Regions of Mauritania

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Updates: 

Sorin Cosoveanu provided a link to the final results of the 2013 census (source [3]).

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.

Erratum: 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: 

Short nameMAURITANIA
ISO codeMR
FIPS codeMR
LanguageArabic (ar), French (fr)
Time zone+0
CapitalNouakchott

 

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 thirteen wilayat (regions).

RegionHASCISOFIPSRomSpelledPop-2013Pop-2000Pop-1988Area(km.²)Area(mi.²)Capital
AdrarMR.AD07MR07VIISeptième62,65860,84761,043215,30083,100Atar
AssabaMR.AS03MR03IIITroisième325,897249,596168,12336,60014,100Kiffa
BraknaMR.BR05MR05VCinquième312,277240,167192,15733,80013,100Aleg
Dakhlet NouadhibouMR.DN08MR08VIIIHuitième123,77975,97663,03022,3008,600Nouadhibou
GorgolMR.GO04MR04IVQuatrième335,917248,980184,35913,6005,300Kaédi
GuidimakaMR.GD10MR10XDixième267,029186,697116,43610,3004,000Sélibaby
Hodh ech CharguiMR.HC01MR01IPremière430,668275,288212,203182,70070,500Néma
Hodh el GharbiMR.HG02MR02IIDeuxième294,109219,167159,29653,40020,600Aioun el Atrouss
InchiriMR.IN12MR12XIIDouzième19,63911,32214,61346,80018,100Akjoujt
NouakchottMR.NONKCMR13958,399611,883393,3251,000400Nouakchott
TagantMR.TG09MR09IXNeuvième80,96261,98464,90895,20036,800Tidjikdja
Tiris ZemmourMR.TZ11MR11XIOnzième53,26153,58633,147252,90097,600Zouérate
TrarzaMR.TR06MR06VISixième272,773252,664202,59667,80026,200Rosso
13 divisions3,537,3682,548,1571,865,2361,031,700398,300
  • 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-2013: 2013-03-25 census.
  • 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 55 moughataas (departments; Fr. départements) and 218 communes. Nouakchott has nine subdivisions, which rank as both departments and communes, and are included in both of those figures.

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. 1958: Capital of Mauritania moved from Saint-Louis du Sénégal (in Senegal) to Nouakchott, which had been founded the year before.
  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:
RegionPopulationEquivalent
Nouakchott134,986Nouakchott
1st205,545Hodh Ech Chargui
2nd133,952Hodh El Gharbi
3rd130,517Assaba
4th150,556Gorgol
5th151,060Brakna
6th216,735Trarza
7th55,482Adrar
8th24,460Dakhlet Nouadhibou
9th76,608Tagant
10th87,107Guidimaka
11th22,467Tiris Zemmour
12th17,567Inchiri
Wilaya du Tiris12,897Tiris el Gharbia
Total1,419,939
  • 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. 1990-09-10: Nouakchott, previously classed as a district, became a region as well.
  4. ~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)

Sources: 

  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).
  3. [3] Recensement Général de la Population et de l’Habitat 2013 , Office National de la Statistique (retrieved 2014-08-15).
  4. [4] Découpage administratif, apparently on a government website, had a map showing department boundaries (http://www.mauritania.mr/Francais/decadmi_frame_fr.htm, dead link, retrieved 2001-09-14).
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