularly the Fula and Soninke, are often discriminated against in terms of access to loans, employment, and justice. Slavery still exists in Mauritania, and it was not made illegal to own slaves until 2007. It is believed that, in 2012, between 10 and 20% of the population of Mauritania (or up to 680,000 people) lived in slavery.
3/4 of the country being desert or semi-desert. Due to extended droughts, this desert region is expanding in size. While Mauritania has many natural resources, it has one of Africa's lowest GDP rates and most of its population depends on agriculture and livestock, although droughts have forced many nomads and farmers into the cities.
Mauritania is considered slavery's last stronghold. It became the last country in the world to abolish slavery in 1981, but up to 20% of the population still lives in slavery. 44% of the country's population lives on less than $2 per day.