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Map of Yemen
Introduction Yemen
North Yemen became independent of Ottoman Empire in 1918. British, who had set up a protectorate area around southern port of Aden in 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from south to north contributed to two decades of hostility between states. two countries were formally unified as Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 previously quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border.
Geography Yemen
Middle East, bordering 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
total: 527,970 sq km
land: 527,970 sq km
note: includes Perim, Socotra, former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than twice size of Wyoming
Land boundaries:
total: 1,746 km
border countries: Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km
1,906 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to edge of continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
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 desert interior of 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, limited deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper, fertile soil in west
Land use:
arable land: 2.75%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 97.04% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
4,900 sq km (1998 est.)
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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note:
strategic location on Bab el Mandeb, strait linking Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes
People Yemen
Total Population:
19,349,881 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.8% (male 4,606,110; female 4,446,229)
15-64 years: 50.4% (male 4,972,946; female 4,778,034)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 272,921; female 273,641) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.4 years
male: 16.4 years
female: 16.4 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
3.42% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
43.23 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
9.04 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 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: 1 male(s)/female
Population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 65.02 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 59.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 69.98 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 60.97 years
male: 59.16 years
female: 62.87 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
6.82 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
9,900 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Yemeni(s)
adjective: Yemeni
Ethnic groups:
predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asians, Europeans
Muslim includes Shaf'i (Sunni) and Zaydi (Shi'a), limited numbers of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
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 short form: Al Yaman
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah
Government type:
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: there may be one additional governorate of capital city of Sanaa
22 May 1990, Republic of Yemen previously established with merger of Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]; previously North Yemen had become independent on NA November 1918 (from Ottoman Empire) and South Yemen had become independent on 30 November 1967 (from UK)
National holiday:
Unification Day, 22 May (1990)
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
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Field Marshall Ali Abdallah SALIH (since 22 May 1990, former president of North Yemen, assumed office upon 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 (since 4 April 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president on advice of prime minister
election results: Ali Abdallah SALIH elected president; percent of vote - Ali Abdallah SALIH 96.3%, Najib Qahtan AL-SHAABI 3.7%
elections: president elected by direct, popular vote for a seven-year term (recently extended from a five-year term by constitutional amendment); election last held 23 September 1999 (next to be held NA 2006); vice president appointed by president; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by president
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 president) and a House of Representatives (301 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - GPC 238, Islah 46, YSP 8, Nasserite Unionist Party 3, National Arab Socialist Baath Party 2, independents 4
elections: last held 27 April 2003 (next to be held NA April 2009)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
there are over 12 political parties active in Yemen, some of more prominent are: General People's Congress or GPC [President Ali Abdallah SALIH]; Islamic Reform Grouping or Islah [Shaykh Abdallah bin Husayn al-AHMAR]; National Arab Socialist Baath Party [Dr. Qassim SALAAM]; Nasserite Unionist Party [Abdel Malik al-MAKHLAFI]; Yemeni Socialist Party or YSP [Ali Salih MUQBIL]
note: President SALIH's General People's Congress or GPC won a landslide victory in April 1997 legislative election and no longer governs in coalition with Shaykh Abdallah bin Husayn al-AHMAR's Islamic Reform Grouping or Islah - two parties had been in coalition since end of civil war in 1994; YSP, a loyal opposition party, boycotted April 1997 legislative election, but announced that it would participate in Yemen's first local elections, held in February 2001; these local elections aim to decentralize political power and are a key element of government's political reform program
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Abd al-Wahhab Abdallah al-HAJRI
FAX: [1] (202) 337-2017
telephone: [1] (202) 965-4760
chancery: Suite 705, 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Edmund J. HULL
embassy: Dhahar Himyar Zone, Sheraton Hotel District, Sanaa
mailing address: P. O. Box 22347, Sanaa
telephone: [967] (1) 303-161
FAX: [967] (1) 303-182
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; similar to 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 white band; also similar to flag of Egypt, which has a heraldic eagle centered in white band
Economy Yemen
Economy - overview:
Yemen, one of poorest countries in Arab world, reported strong growth in mid-1990s with onset of oil production, but has been harmed by periodic declines in oil prices. Yemen has embarked on an IMF-supported structural adjustment program designed to modernize and streamline economy, which has led to substantial foreign debt relief and restructuring. International donors, meeting in Paris in October 2002, agreed on a further $2.3 billion economic support package. Yemen has worked to maintain tight control over spending and implement additional components of IMF program. A high population growth rate and internal political dissension complicate government's task.
buying power parity - $15.07 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.1% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 22%
industry: 38%
services: 40% (2001)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 25.9% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
33.4 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
12.2% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
most people are employed in agriculture and herding; services, construction, industry, and commerce account for less than one-fourth of labor force
Unemployment rate:
30% (1995 est.)
revenues: $3 billion
expenditures: $3.1 billion, includes capital expenditures of NA (2001 est.)
crude oil production and petroleum refining; limited -scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; limited aluminum products factory; cement
Industrial production growth rate:
4% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
3.01 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
2.8 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
438,500 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
74,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
3.2 billion bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
480 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
grain, fruits, vegetables, pulses, qat (mildly narcotic shrub), coffee, cotton; dairy products, livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, camels), poultry; fish
$3.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish
Exports - partners:
India 21.1%, Thailand 16.9%, South Korea 11.2%, China 11.1%, Malaysia 7.7%, US 6.7%, Singapore 4% (2002)
$2.9 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners:
US 10.4%, Saudi Arabia 9.5%, China 8.7%, UAE 6.9%, Russia 5.8%, France 4.7% (2002)
Debt - external:
$6.2 billion (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$2.3 billion to be disbursed 2003-07 (2003-07 disbursements)
Yemeni rial (YER)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Yemeni rials per US dollar - NA (2002), 168.67 (2001), 161.72 (2000), 155.72 (1999), 135.88 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Yemen
Telephones - main lines in use:
291,359 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
32,042 (2000)
Telephone system:
general assessment: since unification in 1990, efforts have been made to create a national telecommunications network
domestic: national network consists of microwave radio relay, cable, tropospheric scatter, and GSM cellular mobile telephone systems
international: 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)
1.05 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
7 (plus several low-power repeaters) (1997)
470,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
17,000 (2002)
Transportation Yemen
0 km
total: 67,000 km
paved: 7,705 km
unpaved: 59,295 km (1999 est.)
gas 88 km; oil 1,174 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Aden, Al Hudaydah, Al Mukalla, As Salif, Ras Issa, Mocha, Nishtun
Merchant marine:
total: 5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 18,623 GRT/23,752 DWT
ships by type: cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Hong Kong 2 (2002 est.)
44 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 28
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 4 (2002)
Military Yemen
Military branches:
Army (includes Special Forces, established in 1999), Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Forces, Republican Guard
Military manpower - military age:
14 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 4,443,312 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 2,493,612 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 249,292 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$482.5 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
5.2% (FY01)
Military - note:
establishment of a Coast Guard, scheduled for May 2001, has been delayed
Transnational Issues Yemen
Disputes - international:
Eritrea protests Yemeni fishing around Hanish islands awarded to Eritrea by ICJ in 1999; nomadic groups in border region with Saudi Arabia resist demarcation of boundary