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Senegal Demographics Profile

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15,736,368 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 40.38% (male 3,194,454/female 3,160,111)
15-24 years: 20.35% (male 1,596,896/female 1,606,084)
25-54 years: 31.95% (male 2,327,424/female 2,700,698)
55-64 years: 4.21% (male 283,480/female 378,932)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 212,332/female 275,957) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 84.2
youth dependency ratio: 78.4
elderly dependency ratio: 5.7
potential support ratio: 17.5 (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 19.4 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 20.3 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2.31% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
31.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
7.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-1.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
urban population: 48.1% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.73% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
3.140 million DAKAR (capital) (2020)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.75 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 93.8 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth
21.9 years (2018 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Infant mortality rate
total: 45.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 51.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 40 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 63.2 years
male: 61.1 years
female: 65.4 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
4.04 children born/woman (2020 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
27.8% (2017)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.4% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
41,000 (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
1,200 (2019 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 92.3% of population
rural: 74.5% of population
total: 83.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 6.7% of population
rural: 25.5% of population
total: 16.7% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 91.2% of population
rural: 48.5% of population
total: 68.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 8.8% of population
rural: 51.5% of population
total: 31.6% of population (2017 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
noun: Senegalese (singular and plural)
adjective: Senegalese
Ethnic groups
Wolof 37.1%, Pular 26.2%, Serer 17%, Mandinka 5.6%, Jola 4.5%, Soninke 1.4%, other 8.3% (includes Europeans and persons of Lebanese descent) (2017 est.)
Muslim 95.9% (most adhere to one of the four main Sufi brotherhoods), Christian 4.1% (mostly Roman Catholic) (2016 est.)
Demographic profile

Senegal has a large and growing youth population but has not been successful in developing its potential human capital. Senegal’s high total fertility rate of almost 4.5 children per woman continues to bolster the country’s large youth cohort – more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25. Fertility remains high because of the continued desire for large families, the low use of family planning, and early childbearing. Because of the country’s high illiteracy rate (more than 40%), high unemployment (even among university graduates), and widespread poverty, Senegalese youths face dim prospects; women are especially disadvantaged.

Senegal historically was a destination country for economic migrants, but in recent years West African migrants more often use Senegal as a transit point to North Africa – and sometimes illegally onward to Europe. The country also has been host to several thousand black Mauritanian refugees since they were expelled from their homeland during its 1989 border conflict with Senegal. The country’s economic crisis in the 1970s stimulated emigration; departures accelerated in the 1990s. Destinations shifted from neighboring countries, which were experiencing economic decline, civil wars, and increasing xenophobia, to Libya and Mauritania because of their booming oil industries and to developed countries (most notably former colonial ruler France, as well as Italy and Spain). The latter became attractive in the 1990s because of job opportunities and their periodic regularization programs (legalizing the status of illegal migrants).

Additionally, about 16,000 Senegalese refugees still remain in The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau as a result of more than 30 years of fighting between government forces and rebel separatists in southern Senegal’s Casamance region.

French (official), Wolof, Pular, Jola, Mandinka, Serer, Soninke
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51.9%
male: 64.8%
female: 39.8% (2017)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 9 years
male: 8 years
female: 9 years (2019)
Education expenditures
4.8% of GDP (2017)
Maternal mortality rate
315 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
13.3% (2019)
Health expenditures
4.1% (2017)
Physicians density
0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
0.3 beds/1,000 population (2008)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
8.8% (2016)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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