Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Flag of Yemen                                Map of Yemen
Background:North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border.
Location:Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:15 00 N, 48 00 E
Map references:Middle East
Area:total: 527,970 sq km
land: 527,970 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Perim, Socotra, the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)
Area—comparative:slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming
Land boundaries:total: 1,746 km
border countries: Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km
Coastline:1,906 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east
Terrain:narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,760 m
Natural resources:petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west
Land use:arable land: 2.91%
permanent crops: 0.25%
other: 96.84% (2005)
Irrigated land:5,500 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:4.1 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 6.63 cu km/yr (4%/1%/95%)
per capita: 316 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:sandstorms and dust storms in summer
Environment—current issues:very limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment—international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography—note:strategic location on Bab el Mandeb, the strait linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes
Population:22,230,531 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 46.3% (male 5,239,003/female 5,047,301)
15-64 years: 51.1% (male 5,781,491/female 5,585,152)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 281,121/female 296,463) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 16.7 years
male: 16.6 years
female: 16.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:3.461% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:42.67 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:8.05 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.038 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.035 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.948 male(s)/female
total population: 1.034 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 57.88 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 62.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 53.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 62.52 years
male: 60.61 years
female: 64.54 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:6.49 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:12,000 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases:degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: shistosomiasis (2008)
Nationality:noun: Yemeni(s)
adjective: Yemeni
Ethnic groups:predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asians, Europeans
Religions:Muslim including Shaf'i (Sunni) and Zaydi (Shi'a), small numbers of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50.2%
male: 70.5%
female: 30% (2003 est.)
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of Yemen
conventional short form: Yemen
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah
local short form: Al Yaman
former: Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]
Government type:republic
Capital:name: Sanaa
geographic coordinates: 15 21 N, 44 12 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:19 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Abyan, 'Adan, Ad Dali', Al Bayda', Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, 'Amran, Dhamar, Hadramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Sa'dah, San'a', Shabwah, Ta'izz
note: for electoral and administrative purposes, the capital city of Sanaa is treated as an additional governorate
Independence:22 May 1990 (Republic of Yemen was established with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]); note - previously North Yemen became independent in November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and became a republic with the overthrow of the theocratic Imamate in 1962; South Yemen became independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)
National holiday:Unification Day, 22 May (1990)
Constitution:16 May 1991; amended 29 September 1994 and February 2001
Legal system:based on Islamic law, Turkish law, English common law, and local tribal customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President Ali Abdallah SALIH (since 22 May 1990, the former president of North Yemen, assumed office upon the merger of North and South Yemen); Vice President Maj. Gen. Abd al-Rab Mansur al-HADI (since 3 October 1994)
head of government: Prime Minister Ali Muhammad MUJAWWAR (since 31 March 2007); Deputy Prime Minister Rashad Muhammad al-ALIMI
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 20 September 2006 (next to be held in September 2013); vice president appointed by the president; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results: Ali Abdallah SALIH elected president; percent of vote - Ali Abdallah SALIH 77.2%, Faysal BIN SHAMLAN 21.8%
Legislative branch:a bicameral legislature consisting of a Shura Council (111 seats; members appointed by the president) and a House of Representatives (301 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
elections: last held on 27 April 2003 (next to be held in April 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - GPC 228, Islah 47, YSP 7, Nasserite Unionist Party 3, National Arab Socialist Ba'th Party 2, independents 14
Judicial branch:Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:General People's Congress or GPC [Abdul-Kader BAJAMMAL]; Islamic Reform Grouping or Islah [Mohammed Abdullah AL-YADOUMI (acting)]; Nasserite Unionist Party [Abdal Malik al-MAKHLAFI]; National Arab Socialist Ba'th Party [Dr. Qasim SALAM]; Yemeni Socialist Party or YSP [Ali Salih MUQBIL]; note - there are at least seven more active political parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:NA
International organization participation:AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Abd al-Wahab Abdallah al-HAJRI
chancery: 2319 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 965-4760
FAX: [1] (202) 337-2017
Diplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen A. SECHE
embassy: Sa'awan Street, Sanaa
mailing address: P. O. Box 22347, Sanaa
telephone: [967] (1) 755-2000 ext. 2153 or 2266
FAX: [967] (1) 303-182
Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars in the white band, and of Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt, which has a heraldic eagle centered in the white band
Economy—overview:Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, reported average annual growth in the range of 3-4% from 2000 through 2007. Its economic fortunes depend mostly on declining oil resources, but the country is trying to diversify its earnings. In 2006 Yemen began an economic reform program designed to bolster non-oil sectors of the economy and foreign investment. As a result of the program, international donors pledged about $5 billion for development projects. In addition, Yemen has made some progress on reforms over the last year that will likely encourage foreign investment. Oil revenues probably increased in 2007 as a result of higher prices.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$52.61 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$22.74 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:3.2% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$2,400 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 12.4%
industry: 40.9%
services: 46.7% (2007 est.)
Labor force:6.316 million (2007 est.)
Labor force—by occupation:note: most people are employed in agriculture and herding; services, construction, industry, and commerce account for less than one-fourth of the labor force
Unemployment rate:35% (2003 est.)
Population below poverty line:45.2% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 25.9% (2003)
Distribution of family income—Gini index:33.4 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):10.7% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):19.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $7.902 billion
expenditures: $8.167 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:32.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:grain, fruits, vegetables, pulses, qat, coffee, cotton; dairy products, livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, camels), poultry; fish
Industries:crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; small aluminum products factory; cement; commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate:3.2% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:4.456 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity—consumption:3.381 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2005)
Oil—production:402,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—consumption:128,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:320,600 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:58,100 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:4 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:459 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$178 million (2007 est.)
Exports:$7.586 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish
Exports—partners:China 31.4%, India 17.4%, Thailand 16.7%, South Korea 7%, US 6.7%, UAE 4.1% (2006)
Imports:$6.592 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports—partners:UAE 16.4%, China 12.8%, Saudi Arabia 7.7%, Kuwait 5.8%, Brazil 4.5%, Malaysia 4.2%, US 4% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$7.871 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$6.122 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:$NA
Economic aid—recipient:$2.3 billion (2003-07 disbursements)
Currency (code):Yemeni rial (YER)
Exchange rates:Yemeni rials per US dollar - 199.14 (2007), 197.18 (2006), 192.67 (2005), 184.78 (2004), 183.45 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
Telephones—main lines in use:968,400 (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:2 million (2006)
Telephone system:general assessment: since unification in 1990, efforts have been made to create a national telecommunications network
domestic: the national network consists of microwave radio relay, cable, tropospheric scatter, and GSM cellular mobile telephone systems; fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity remains low by regional standards
international: country code - 967; landing point for the international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 2 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and Djibouti
Radio broadcast stations:AM 6, FM 1, shortwave 2 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:3 (including one Egypt-based station that broadcasts in Yemen); (plus several repeaters) (2007)
Internet country
Internet hosts:5 (2007)
Internet users:270,000 (2006)
Airports:50 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 17
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 33
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 4 (2007)
Pipelines:gas 71 km; liquid petroleum gas 22 km; oil 1,309 km (2007)
Roadways:total: 71,300 km
paved: 6,200 km
unpaved: 65,100 km (2005)
Merchant marine:total: 4 ships (1000 GRT or over) 15,474 GRT/18,072 DWT
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
registered in other countries: 12 (Bolivia 1, Cambodia 3, North Korea 2, Panama 5, St Kitts and Nevis 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:Aden, Hudaydah, Mukalla
Military branches:Army (includes Republican Guard), Navy (includes Marines), Yemen Air Force (includes Air Defense Force) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:voluntary military service program authorized in 2001; 2-year service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 4,058,223
females age 18-49: 3,868,112 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 2,790,705
females age 18-49: 2,792,406 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:males age 18-49: 236,517
females age 18-49: 230,641 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:6.6% (2006)
Military—note:a Coast Guard was established in 2002
Transnational Issues
Disputes—international:Saudi Arabia has reinforced its concrete-filled security barrier along sections of the fully demarcated border with Yemen to stem illegal cross-border activities
Refugees and internally displaced persons:refugees (country of origin): 78,582 (Somalia) (2006)


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