Mauritania is a country in the western Sahara region of Africa. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott. Mauritania covers a total area of 1,760,000 square kilometers, making it the ninth-largest country on the continent. The official languages are Arabic and French, although Soninke is also spoken. Islam is the predominant religion, with around 99% of the population practicing it. Mauritania has a population of just over 4 million people.