Islamic Republic of Mauritania
National name: République Islamique de Mauritanie
Government: Republic under military government. The legal system is based on Islam.
Geography: Mauritania is situated in northwest Africa with about 350 mi (592 km) of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Morocco on the north, Algeria and Mali on the east, and Senegal on the south. The country is mostly desert, with the exception of the fertile Senegal River valley in the south and grazing land in the north
Area: 397,953 sq mi (1,030,700 sq km)
Population (2003 est.): 2,912,584 (growth rate: 2.9%); birth rate: 42.2/1000; infant mortality rate: 73.8/1000; density per sq mi: 7
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Nouakchott, 661,400
Monetary unit: Ouguiya
Languages: Arabic and Wolof (official); French
Ethnicity/race: mixed Maur/black 40%, Maur 30%, black 30%
Agriculture: dates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn, dates; cattle, sheep.
Industries: fish processing, mining of iron ore and gypsum.
Natural resources: iron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil; fish.