If you lived in Western Sahara instead of United States, you would:


live 16.1 years less

In United States, the average life expectancy is 81 years (78 years for men, 83 years for women) as of 2022. In Western Sahara, that number is 64 years (62 years for men, 67 years for women) as of 2020.


make 96.1% less money

United States has a GDP per capita of $64,600 as of 2022, while in Western Sahara, the GDP per capita is $2,500 as of 2007.


have 2.3 times more children

In United States, there are approximately 12.2 babies per 1,000 people as of 2024. In Western Sahara, there are 28.0 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020.

be 9.3 times more likely to die during infancy

In United States, approximately 5.2 children (per 1,000 live births) die before they reach the age of one as of 2022. In Western Sahara, on the other hand, 47.9 children do as of 2020.


see 94.4% less coastline

United States has a total of 19,924 km of coastline. In Western Sahara, that number is 1,110 km.

The statistics above were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook.

Western Sahara: At a glance

Western Sahara is a sovereign country in Africa, with a total land area of approximately 266,000 sq km. Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. After Spain withdrew from its former colony of Spanish Sahara in 1976, Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco's sovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation. As part of this effort, the UN sought to offer a choice to the peoples of the Western Sahara between independence (favored by the Polisario Front) or integration into Morocco. A proposed referendum never took place due to lack of agreement on voter eligibility. The 2,700 km- (1,700 mi-) long defensive sand berm, built by the Moroccans from 1980 to 1987 and running the length of the territory, continues to separate the opposing forces with Morocco controlling the roughly 80 percent of the territory west of the berm. Local demonstrations criticizing the Moroccan authorities occur regularly, and there are periodic ethnic tensions between the native Sahrawi population and Moroccan immigrants. Morocco maintains a heavy security presence in the territory.
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How big is Western Sahara compared to United States? See an in-depth size comparison.

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