Senegal Population 2019
Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa named for the Senegal River. Senegal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and the Gambia. The estimated 2019 population of Senegal is 16.30 million, which ranks 71st in the world.
Senegal Area and Population Density
Senegal's population has grown from 9.9 million at the 2002 census to an estimated 16.30 million. More than 42% of the population lives in rural areas, with a population density that varies from 77 people per square kilometer to 2 people per square kilometer in the arid eastern region of the country. The average population density for the country is 169 people per square mile (68 people per square kilometer), which ranks 134th in the world. The country covers 75,951 square miles (196,710 square kilometers) and is on the west coast of Africa between Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau.
Largest Cities in Senegal
Just under half of the people of Senegal live in urban areas, and the largest city is Dakar with a population of 1,146,053, and over 2.4 million people in the greater metropolitan area. The next largest city is the holy city of Touba with a population of 529,176, which has only been in existence since 1963. The third largest city is Rufisque, located on the western side of Senegal, which a population of 490,694. Rufisque has fallen into disrepair in recent years and is one area of Senegal where the population is declining. Other notable cities include Thiès, Ziguinchor, Kaolack, Saint-Louis, M'Bour, and Diourbel, all of which have populations over 100,000.
Senegal is a very ethnically diverse country with many languages spoken by its residents. The Wolof represents the largest ethnic group at 43%. The Fula and Toucouleur are the second-largest group at 24%, followed by the Serer (14.7%), Jola (4%), Mandinka (3%), Maurers, Bassari, Soninke, and other communities.
There are about 24,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Senegal, most of whom are from Mauritania. There are also nearly 50,000 Europeans, most of whom are French, and Lebanese people in the country, along with small groups of Moroccans and Mauritanians. In urban areas, there are small groups of Vietnamese and a growing number of Chinese immigrant traders.
Senegal Religion, Economy and Politics
Senegal is an extremely religious country, with almost 100% claiming to follow one. The predominant religion is Islam, which is practiced by 94% of the population, the Christian community makes up 5%, and 1% practice a traditional African religion. Within the Muslim population, most practice Sunni Islam, and only 1% practice Ahmadiyya Islam. Sufism, or Islamic Mysticism, is represented by several brotherhoods: Tijanism, Mouridism, Qadiriyya, and Layenism.
As a city with relatively few cities or natural resources, the economy in Senegal is largely held together through the trade of fish, phosphates, nuts, and tourism industries. The agriculture industry is very volatile due to unpredictable weather conditions. Other than their own economy, Senegal relies heavily on foreign aid, making up nearly a third of the country's overall government spending. Even though the economy in Senegal is considered to be pretty stable, nearly half of the citizens are living below the poverty line.
Senegal Population History
Humans have inhabited the land that is currently known as Senegal since long before any thorough history was documented. Starting in the 1400s, a different European country laid stake in the area for four consecutive centuries, starting with the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch, French and then the British in the 1700s. In 1816, Britain returned the land to the French, making Senegal a part of French West Africa. Although Senegal remained tied to the French, they spent much of the 20th century asserting their independence, drawing up their own constitution and introducing a three-party political system.
Senegal Population Growth
The growth rate in Senegal has been very high and unsustainable for a long period of time, and strides are being made to try to slow things down. The biggest factor influencing the growth rate is the extremely high fertility rate amongst women. Presently, 5.2 children are born to the average woman in Senegal, but this is down significantly from 1990 when the number was 6.6. In addition to the high fertility rate, Senegal has a disproportionately young population with nearly half of all citizens under the age of 15- the age around which many women begin having children of their own. Education around family planning and contraceptives is the largest movement being made towards creating a more manageable shift in the population.
Senegal Population Projections
The rate of growth is expected to peak in 2020 at 2.81% annual growth, before slipping towards 2.0% by 2050. 2% is still very fast growth considering the country's circumstances, but it is certainly movement in the right direction. If these numbers come to fruition, the population in Senegal will double over the next 30 years. Current projections say that the population will be 17,200,154 in 2020, 22,123,230 in 2030, 27,785,159 in 2040, and 34,030,620 by 2050.
Components of Population Change
|One birth every 57 seconds|
|One death every 6 minutes|
|One net migrant every 26 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 1 minutes|