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Gambia

  • By: Sarah E. Boslaugh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Gambia is a small country (over 7,000 square miles, slightly twice the size of Delaware) whose shape follows that of the Gambia River. It is surrounded by Senegal (except for a western border on the Atlantic Ocean) and gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1965. It has a population of approximately 1.8 million, which is disproportionately young: the median age is 17.9 years of age; 43.6 percent of the population is 14 years of age or younger, versus only 2.8 percent age 65 years or older. The population growth rate is 2.7 percent, with a birth rate of 38.4 per 1,000, a death rate of 11.7 per 1,000, and a net migration rate of 0.3 per 1,000.

Life expectancy at birth is 53.4 years ...

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