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Flag of Yemen
Map of Yemen
Introduction 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.
Geography Yemen
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)
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
People Yemen
Population:
21,456,188 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.4% (male 5,067,762/female 4,881,333)
15-64 years: 51% (male 5,568,078/female 5,375,263)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 275,878/female 287,874) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.6 years
male: 16.6 years
female: 16.6 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
3.46% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
42.89 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
8.3 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 59.88 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 64.55 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 54.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 62.12 years
male: 60.23 years
female: 64.11 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
6.58 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
12,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
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
Languages:
Arabic
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50.2%
male: 70.5%
female: 30% (2003 est.)
Government Yemen
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 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 had become independent in November of 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and South Yemen had become 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 Abd al-Qadir BA JAMAL; Deputy Prime Ministers Rashid Muhammad al-ALAMI, Alawi Salah al-SALAMI, Ahmad Muhammad Abdallah al-SUFAN
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections: president elected by direct, popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term; recently extended from a five-year term by constitutional amendment); election last held 23 September 1999 (next to be held September 2006); 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 96.3%, Najib Qahtan AL-SHABI 3.7%
Legislative branch:
a new constitutional amendment ratified on 20 February 2001 created 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 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:
there are more than 12 political parties active in Yemen, some of the more prominent are: General People's Congress or GPC [President Ali Abdallah SALIH]; Islamic Reform Grouping or Islah [Shaykh Abdallah bin Husayn al-AHMAR]; Nasserite Unionist Party [Abdal Malik al-MAKHLAFI]; National Arab Socialist Ba'th Party [Dr. Qasim SALAM]; Yemeni Socialist Party or YSP [Ali Salih MUQBIL]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAS, MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, ONUB, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNOCI, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, 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 Thomas C. KRAJESKI
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, and of Iraq, which has three green stars (plus an Arabic inscription), in a horizontal line centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt, which has a heraldic eagle centered in the white band
Economy Yemen
Economy - overview:
Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, has reported meager growth since 2000. Its economic fortunes depend mostly on oil. Oil revenues increased in 2005 due to higher prices. Yemen was on an IMF-supported structural adjustment program designed to modernize and streamline the economy, which led to substantial foreign debt relief and restructuring. However, government dedication to the program waned in 2001 for political reasons. Yemen is struggling to control excessive spending and rampant corruption. The people have grown increasingly upset over the economic situation. In July 2005, a reduction in fuel subsidies sparked riots; over 20 Yemenis were killed and hundreds were injured.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$19.37 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$14.34 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.4% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 13.5%
industry: 47.2%
services: 39.3% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
5.83 million (2005 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):
11.8% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
14.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $5.616 billion
expenditures: $5.719 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
34.4% of GDP (2005 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% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
3.848 billion kWh (2003 est.)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
2.827 billion kWh (2003 est.)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
387,500 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
80,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
370,300 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
4.37 billion bbl (2005 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
478.6 billion cu m (2005)
Current account balance:
$1.224 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
$6.387 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish
Exports - partners:
China 36.3%, Chile 19.1%, Thailand 12.5%, Japan 5.4%, South Korea 4.4%, US 4% (2005)
Imports:
$4.19 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners:
UAE 14.4%, Saudi Arabia 11.4%, China 9%, Kuwait 5%, India 4.4%, Turkey 4.4% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$6.143 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$5.347 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$2.3 billion (2003-07 disbursements)
Currency (code):
Yemeni rial (YER)
Currency code:
YER
Exchange rates:
Yemeni rials per US dollar - 192.67 (2005), 184.78 (2004), 183.45 (2003), 175.63 (2002), 168.67 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Yemen
Telephones - main lines in use:
798,100 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1.072 million (2004)
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
international: country code - 967; 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)
Radios:
1.05 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
7 (plus several low-power repeaters) (1997)
Televisions:
470,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.ye
Internet hosts:
166 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
220,000 (2005)
Transportation Yemen
Airports:
46 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 30
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 4 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 88 km; oil 1,174 km (2004)
Roadways:
total: 71,300 km
paved: 6,200 km
unpaved: 65,100 km (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 5 ships (1000 GRT or over) 19,920 GRT/26,277 DWT
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 1
registered in other countries: 5 (Bolivia 1, Cambodia 2, North Korea 1, Panama 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Aden, Nishtun
Military Yemen
Military branches:
Army (includes Special Forces), Naval Forces and Coastal Defenses (includes Marines), Air Force (includes Air Defense Forces), Republican Guard (2002)
Military service age and obligation:
in May 2001, Yemen's National Defense Council abolished compulsory military service and authorized a voluntary program for military service (2004)
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 - dollar figure:
$992.2 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
6.4% (2005 est.)
Military - note:
a Coast Guard was established in 2002
Transnational Issues Yemen
Disputes - international:
Yemen protests Eritrea fishing around the Hanish Islands awarded to Yemen by the ICJ in 1999; Saudi Arabia still maintains the concrete-filled pipe as a security barrier along sections of the border with Yemen in 2004 to stem illegal cross-border activities; Yemen protests Saudi erection of a concrete-filled pipe as a security barrier in 2004 to stem illegal cross-border activities in sections of the boundary
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 63,511 (Somalia) (2005)

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006