Yemen Facts

Yemen, state on the southwest tip of the Arabian Peninsula; 531,000 km2, 28.5 million residents (2019).Yemen borders in the north to Saudi Arabia and in the east to Oman, and has a coast to the Arabian Sea in the south-east, the Gulf of Aden in the south and the Red Sea in the west. Yemen also includes the islands of Sokotra in the Arabian Sea, Perim in the strait Bab-el-mandeb and Kamaran in the Red Sea. The borders of Saudi Arabia and Oman have not been definitively established. The capital is Sana (2.1 million residents, 2012).

Yemen Country Flag

Country facts

  • al-Jumhuriyya al-Yamaniyya / Republic of Yemen
  • Country abbreviation: YE
  • Area: 531 000 km2
  • Population (2019): 28.5 million residents
  • Capital: Sana
  • Main language: (high) Arabic
  • State: Republic
  • Head of State: Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi
  • Head of Government: Muin Abd al-Malik Said
  • Per capita GDP (2018): US $ 944
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 960
  • Currency unit: 1 riyal = 100 fils
  • Currency code: YER
  • Country number (telephony): 967
  • Internet Domain Name: ye
  • Time difference compared to Sweden: +2
  • National Day: May 22 (Republican Unification, 1990)


  • Land use: forest (4%), agricultural land (3%), other (93%)
  • Highest mountain: Hadur Shuayb (3,760 m asl)


  • Population density (2019): 54 residents per km2
  • Natural population growth (2019): 2.5%; birth number 31 ‰, death figure 6 ‰
  • Age structure (2019): 0-14 years (40%), 15-64 (57%), 65- (3%)
  • Average life expectancy (2019): men 64 years, women 68 years
  • Infant mortality (2019): 43 per 1,000 live births
  • Population forecast 2050: 48 million residents
  • HDI (2017): 0.452 (place 178 of 189)
  • Urbanization rate (2019): 37%
  • Most populous cities (2012): Sana (1.9 million residents), Aden (760 900)


  • Industry’s contribution to GDP (2017): agriculture (20%), industry (12%), service (68%)
  • Exports (2017): US $ 384 million
  • Main export product: crude oil, coffee
  • Main exporting countries: Egypt, Thailand, Belarus
  • Imports (2017): US $ 4,079 million
  • Main import products: food, machinery, chemicals
  • Main Importing Countries: United Arab Emirates, China, India
  • Railway network: nothing in operation

To the west, the country is mountainous with several peaks over 3,000 meters above sea level. At the Red Sea, the dry coastal plain of Tihama is spreading. The coastal plain towards Adenviken passes north on the Hadramawt limestone plateau, which decreases in height from west to east. To the north, there is a desert plateau, which in eastern Yemen reaches as far as the coast. The country has a dry tropical climate, where the altitude variations have a strong influence on the temperature conditions.

According to the country’s constitution, Yemen is an Arab and Islamic republic. The head of state is the president, who is elected in direct elections for seven years. The president is also commander-in-chief and appoints himself the vice-president and the entire government (following proposals from the prime ministerial candidate). The legislative power lies primarily with the House of Representatives, whose members are elected in general elections for six years.

Yemen, formed in 1990 when North Yemen and South Yemen were united, is one of the poorest countries in the region. The country’s economy is highly dependent on oil and gas exports; the oil accounts for three-quarters of government revenue. The waters off the coast are rich in fish, and during the 1990s some investments were made in the fishing industry. The industry outside the oil and gas production is poorly developed and concentrated in the area around Aden.

Since 2011, the country has been plagued by local revolts and rising violence.

Yemen Map

Yemen Map

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