Mali is located in West Africa. It is a land-locked nation that borders neighbors Algeria, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Guinea and Burkina Faso. Mali has a land area of 480,000 square miles with a population of 14.5 million people as of a 2009 census report.
The capital of Mali is Bamako. The northern regions of Mali encompass parts of the Sahara desert, while the Niger River and the Senegal River run through the southern part of the country. Prior to its independence, Mali was part of several different provinces over time, including the French Sudan, Ghana Empire, Mali Empire and Songhai Empire. The nation became independent from France on June 20, 1960.