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The Gambia

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Republic of the Gambia

Flag of The Gambia
Location of the Gambia (dark red area within circle) on the coast of West Africa.
Location of the Gambia (dark red area within circle) on the coast of West Africa.
13°28′N 16°36′W / 13.467°N 16.600°W / 13.467; -16.600Coordinates: 13°28′N 16°36′W / 13.467°N 16.600°W / 13.467; -16.600
Official languagesEnglish
Mandinka, Fula, Wolof, Serer, Jola
Ethnic groups
GovernmentPresidential republic
• President
Adama Barrow
Isatou Touray
LegislatureNational Assembly
• Total
11,295 km2 (4,361 sq mi) (164th)
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
2,051,363[1] (146)
• 2013 census
• Density
176.1/km2 (456.1/sq mi) (74th)
GDP (PPP)2017 estimate
• Total
$3.582 billion[2]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2017 estimate
• Total
$1.038 billion[2]
• Per capita
Gini (2015) 35.9[3]
HDI (2018)Increase 0.466[4]
low · 174th
CurrencyDalasi (GMD)
Time zoneGMT
Driving sideright
Calling code+220
ISO 3166 codeGM
Location of Gambia
A map of The Gambia

The Gambia is officially called the Republic of the Gambia. This country is also known as Gambia.[5] It is a country in West Africa. It is surrounded by Senegal. It is the smallest country on mainland Africa.

Banjul is the capital city.[6] The largest cities are Serekunda and Brikama.[7]


The geography of Gambia is unusual. It is a long, thin country. Except for its coastline it is completely surrounded by the country of Senegal. The River Gambia flows from Senegal through its centre and into the Atlantic Ocean.


The Gambia has a tropical climate. A hot and rainy season normally lasts from June until November.[8]

Politics and government

The Gambia gained independence from the United Kingdom on 18 February 1965. It was ruled by Dawda Jawara and his People's Progressive Party (PPP) from 1965 to 1994. There was a military take-over in 1994. In 1996, Yahya Jammeh became President. Then in 2016, Adama Barrow was elected.

Administrative divisions

The Gambia is divided into eight local government areas. They are:

As of 2013, these are then divided into 43 districts.


The population of The Gambia is about 1.7 million. People from The Gambia are called Gambians. A number of people from different cultures and backgrounds live in The Gambia. Some of the largest groups are called Mandinka, Fula, Wolof and Jolo, in that order.

English is the official language, but people speak other languages as well.

Most Gambians follow the religion of Islam.

The American writer Alex Haley, who wrote the book Roots, found that his family came from The Gambia in the 1760s.


  1. "The World Factbook: Gambia, The" (in en). 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The Gambia". International Monetary Fund. 
  3. "GINI index (World Bank estimate) - Data". 
  4. "Human Development Report 2019" (in en) (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. 
  5. There is variability in the use of the definite article, and whether it is capitalized. The British Permanent Committee on Geographical Names notes, We do have a letter dated May 1964 from the Gambian prime minister's office which instructed us that it should be The Gambia with a capital T. One of the reasons they gave was that Gambia could be confused with Zambia, which was a new name to the international community at the time.[1] However, in running text the present Gambian government generally does not capitalize the "the", and in captions it drops the "the" altogether.[2]
  6. "Banjul | national capital, The Gambia". Retrieved 7 April 2020. 
  7. "Population of Cities in Gambia (2019)". 
  8. Hayward, Derek; J. S. Oguntoyinbo (1987). Climatology of West Africa. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-389-20721-4 . 

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