Due to its system of breakwaters, Dakar is recognized as having the best harbor in Western Africa.
The capital city’s name means tamarind tree in Wolof, a native language. One nickname for Dakar is the “Paris of Africa” while Senegal is nicknamed the “Gateway to West Africa”.
Dakar’s Renaissance Monument is the highest statue in Africa. At about 160 feet (49 meters), Dakar’s hilltop monument is taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty.
Senegal exported US$4.2 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. Senegal’s most valuable exports are refined petroleum oils (19.2% of its global total), gold (15.4%), inorganic chemicals (8%), frozen fish (6.3%), peanuts (4.6%), cement (3.2%), soups and broths (3.1%), mollusc (3%), zirconium (2.5%) then titanium ores and concentrates (2.2%) according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Dakar, Senegal: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: House of Slaves (La Maison des Esclaves), IFAN Museum of African Arts, Dakar Grand Mosque and Dakar’s African Renaissance Monument (the continent’s tallest statue)
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Dakar, Senegal.
- Patrice Evra, soccer player/footballer (born May 15, 1981)
- MC Solaar, jazz rapper (born Mar. 5, 1969)
- Ghassan Salhab, writer, director & producer (born May 4, 1958 )
- Abdoulaye Faye, soccer player/footballer (born Feb. 26, 1978)
- Aïssa Maïga, actress (born May 25, 1975)
- Tacko Fall, basketball player (born Dec. 10, 1995)
- Nicolas Vanier, director & writer (born May 5, 1962)
- Papiss Cisse, soccer player/footballer (born Jun. 3, 1985)
- Anna Diop, actress (born Feb. 6, 1988)
- Safi Faye, director & filmmaker (born Nov. 22, 1943)
- Nilperi Sahinkaya, actress (born Feb. 23, 1988)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Dakar resident: Dakarois (male) or Dakaroise (female)
Population: 3,141,000 (metropolitan Dakar) at July 5, 2020
Density: 11,610 people per square mile (4,484 per square kilometer)
Population: 16,760,000 (Senegal) at July 5, 2020
Density: 225 people per square mile (87 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Senegal: 18.5 years old
GDP: US$64.6 billion for 2019 (Senegal)
GDP per person: $3,853
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Dakar were unavailable.
Official currency used in Dakar: West African CFA franc
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Africa: Senegal.
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Official Government Website, Ville de Dakar.org.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
WorldOMeter, Senegal Population.
Senegal gained initial independence from France on April 4, 1960. Senegalese celebrate Independence Day each April 4.
Dakar’s metropolitan area is home to 3.1 million residents who live within an area measuring 270.5 square miles (700.5 square kilometers).
At the country level, Senegal’s land area covers 74,336 square miles (192,530 square kilometers). The West African nation’s population count was 16.8 million inhabitants as of July 2020.
Population density is concentrated within Dakar’s metropolitan area via an average 11,610 residents per square mile (4,484 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to Senegal’s overall land borders, population density dilutes to an average 225 inhabitants per square mile (87 per square kilometer).