Dakar, Senegal Population

Population in Urban Area, now

3,212,772
  • World: 149th
  • Africa: 22nd
  • Senegal: 1st

Population in City Area, 2019-09-05

2,476,400
  • World: 102nd
  • Africa: 15th
  • Senegal: 1st

Dakar Urban Area Population Graph

Dakar Population Review

Dakar is a city of 2.4 million people located in the country of Senegal, with 3.1 million people living in the Dakar metropolitan area. It is the capital of, and the largest in, Senegal. Originally settled in the 15th century, Dakar replaced Saint-Louis as the capital of French West Africa in 1902. For a brief time—from 1959 to 1960, to be exact—the city was the capital of the Mali Federation. From there, it became the capital of the Independent Republic of Senegal.

Dakar is one of the chief seaports on the western African coast. Dakar’s harbour is considered one of the best in western Africa and is protected by the natural limestone cliffs of the cape and a system of breakwaters. The city’s name comes from the Wolof name, dakhar, a name for the tamarind tree and the name of a coastal Lebu village that was located south of the first pier.

A steady population growth

Since the 1950s, Dakar’s population has been on a steady upswing. In 1950, the city’s population was only 214,000. It has continued to swell since then, growing to the current metropolitan population of 3.1 million. It’s predicted that the population will continue expanding and is estimated to reach 5.1 million by 2035. In the past four years, the city’s population has grown by over 2.5% each year, with a 2.72% increase from 2019 to 2020.

A creative city

Dakar has a rich culture of tradition and heritage and is a creative metropolis that hosts many important cultural events, such as the World Festival of Black Arts and the Biennial of Contemporary African Art. The city is also home to several museums and galleries, including the the Théodore Monod Museum of African art, the Arts Village, galleries including the National Gallery of Art, the Daniel Sorano National Theatre and the Grand National Theatre.

Tourism to Dakar

Senegal is one of the most politically stable countries in Africa and Dakar is one of the main cities of interest for those travelling to the western African country. Most tourists visiting Dakar are Europeans, with the majority being French, and many foreign tourists go to resort towns like Saly on the Petite Côte, south of Dakar, which contain enclosed beach resorts and hotels. This town was created specifically for this clientele since the 1970s. Nature tours and wildlife trips, and historic sites around Dakar, like Gorée Island, often supplement these resort vacations.

Dakar’s religion

Dakar’s religious sites are mostly Muslim and Christian, however, the city is a place of importance for Islamic culture. The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) chose Dakar as the Capital of Islamic Culture for African Region in 2007. Most of the Senegalese Muslim population are part of the Sufi brotherhood, a concept of mystical teaching and spiritual practice that seeks to reach haqiqa, or “ultimate truth”.

The Dakar Rally

The Dakar Rally is an annual, off-road endurance event established in 1979 that tasks competitors with traversing tough terrain. The rally is open to both professional and amateur competitors. The 2020 Dakar Rally attracted 351 crews, but only finished with 226. As competitors race across each of the 14 stages of the rally—each stage another 500km of sand, mud, and rocks—each day to complete the 10,000km event, they run the very real risk of death. The Dakar Rally is considered one of the most dangerous races in the world and has a death toll of 50 since its inception in the late 1970s—this is about one death every year since the race first started.

Review Updated: November 2, 2020

Dakar Urban Area Population History

1950 214,000
1951 229,000
1952 230,000
1953 230,000
1954 231,000
1955 235,000
1956 256,000
1957 279,000
1958 303,000
1959 330,000
1960 359,000
1961 384,000
1962 405,000
1963 426,000
1964 449,000
1965 473,000
1966 498,000
1967 524,000
1968 552,000
1969 581,000
1970 610,000
1971 641,000
1972 674,000
1973 708,000
1974 744,000
1975 782,000
1976 820,000
1977 852,000
1978 886,000
1979 921,000
1980 957,000
1981 995,000
1982 1,035,000
1983 1,075,000
1984 1,118,000
1985 1,162,000
1986 1,208,000
1987 1,256,000
1988 1,304,000
1989 1,344,000
1990 1,384,000
1991 1,426,000
1992 1,469,000
1993 1,513,000
1994 1,559,000
1995 1,605,000
1996 1,654,000
1997 1,704,000
1998 1,755,000
1999 1,808,000
2000 1,862,000
2001 1,918,000
2002 1,976,000
2003 2,028,000
2004 2,081,000
2005 2,135,000
2006 2,190,000
2007 2,247,000
2008 2,306,000
2009 2,365,000
2010 2,427,000
2011 2,490,000
2012 2,554,000
2013 2,620,000
2014 2,688,000
2015 2,758,000
2016 2,830,000
2017 2,903,000
2018 2,978,000
2019 3,057,000
2020 3,140,000
2021 3,230,000

Dakar Urban Area Population Projections

2022 3,326,000
2023 3,430,000
2024 3,540,000
2025 3,659,000
2026 3,784,000
2027 3,915,000
2028 4,051,000
2029 4,193,000
2030 4,339,000
2031 4,490,000
2032 4,644,000
2033 4,804,000
2034 4,967,000
2035 5,135,000

Map of Dakar, Senegal

All Biggest Cities in Senegal

Dakar3M
Thies388k