Western Sahara
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Western Sahara
Region: Northern Africa
2010 Population1: 491,519
Total Area (sq. miles)2: 102,703
Life Expectancy at Birth3: --
Gross National Income Per Capita (PPP 2008 US $)3: $--
Official Religion(s) Or Church(es) 4: --

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Largest Religious Groups (Western Sahara)


Indexes5

Government Regulation of Religion Index: Average government regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation)

Government Favoritism of Religion Index: Average government favoritism score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less favoritism)

Social Regulation of Religion Index: Average social regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation)

Religious Persecution: Average number of people physically abused or displaced due to their religion according to U.S. Department of State's 2005 and 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports (as coded by ARDA researchers). 0 = None; 1 = 1-10; 2 = 11-20; 3 = 21-100; 4 = 101-500; 5 = 501-1000; 6 = 1001-5000; 7 = 5001-10000; 8 = 10001-50000; 9 = 50001-100000; 10 = greater than 100000.


History

Morocco virtually annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara) in 1976, and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Rabat's sovereignty ended in a 1991 UN-brokered cease-fire; a UN-organized referendum on the territory's final status has been repeatedly postponed. In April 2007, UN-sponsored talks between representatives from the Government of Morocco and the Polisario Front to negotiate the status of Western Sahara, which stalled in April 2008, resumed in August 2009. Rabat has put forward an autonomy proposal for the territory, which would allow for some local administration while maintaining Moroccan sovereignty. The Polisario, with Algeria's support, demands a popular referendum that includes the option of independence.

 

Sources

Note: All country histories and flags were obtained from The World Factbook, 2010.

1.  The U.S. Census Bureau's International Data Base (IDB) is a computerized data bank containing statistical tables of demographic data for 227 countries and areas of the world.

2.  The CIA's World Factbook was created as an annual summary and update to the now defunct National Intelligence Survey (NIS) studies. The first classified Factbook was published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version was published in June 1971. The NIS program was terminated in 1973 except for the Factbook, map, and gazetteer components. The 1975 Factbook was the first to be made available to the public with sales through the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The year 2010 marks the 67th year of the World Factbook and its predecessor programs. The maps and flags are also from the World Factbook, which is an open source.

3.  The United Nations Human Development Reports provide data and statistical analysis in various areas of human development. The Human Development Report (HDR) presents two types of statistics: the human development indicator tables, which provide a global assessment of country achievements in different areas of human development, and thematic statistical analysis. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

4.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

5.  The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom reports. The 2003, 2005 and 2008 reports were coded by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives, who will also code future reports as they become available. The GRI, GFI and SRI values reported on the National Profiles are averages from the 2003, 2005 and 2008 International Religious Freedom reports, while the Religious Persecution measure is an average from the 2005 and 2008 reports. All other measures derived from the International Religious Freedom reports were coded from the reports for 2008. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.