Middle East :: Yemen
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Yemen
Location of Yemen
 
Map of Yemen
Introduction ::Yemen
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.
Geography ::Yemen
Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
15 00 N, 48 00 E
total: 527,968 sq km
country comparison to the world: 49
land: 527,968 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)
slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming
total: 1,746 km
border countries: Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km
1,906 km
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
mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east
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
lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,667 m
petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west
arable land: 2.91%
permanent crops: 0.25%
other: 96.84% (2005)
5,500 sq km (2003)
4.1 cu km (1997)
total: 6.63 cu km/yr (4%/1%/95%)
per capita: 316 cu m/yr (2000)
sandstorms and dust storms in summer
limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
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
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
People ::Yemen
23,822,783 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
0-14 years: 46.2% (male 5,602,590/female 5,398,103)
15-64 years: 51.3% (male 6,212,378/female 6,009,401)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 288,501/female 311,810) (2009 est.)
total: 16.8 years
male: 16.7 years
female: 16.8 years (2009 est.)
3.453% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
42.14 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
7.61 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
NA (2009 est.)
urban population: 31% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 54.7 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 45
male: 59.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 63.27 years
country comparison to the world: 173
male: 61.3 years
female: 65.33 years (2009 est.)
6.32 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
12,000 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
NA
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
noun: Yemeni(s)
adjective: Yemeni
predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asians, Europeans
Muslim including Shaf'i (Sunni) and Zaydi (Shia), small numbers of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu
Arabic
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50.2%
male: 70.5%
female: 30% (2003 est.)
total: 9 years
male: 11 years
female: 7 years (2005)
9.6% of GDP (2001)
country comparison to the world: 5
Government ::Yemen
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]
republic
name: Sanaa
geographic coordinates: 15 21 N, 44 12 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
21 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Abyan, 'Adan, Ad Dali', Al Bayda', Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, Amanat al 'Asimah, 'Amran, Dhamar, Hadramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Raymah, Sa'dah, San'a', Shabwah, Ta'izz
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)
Unification Day, 22 May (1990)
16 May 1991; amended 29 September 1994 and February 2001
based on Islamic law, Turkish law, English common law, and local tribal customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
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)
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%
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 (scheduled April 2009 election postponed for two years)
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
Supreme Court
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
Muslim Brotherhood; Women National Committee
other: conservative tribal groups
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, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
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
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
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 ::Yemen
Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, reported average annual growth in the range of 3-4% from 2000 through 2007. In 2008, growth declined slightly as the price of oil dropped and the slowing global economy reduced demand for oil. Yemen's 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. A liquefied natural gas facility is scheduled to open in 2009. Yemen has limited exposure to the international financial system and no capital markets, however, the global financial crisis probably will reduce international aid in 2009.
$55.28 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$53.56 billion (2007 est.)
$51.75 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$27.15 billion (2008 est.)
3.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
3.5% (2007 est.)
3.2% (2006 est.)
$2,400 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176
$2,400 (2007 est.)
$2,400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 10.3%
industry: 56.5%
services: 33.2% (2008 est.)
6.454 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
note: most people are employed in agriculture and herding; services, construction, industry, and commerce account for less than one-fourth of the labor force
35% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
45.2% (2003)
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 30.8% (2005)
37.7 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 76
33.4 (1998)
25.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
revenues: $9.243 billion
expenditures: $10.36 billion (2008 est.)
34.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
46.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
19% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
10% (2007 est.)
NA%
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 24
18% (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 80
$3.076 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 84
$4.526 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 113
$2.224 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA
grain, fruits, vegetables, pulses, qat, coffee, cotton; dairy products, livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, camels), poultry; fish
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
2.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
5.665 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
4.133 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
300,100 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
149,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
274,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
65,860 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
3 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 85
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
478.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
$-1.113 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
$-1.547 billion (2007 est.)
$8.977 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
$7.05 billion (2007 est.)
crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish
China 30.9%, Thailand 26.4%, India 17.2%, Japan 5.2%, UAE 4.3% (2008)
$8.829 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
$7.49 billion (2007 est.)
food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals
UAE 16.4%, China 12.4%, Saudi Arabia 7.8%, Kuwait 5.8%, US 4.3% (2008)
$8.157 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
$7.759 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$5.979 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
$6.044 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Yemeni rials (YER) per US dollar - 199.76 (2008 est.), 199.14 (2007), 197.18 (2006), 192.67 (2005), 184.78 (2004)
Communications ::Yemen
1.117 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 72
3.7 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 96
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, GSM and CDMA mobile-cellular 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
AM 6, FM 1, shortwave 2 (1998)
3 (including one Egypt-based station that broadcasts in Yemen); plus several repeaters (2007)
.ye
242 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 184
370,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 115
Transportation ::Yemen
55 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 85
total: 18
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
total: 37
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 9 (2009)
gas 96 km; liquid petroleum gas 22 km; oil 1,367 km (2008)
total: 71,300 km
country comparison to the world: 65
paved: 6,200 km
unpaved: 65,100 km (2005)
total: 4
country comparison to the world: 135
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
registered in other countries: 13 (North Korea 2, Moldova 1, Panama 6, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Sierra Leone 2, unknown 1) (2008)
Aden, Al Hudaydah, Al Mukalla
the International Maritime Bureau reports offshore waters in the Gulf of Aden are high risk for piracy; numerous vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crew, passengers, and cargo are held for ransom
Military ::Yemen
Army (includes Republican Guard), Navy (includes Marines), Yemen Air Force (Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Jamahiriya al Yemeniya; includes Air Defense Force) (2009)
voluntary military service program authorized in 2001; 2-year service obligation (2006)
males age 16-49: 5,080,038
females age 16-49: 4,852,555 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 3,733,704
females age 16-49: 3,773,626 (2009 est.)
male: 273,624
female: 263,402 (2009 est.)
6.6% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 7
a Coast Guard was established in 2002
Transnational Issues ::Yemen
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 (country of origin): 91,587 (Somalia) (2007)