The Gambia is a poor and undeveloped country,
falling into the bottom tier of the world's countries on
the UN agency UNDP's Human Development Index. However,
some social progress has been made in recent years. Nine
out of ten Gambians now have access to clean water and
life expectancy has increased.
However, almost half of the population lives in
poverty. About one in four children suffer from
malnutrition. Child mortality has gone down slightly but
still almost 64 of 1000 children die before the age of
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Gambia, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Health care has major shortcomings, it is bad for
both staff and hospital beds.
Diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and dysentery
are common. The Gambia, however, has received good
ratings for its HIV/AIDS prevention work. In 2016, the
UN agency Unaids estimated that around 20,000 people
were living with HIV or AIDS. That year there was hardly
a third infected access to treatment for the disease.
Particularly exposed to the risk of being infected with
HIV are prostitutes, truck drivers and male beach goers
who are locally known as "bumsters" and who often have
sex with men.
Daily life varies to some extent between different
groups of people. Women are generally subordinate to
men, even though they are legally equal. Polygamy occurs
in all ethnic groups, and traditionally the marriage has
It is common to have a breakdown of agricultural
work: women often do daily chores while men do, for
example, cleaning work. Women often take care of
traditional rice cultivation in the marshlands along the
river, while men take care of the crops further up. In
all ethnic groups, kinship counts primarily on the
paternity and women are disadvantaged in inheritance.
Violence against women within the family is
widespread but is rarely reported. Especially in the
countryside, many young girls are forced to get married.
Female genital mutilation was banned by law in the fall
of 2015 and countered by the authorities, but is still
occurring. In 2016, child marriage was banned and long
prison sentences were imposed for those who are somehow
involved in forcing girls under 18 to marry.
Kinderaga is also common and is generally considered
necessary for child rearing. An increasing problem
associated with tourism is the sexual exploitation of
children. The problem began to become more and more
prominent during the 2000s. There are also reports of
trafficking in children used for prostitution.
Homosexuality is prohibited and largely taboo. Former
President Jammeh personally urged LGBT people to leave
the country or risk being killed.
A growing problem is the presence of Latin American
drug cartels, which have begun to use various West
African countries as a port of shipment for cocaine
intended for Europe. There are reported signs that the
drug spikes have penetrated the Gambian networks for
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
39 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
1.9 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.6 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
80.1 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
39.2 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
6.7 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
$ 21 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
10 percent (2018)
Jammeh wins the presidential election
The November 24 presidential election draws some attention abroad when
voters, instead of ordinary ballots, receive a glass ball to be placed in the
ballot box symbolizing their candidate. After the opposition failed to agree on
a joint candidate, Jammeh wins the presidential election with 72 percent of the
vote. The election process receives criticism from many directions for not being
free and fair. The turnout is 83 percent.
Opposition parties form electoral unions
Four opposition parties come together in a union, the United Front (UF),
ahead of the impending presidential election in November of that year. The
purpose is to try to challenge President Jammeh and his ruling party, the
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Reconstruction (APRC). The union
includes the UDP and PDOIS as well as the National Reconciliation Party (NRP)
and the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD). NRP party leader
Hamat Bah is elected UF presidential candidate and then leaves the party leader
post for NRP.
June July Social Condition Facts
Four are indicted for coup plans
Yet another planned coup d'état is reported to have been revealed. Three
journalists and former Minister of Information Amadou Scattred Janneh are
charged with treason. The crime consists of distributing t-shirts with the text
"End of dictatorship".
Prison for former military commanders
Former military chiefs Tamba and Fofona are each sentenced to 20 years in
prison for planning a coup against President Jammeh in March 2006.