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Western Sahara (2002)

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Western Sahara 2002 year

 Western Sahara
Administrative divisions none (under de facto control of Morocco)
Age structure 0-14 years: NA%

15-64 years: NA%

65 years and over: NA%
Agriculture - products fruits and vegetables (grown in the few oases); camels, sheep, goats (kept by nomads)
Airports 11 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 3 (2002)
Area total: 266,000 sq km

land: 266,000 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative about the size of Colorado
Background Morocco virtually annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara) in 1976, and the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Rabat's sovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire; a referendum on final status has been repeatedly postponed.
Birth rate NA births/1,000 population
Budget revenues: $NA

expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Capital none
Climate hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew
Coastline 1,110 km
Country name conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Western Sahara

former: Spanish Sahara
Currency Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Death rate NA deaths/1,000 population
Debt - external $NA
Diplomatic representation from the US none
Diplomatic representation in the US none
Disputes - international Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, but sovereignty remains unresolved; UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties reject other proposals
Economic aid - recipient $NA
Economy - overview Western Sahara depends on pastoral nomadism, fishing, and phosphate mining as the principal sources of income for the population. The territory lacks sufficient rainfall for sustainable agricultural production, and most of the food for the urban population must be imported. All trade and other economic activities are controlled by the Moroccan Government. Moroccan energy interests in 2001 signed contracts to explore for oil off the coast of Western Sahara, which has angered the Polisario. Incomes and standards of living in Western Sahara are substantially below the Moroccan level.
Electricity - consumption 83.7 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - production 90 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 100%

hydro: 0%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2000)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Sebjet Tah -55 m

highest point: unnamed location 463 m
Environment - current issues sparse water and lack of arable land
Environment - international agreements party to: none of the selected agreements

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups Arab, Berber
Exchange rates Moroccan dirhams per US dollar - 11.584 (January 2002), 11.303 (2001), 10.626 (2000), 9.804 (1999), 9.604 (1998), 9.527 (1997)
Executive branch none
Exports 0 kWh (2000)
Exports $NA
Exports - commodities phosphates 62%
Exports - partners Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, so trade partners are included in overall Moroccan accounts
Fiscal year calendar year
GDP purchasing power parity - $NA
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: 40%-45% (1996 est.) (1996 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $NA
GDP - real growth rate NA%
Geographic coordinates 24 30 N, 13 00 W
Geography - note the waters off the coast are particularly rich fishing areas
Highways total: 6,200 km

paved: 1,350 km

unpaved: 4,850 km (1991 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh (2000)
Imports $NA
Imports - commodities fuel for fishing fleet, foodstuffs
Imports - partners Morocco claims and administers Western Sahara, so trade partners are included in overall Moroccan accounts
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries phosphate mining, handicrafts
Infant mortality rate NA deaths/1,000 live births
Inflation rate (consumer prices) NA%
International organization participation none
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Labor force 12,000
Labor force - by occupation animal husbandry and subsistence farming 50%
Land boundaries total: 2,046 km

border countries: Algeria 42 km, Mauritania 1,561 km, Morocco 443 km
Land use arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (1998 est.)
Languages Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
Life expectancy at birth total population: NA years

male: NA years

female: NA years
Literacy definition: NA

total population: NA%

male: NA%

female: NA%
Location Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco
Map references Africa
Maritime claims contingent upon resolution of sovereignty issue
Military expenditures - dollar figure $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP NA%
Nationality noun: Sahrawi(s), Sahraoui(s)

adjective: Sahrawian, Sahraouian
Natural hazards hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility
Natural resources phosphates, iron ore
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 256,177 (July 2002 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate NA (2002 est.)
Ports and harbors Ad Dakhla, Cabo Bojador, Laayoune (El Aaiun)
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 56,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Muslim
Sex ratio NA
Suffrage none; a UN-sponsored voter identification campaign not yet completed
Telephone system general assessment: sparse and limited system

domestic: NA

international: tied into Morocco's system by microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and satellite; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) linked to Rabat, Morocco
Telephones - main lines in use about 2,000 (1999 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular 0 (1999)
Television broadcast stations NA
Terrain mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast
Total fertility rate NA children born/woman
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways none
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