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Population: 16.4 million

Population Below Poverty: 36%

Literacy Rate: 33%

Language: The official language is French in addition to 13 other national languages

Religion: Muslim 94.8%, Christian 2.4%, Animist 2%


Mali is a land-locked, mostly arid country in northwestern Africa with an economy that depends mainly on gold mining and agricultural exports. The country is composed of many different ethnic groups, each with its own customs and ways. Mali is especially famous for its music both contemporary and traditional that dates back to the Great Mali Empire. Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world with 36% of its people living below the poverty line. It has 30% unemployment, while a staggering 36% of children between the ages of 5-14 take part in child labor. This likely contributes to meager average years of education of 9 years for boys and 7 years for girls, and a literacy rate of only 33%. Mali is one of only a few Muslim majority countries that functions as a democracy, however, the democratic government and stability has become tenuous in the past years with increasing Islamic Extremist military uprisings.

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