Western Sahara is located in North Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is nearly entirely covered by the Sahara Desert, the largest desert in the world. Subsequently, the landscape is mostly low, flat desert representing one of the Earth's most inhospitable areas. Wadis or dry river beds that sometimes have intermittent flowing rivers dot the landscape in many parts. Water being the scarcest resource here, Western Sahara is one of the world's most sparsely populated areas.
Western Sahara is a disputed territory and as such, does not have any official administrative divisions of its own. The political status of Western Sahara is considered undetermined by the US Government. 80% of the territory is controlled and administered by Morocco. Portions of the regions Guelmim-Es Smara and Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra, as claimed by Morocco, lie within Western Sahara; Morocco also claims Oued Eddahab-Lagouira, another region that falls entirely within Western Sahara.
The remaining 20% is under the control of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
Western Sahara does not have an official national capital. Laayoune (El Aaiún) is the largest city.
As observed on the location map of Western Sahara (a disputed territory), it is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast in northwest Africa. It is part of the Maghreb region of North and West Africa. It is located in the Northern and Western Hemisphere regions of the Earth. Western Sahara shares its land borders with Morocco and Algeria to the north and northeast respectively, and Mauritania to the east and south. The Atlantic Ocean borders it to the west and northwest.
Regional Maps: Map of Africa
|Legal Name||Western Sahara|
|Total Area||266,000.00 km2|
|Land Area||266,000.00 km2|
|Water Area||0.00 km2|
|Total Border||2,049.0 km|
|Bordering Countries||Algeria 41 km, Mauritania 1564 km, Morocco 444 km|
|Climate||Hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew|
|Coordinates||24 30 N, 13 00 W|
|Mean Elevation||256 m|
|Lowest Elevation||-55 m|
|Highest Elevation||805 m|
|Ethnic Groups||Arab, Berber|
|Languages||Standard Arabic, Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Berber, Spanish, French|
|Currency||Moroccan dirhams (MAD)|
|Exports||Phosphates 62% (2012 est.)|
This page was last updated on November 9, 2020