Regions of Mauritania

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Update 3 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2011-02-28. It changes the capitalization of two province names, and assigns a code for Nouakchott district.

I've acquired the populations of the regions according to the 2000 census. Zouérate is the new capital of Tiris Zemmour (see below). Also, the population of Assaba in 1988 was apparently 168,123, not 167,123 as it appears in "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries". That makes the total population of Mauritania 1,865,236, not 1,864,236.

Country overview: 

ISO codeMR
LanguageArabic (ar), French (fr)
Time zone+0


Mauritania was an indigenous state within the French sphere of influence in 1900. It became a French protectorate in 1903-05. In ~1920 it became a colony within the gouvernement général of French West Africa (Afrique Occidentale Française). It became independent on 1960-11-28.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Mauretanien
  2. Dutch: Mauritanië, Islamitische Republiek Mauritanië (formal)
  3. English: Islamic Arab and African Republic of Mauritania (formal)
  4. Finnish: Mauritania
  5. French: Mauritanie, République f Islamique Arabe et Africaine de Mauritanie f (formal)
  6. German: Mauretanien n
  7. Icelandic: Máritanía
  8. Italian: Mauritania f
  9. Norwegian: Den islamske republikk Mauritania (formal) (Bokmål), Den islamske republikken Mauritania (formal) (Nynorsk), Mauritania
  10. Portuguese: Mauritânia, República f Islâmica da Mauritânia f (formal)
  11. Russian: Исламская Республика Мавритания (formal)
  12. Spanish: Mauritania, República f Islámica de Mauritania f (formal)
  13. Swedish: Mauretanien
  14. Turkish: Moritanya İslam Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Latin name, derived from Maurus: Moor (ethnic name)

Primary subdivisions: 

Mauritania is divided into twelve régions and one district.

Dakhlet NouadhibouMR.DN08MR08VIIIHuitième75,97663,03022,3008,600Nouadhibou
Hodh ech CharguiMR.HC01MR01IPremière275,288212,203182,70070,500Néma
Hodh el GharbiMR.HG02MR02IIDeuxième219,167159,29653,40020,600Aioun el Atrouss
Tiris ZemmourMR.TZ11MR11XIOnzième53,58633,147252,90097,600Zouérate
13 divisions2,548,1571,865,2361,031,700398,300
  • Region: except for Nouakchott, which is a district.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Rom: Each region is given a Roman numeral to identify it in reports, etc.
  • Spelled: French ordinal corresponding to the Roman numeral.
  • Pop-2000: 2000-11-01 census.
  • Pop-1988: 1988-04-05 census.

Further subdivisions:

See the Departments of Mauritania page.

The regions are further subdivided into départements.

Territorial extent: 

Dakhlet Nouadhibou includes Île Tidra, just off shore.

Origins of names: 

  1. Adrar: Touareg for mountain
  2. Nouakchott: from Berber in: place of, akchuz: shell

Change history: 

Before independence, the divisions were called cercles (circles).

  1. 1954-01-01: Hodh district of French Sudan annexed to Mauritania.
  2. 1957: Nouakchott was founded at the site of a military installation at Ksar. It was to become the capital of Mauritania at independence. As part of French West Africa, Mauritania was governed from Saint-Louis du Sénégal, in Senegal.
  3. ~1962: Tiris Zemmour region split from Adrar.
  4. 1976-02-28: Mauritania annexed the southern part of Spanish Sahara as Tiris el Gharbia region. The 1976 census (source [2]) apparently includes this region:
1st205,545Hodh Ech Chargui
2nd133,952Hodh El Gharbi
8th24,460Dakhlet Nouadhibou
11th22,467Tiris Zemmour
Wilaya du Tiris12,897Tiris el Gharbia
  • Region: Nouakchott is a district.
  • Population: 1976-12-22 census (provisional).
  1. 1979-08-14: Mauritania withdrew from Tiris el Gharbia, which was annexed to Western Sahara by Morocco.
  2. ~1979: Name of Lévrier Bay region changed to Dakhlet Nouadhibou.
  3. ~1998: Capital of Tiris Zemmour moved from Fderik (colonial name Fort-Gouraud) to Zouérate.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Assaba: Açaba, el-`Açâba (variant)
  2. Dakhlet Nouâdhibou: Baie du Lévrier (French-obsolete); Lévrier Bay (obsolete)
  3. Guidimaka: Guidimagha, Guidimakha (variant)
  4. Hodh ech Chargui: Eastern Hodh, Hodh Charghi (variant); Hodh Oriental (French)
  5. Hodh el Gharbi: Hodh Occidental (French); Western Hodh (variant)
  6. Nouadhibou: Port-Étienne (French-obsolete)
  7. Nouakchott: Nuakchot (Spanish)


  1. [1] Toupet, Charles. Les Atlas Jeune Afrique: Atlas de la République Islamique de Mauritanie. Édition J.A., Paris, 1977.
  2. [2] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
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