While the Mauritanian upper class has become
rich in mining and commercial fishing, the vast majority
of residents live in great scarcity as small farmers or
livestock keepers. Although the proportion of poor
people in the population has decreased, the country is
still one of the least developed in the world. Almost
half of the population is considered poor.
The general health situation is bleak. Access to
clean water is limited, substandard sewage systems are
spreading diseases and almost half a million
Mauretanians are malnourished. Common causes of death
are malaria, measles and diseases of the airways,
stomach and intestines. Health clinics and hospitals
suffer from a lack of equipment and personnel. Maternal
and child mortality rates are high, but have
nevertheless declined in recent years.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Mauritania, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
There is a social insurance system that provides the
few Mauretanians with a formal employment of modest
pensions, sickness benefits and more.
Mauritanian women are discriminated against in
several ways. The Islamic Sharia law, which is partially
applied in the country, makes a difference between men
and women. Among other things, it is required that two
women testify in order to have the same value as a man's
testimony. Female genital mutilation is traditionally a
significant problem in all ethnic groups except wolof.
Although the state has been campaigning against genital
mutilation, at least a quarter of the women have been
subjected to the intervention. In 2010, some 30 Islamic
scholars signed a fatwa, a religious injunction, which
prohibits female genital mutilation.
Prior to the 2006 parliamentary elections, a law was
passed requiring that every fifth candidate on the party
lists be female.
A man may have several wives, but few Mauritanian men
have more than one wife. Divorce is relatively common
and can be taken on the initiative of the woman. That
rarely involves any stigma. The family can thus consist
of one man, several women and children from the various
wives. Several families are part of a clan through
kinship. Forced marriage of underage girls occurs.
Children's rights are lacking in many respects. A
child can be punished already at the age of seven.
According to the law, children can be punished with
whipping or amputation of limbs, but it was a long time
since such punishments were meted out. Aga is common
both at home and at school. The minimum age for work is
14 years, but it is common for even younger children to
be forced to do body work. Discrimination against
disabled children, street children and girls in general
is not uncommon.
Homosexuality is prohibited and subject to the death
penalty for men.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
52 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
69.6 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
48.4 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
4.6 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 47 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
20 percent (2018)