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Area: 1,240,278 sq. km. (474,764 sq. mi.); about the size of Texas and California combined.
Cities: Capital--Bamako (pop. 1 million). Other cities--Segou (200,000), Sikasso (120,000), Mopti (90,000), Gao (65,000), Kayes (65,000), Timbuktu (38,000).
Terrain: Savannah and desert.
Climate: Semitropical in the south; arid in the north.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Malian(s).
Population (2002 est.): 10.5 million.
Annual growth rate: 2.2%.
Ethnic groups: Manding (Bambara or Bamana, Malinke) 52%, Fulani 11%, Saracolé 7%, Mianka 4%, Songhai 7%, Tuareg and Maur 5%, other 14%.
Religions: Islam 90%, indigenous 6%, Christian 4%.
Languages: French (official) and Bambara (spoken by about 80% of the population).
Education: Attendance--64.3% (primary). Literacy--31%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--121/1,000. Life expectancy--47 yrs.
Work force (4 million): Agriculture--70%; services--15%; industry and commerce--15%.

Type: Republic.
Independence: September 22, 1960.
Constitution: Approved by referendum January 12, 1992.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state and commander in chief of the armed forces), prime minister (head of government). Legislative--National Assembly is the sole legislative arm of the government; currently consisting of 147 members. Judicial--Supreme Court with both judicial and administrative powers.
Political parties: Mali is a multiparty democracy. Sixteen political parties are represented in the National Assembly; others are active in local government.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Administrative subdivisions: Eight regions and capital district.
Central government budget (2003): Revenues--$1.144 billion; expenditures--$1.285 billion; $141 million deficit.

GDP (2003): $4.79 billion.
Avg. annual growth rate (2003-04): 5.4%.
Per capita income (2003): $250.
Annual skilled worker's salary: $1,560.
Avg. inflation rate (2003): -1.3%.
Natural resources: Gold, phosphate, kaolin, salt, and limestone currently mined; deposits of bauxite, iron ore, manganese, lithium, and uranium are known or suspected.
Agriculture, livestock, and fishery (36% of GDP): Products--millet, sorghum, corn, rice, livestock, sugar, cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), and tobacco.
Industry (22% of GDP): Types--food processing, textiles, cigarettes, fish processing, metalworking, light manufacturing, plastics, and beverage bottling.
Trade (2003): Exports--$1.06 billion: gold, cotton and cotton products, animals, fish, tannery products, groundnuts, and diamonds. Major markets--France, Switzerland, Italy, Thailand, Cote d'Ivoire, and Algeria. Imports--$951 million: food, machinery and spare parts, vehicles, petroleum products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, textiles. Major suppliers--France, Cote d'Ivoire, Belgium, Luxembourg, U.S. ($31.5 million), Germany, and Japan.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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