Present-day Mali, at nearly twice the size of Texas, is the largest country in West Africa, and the seventh largest in Africa. In the last 30 years there have been two major droughts adding to the continual spread of the desert and the loss of more farmable land. Mali is a landlocked nation in Western Africa. And, during the past 50 years, the desert has overrun an area roughly the size of France and Austria combined. Mali estimates its population at about 13 million, with about half living below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.
- Mali remains one of the world's poorest countries–rated 168 out of 179 countries
- 47.5 percent of its population is in poverty.
- Poverty remains a predominantly rural phenomenon with more than 73 percent of the country's rural people living below the country’s poverty line.
|Photo credit CIA Factbook|