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Africa :: South Sudan Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: South Sudan
  • Background field listing

    British explorer Samuel BAKER established the colony of Equatoria in 1870, in the name of the Ottoman Khedive of Egypt who claimed the territory. Headquartered in Gondokoro (near modern day Juba), Equatoria in theory composed most of what is now South Sudan. After being cut off from colonial administration during the Mahdist War from 1885-1898, Equatoria was made a state under the Anglo-Egyptian condominium in 1899. It was largely left to itself over the following decades, but Christian missionaries converted much of the population and facilitated the spread of English, rather than Arabic. Equatoria was ruled by British colonial administrators separately from what is now Sudan until the two colonies were combined at the 1947 Juba Conference, as part of British plans to prepare the region for independence. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the understanding that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the political system. When the Arab Khartoum government reneged on its promises, a mutiny began that led to two prolonged periods of conflict (1955-1972 and 1983-2005) in which perhaps 2.5 million people died - mostly civilians - due to starvation and drought. Ongoing peace talks finally resulted in a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in January 2005. As part of this agreement, the south was granted a six-year period of autonomy to be followed by a referendum on final status. The result of this referendum, held in January 2011, was a vote of 98% in favor of secession.

    Since independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has struggled with good governance and nation building and has attempted to control opposition forces operating in its territory. Economic conditions have deteriorated since January 2012 when the government decided to shut down oil production following bilateral disagreements with Sudan. In December 2013, conflict between government and opposition forces killed tens of thousands and led to a dire humanitarian crisis with millions of South Sudanese displaced and food insecure. The warring parties signed a peace agreement in August 2015 that created a transitional government of national unity in April 2016. However, in July 2016, fighting broke out in Juba between the two principal signatories, plunging the country back into conflict. A "revitalized" peace agreement was signed in September 2018 ending the fighting. Under the agreement, the government and various rebel groups agreed that the sides would form a unified national army and create a transitional government by May 2019. The agreement was extended until November 2019 and then subsequently to February 2020. However, implementation has been stalled, in part by a failure to agree on the country's internal political boundaries.

  • Geography :: South Sudan
  • Location field listing
    East-Central Africa; south of Sudan, north of Uganda and Kenya, west of Ethiopia
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    8 00 N, 30 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 644,329 sq km
    land: NA
    water: NA
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Area - comparative field listing
    more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Texas
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 6,018 km
    border countries (6): Central African Republic 1055 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 714 km, Ethiopia 1299 km, Kenya 317 km, Sudan 2158 km, Uganda 475 km

    note: South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment; final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan

    Coastline field listing
    0 km (landlocked)
    Maritime claims field listing
    none (landlocked)
    Climate field listing
    hot with seasonal rainfall influenced by the annual shift of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone; rainfall heaviest in upland areas of the south and diminishes to the north
    Terrain field listing
    plains in the north and center rise to southern highlands along the border with Uganda and Kenya; the White Nile, flowing north out of the uplands of Central Africa, is the major geographic feature of the country; The Sudd (a name derived from floating vegetation that hinders navigation) is a large swampy area of more than 100,000 sq km fed by the waters of the White Nile that dominates the center of the country
    Elevation field listing
    lowest point: White Nile 381 m
    highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m
    Natural resources field listing
    hydropower, fertile agricultural land, gold, diamonds, petroleum, hardwoods, limestone, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 100%
    arable land: 0% / permanent crops: 0% / permanent pasture: 100%
    forest: 0%
    other: 0%
    Irrigated land field listing
    1,000 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    clusters found in urban areas, particularly in the western interior and around the White Nile as shown in this population distribution map
    Environment - current issues field listing
    water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife conservation and loss of biodiversity; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought
    Geography - note field listing
    landlocked; The Sudd is a vast swamp in the north central region of South Sudan, formed by the White Nile, its size is variable but can reach some 15% of the country's total area during the rainy season; it is one of the world's largest wetlands
  • People and Society :: South Sudan
  • Population field listing
    10,561,244 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Nationality field listing
    noun: South Sudanese (singular and plural)
    adjective: South Sudanese
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Dinka (Jieng) 35.8%, Nuer (Naath) 15.6%, Shilluk (Chollo), Azande, Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, Acholi, Baka, Fertit (2011 est.)
    Languages field listing
    English (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants), regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk
    Religions field listing
    animist, Christian, Muslim
    Demographic profile field listing

    South Sudan, independent from Sudan since July 2011 after decades of civil war, is one of the world’s poorest countries and ranks among the lowest in many socioeconomic categories. Problems are exacerbated by ongoing tensions with Sudan over oil revenues and land borders, fighting between government forces and rebel groups, and inter-communal violence. Most of the population lives off of farming, while smaller numbers rely on animal husbandry; more than 80% of the populace lives in rural areas. The maternal mortality rate is among the world’s highest for a variety of reasons, including a shortage of health care workers, facilities, and supplies; poor roads and a lack of transport; and cultural beliefs that prevent women from seeking obstetric care. Most women marry and start having children early, giving birth at home with the assistance of traditional birth attendants, who are unable to handle complications.

    Educational attainment is extremely poor due to the lack of schools, qualified teachers, and materials. Less than a third of the population is literate (the rate is even lower among women), and half live below the poverty line. Teachers and students are also struggling with the switch from Arabic to English as the language of instruction. Many adults missed out on schooling because of warfare and displacement.

    Almost 2 million South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighboring countries since the current conflict began in December 2013. Another 1.96 million South Sudanese are internally displaced as of August 2017. Despite South Sudan’s instability and lack of infrastructure and social services, more than 240,000 people have fled to South Sudan to escape fighting in Sudan.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 41.58% (male 2,238,534/female 2,152,685)
    15-24 years: 21.28% (male 1,153,108/female 1,094,568)
    25-54 years: 30.67% (male 1,662,409/female 1,577,062)
    55-64 years: 3.93% (male 228,875/female 186,571)
    65 years and over: 2.53% (male 153,502/female 113,930) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 80.8
    youth dependency ratio: 74.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.1
    potential support ratio: 16.5 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 18.6 years
    male: 18.9 years
    female: 18.3 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.7% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Birth rate field listing
    38.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Death rate field listing
    11.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Net migration rate field listing
    0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Population distribution field listing
    clusters found in urban areas, particularly in the western interior and around the White Nile as shown in this population distribution map
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 20.2% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 4.1% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    403,000 JUBA (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.23 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1.35 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    1,150 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 69.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 76 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 63.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 55.5 years
    male: 54.6 years
    female: 56.5 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    Total fertility rate field listing
    5.54 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    4% (2010)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 85.2% of population
    rural: 71.7% of population
    total: 74.3% of population
    unimproved: urban: 14.8% of population
    rural: 28.3% of population
    total: 25.7% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    9.8% (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 54.1% of population
    rural: 10.7% of population
    total: 19.1% of population
    unimproved: urban: 45.9% of population
    rural: 89.3% of population
    total: 80.9% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    2.4% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    190,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    9,100 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, Trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness)
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    6.6% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    27.7% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Education expenditures field listing
    1% of GDP (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 34.5%
    male: 40.3%
    female: 28.9% (2018)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 38.6%
    male: 39.5%
    female: 37.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
  • Government :: South Sudan
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of South Sudan
    conventional short form: South Sudan
    etymology: self-descriptive name from the country's former position within Sudan prior to independence; the name "Sudan" derives from the Arabic "bilad-as-sudan" meaning "Land of the Black [peoples]"
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Juba
    geographic coordinates: 04 51 N, 31 37 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: the name derives from Djouba, another name for the Bari people of South Sudan
    Administrative divisions field listing
    10 states; Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria; note - in 2015, the creation of 28 new states was announced and in 2017 four additional; following the February 2020 peace agreement, the country was reportedly again reorganized into the 10 original states, plus 2 administrative areas, Pibor and Ruweng, and 1 special administrative status area, Abyei; this latest administrative revision has not yet been vetted by the US Board on Geographic Names
    Independence field listing
    9 July 2011 (from Sudan)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 9 July (2011)
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 2005 (preindependence); latest signed 7 July 2011, effective 9 July 2011 (Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011)
    amendments: proposed by the National Legislature or by the president of the republic; passage requires submission of the proposal to the Legislature at least one month prior to consideration, approval by at least two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the Legislature, and assent of the president; amended 2013, 2015, 2018
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of South Sudan
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Salva KIIR Mayardit (since 9 July 2011); First Vice President Riek MACHAR Teny Dhurgon (since 22 February 2020); Vice President James Wani IGGA (since 26 April 2016); Vice President TABAN Deng Gai (since 22 February 2020); Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng Chol GARANG de Mabior (since 22 February 2020); Vice President Hussein ABDELBAGI Ayii (since 22 February 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Salva KIIR Mayardit (since 9 July 2011); First Vice President Taban Deng GAI (since 26 July 2016); Vice President James Wani IGGA (since 26 April 2016); Vice President TABAN Deng Gai (since 22 February 2020); Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng Chol GARANG de Mabior (since 22 February 2020); Vice President Hussein ABDELBAGI Ayii (since 22 February 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: National Council of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11-15 April 2010 (next election scheduled for 2015 postponed to 2018 and again to 2021)
    election results: Salva KIIR Mayardit elected president; percent of vote - Salva KIIR Mayardit (SPLM) 93%, Lam AKOL (SPLM-DC) 7%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral National Legislature consists of:
    Council of States, established by presidential decree in August 2011 (50 seats; 20 former members of the Council of States and 30 appointed representatives)
    Transitional National Legislative Assembly, established on 4 August 2016, in accordance with the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (400 seats; 170 members elected in April 2010, 96 members of the former National Assembly, 66 members appointed after independence, and 68 members added as a result of the 2016 Agreement); the TNLA will be expanded to 550 members after the transitional government forms
    Council of States - established and members appointed 1 August 2011
    National Legislative Assembly - last held 11-15 April 2010 but did not take office until July 2011; current parliamentary term extended until 2021)
    election results:
    Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SPLM 20, unknown 30; composition - men 44, women 6, percent of women 12%
    National Legislative Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SPLM 251, DCP 10, independent 6, unknown 133; composition - men 291, women 109, percent of women 27.3%; note - total National Legislature percent of women 25.6%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court of South Sudan (consists of the chief and deputy chief justices, 9 other justices and normally organized into panels of 3 justices, except when sitting as a Constitutional panel of all 9 justices chaired by the chief justice)
    judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president upon proposal of the Judicial Service Council, a 9-member judicial and administrative body; justice tenure set by the National Legislature
    subordinate courts: national level - Courts of Appeal; High Courts; County Courts; state level - High Courts; County Courts; customary courts; other specialized courts and tribunals
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Democratic Change or DC [Onyoti Adigo NYIKWEC] (formerly Sudan People's Liberation Movement-Democratic Movement or SPLM-DC)
    Sudan People's Liberation Movement or SPLM [Salva KIIR Mayardit]
    Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition or SPLM-IO [Riek MACHAR Teny Dhurgon]
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Philip Jada NATANA (since 17 September 2018)
    chancery: 1015 31st Street NW, Third Floor, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 293-7940
    FAX: [1] (202) 293-7941
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas HUSHEK (since 5 June 2018)
    telephone: [211] 912-105-188
    embassy: Kololo Road adjacent to the EU's compound, Juba
    Flag description field listing
    three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green; the red band is edged in white; a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side contains a gold, five-pointed star; black represents the people of South Sudan, red the blood shed in the struggle for freedom, green the verdant land, and blue the waters of the Nile; the gold star represents the unity of the states making up South Sudan

    note: resembles the flag of Kenya; one of only two national flags to display six colors as part of its primary design, the other is South Africa's

    National symbol(s) field listing
    African fish eagle; national colors: red, green, blue, yellow, black, white
    National anthem field listing
    name: South Sudan Oyee! (Hooray!)
    lyrics/music: collective of 49 poets/Juba University students and teachers

    note: adopted 2011; anthem selected in a national contest

  • Economy :: South Sudan
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Industry and infrastructure in landlocked South Sudan are severely underdeveloped and poverty is widespread, following several decades of civil war with Sudan. Continued fighting within the new nation is disrupting what remains of the economy. The vast majority of the population is dependent on subsistence agriculture and humanitarian assistance. Property rights are insecure and price signals are weak, because markets are not well-organized.

    South Sudan has little infrastructure – about 10,000 kilometers of roads, but just 2% of them paved. Electricity is produced mostly by costly diesel generators, and indoor plumbing and potable water are scarce, so less than 2% of the population has access to electricity. About 90% of consumed goods, capital, and services are imported from neighboring countries – mainly Uganda, Kenya and Sudan. Chinese investment plays a growing role in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

    Nevertheless, South Sudan does have abundant natural resources. South Sudan holds one of the richest agricultural areas in Africa, with fertile soils and abundant water supplies. Currently the region supports 10-20 million head of cattle. At independence in 2011, South Sudan produced nearly three-fourths of former Sudan's total oil output of nearly a half million barrels per day. The Government of South Sudan relies on oil for the vast majority of its budget revenues, although oil production has fallen sharply since independence. South Sudan is one of the most oil-dependent countries in the world, with 98% of the government’s annual operating budget and 80% of its gross domestic product (GDP) derived from oil. Oil is exported through a pipeline that runs to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The economy of South Sudan will remain linked to Sudan for some time, given the existing oil infrastructure. The outbreak of conflict in December 2013, combined with falling crude oil production and prices, meant that GDP fell significantly between 2014 and 2017. Since the second half of 2017 oil production has risen, and is currently about 130,000 barrels per day.

    Poverty and food insecurity has risen due to displacement of people caused by the conflict. With famine spreading, 66% of the population in South Sudan is living on less than about $2 a day, up from 50.6% in 2009, according to the World Bank. About 80% of the population lives in rural areas, with agriculture, forestry and fishing providing the livelihood for a majority of the households. Much of rural sector activity is focused on low-input, low-output subsistence agriculture.

    South Sudan is burdened by considerable debt because of increased military spending and high levels of government corruption. Economic mismanagement is prevalent. Civil servants, including police and the military, are not paid on time, creating incentives to engage in looting and banditry. South Sudan has received more than $11 billion in foreign aid since 2005, largely from the US, the UK, and the EU. Inflation peaked at over 800% per year in October 2016 but dropped to 118% in 2017. The government has funded its expenditures by borrowing from the central bank and foreign sources, using forward sales of oil as collateral. The central bank’s decision to adopt a managed floating exchange rate regime in December 2015 triggered a 97% depreciation of the currency and spawned a growing black market.

    Long-term challenges include rooting out public sector corruption, improving agricultural productivity, alleviating poverty and unemployment, improving fiscal transparency - particularly in regard to oil revenues, taming inflation, improving government revenues, and creating a rules-based business environment.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $20.01 billion (2017 est.)
    $21.1 billion (2016 est.)
    $24.52 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 149
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $3.06 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    -5.2% (2017 est.)
    -13.9% (2016 est.)
    -0.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $1,600 (2017 est.)
    $1,700 (2016 est.)
    $2,100 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 220
    Gross national saving field listing
    3.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
    18.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    7.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 34.9% (2011 est.)
    government consumption: 17.1% (2011 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 10.4% (2011 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 64.9% (2011 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -27.2% (2011 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    sorghum, maize, rice, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, mangoes, papayas, bananas, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, cotton, sesame seeds, cassava (manioc, tapioca), beans, peanuts; cattle, sheep
    Population below poverty line field listing
    66% (2015 est.)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 259.6 million (FY2017/18 est.)
    expenditures: 298.6 million (FY2017/18 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    8.5% (of GDP) (FY2017/18 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -1.3% (of GDP) (FY2017/18 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Public debt field listing
    62.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    86.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    187.9% (2017 est.)
    379.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 225
    Current account balance field listing
    -$154 million (2017 est.)
    $39 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Exports field listing
    $1.13 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Imports field listing
    $3.795 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $73 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    Exchange rates field listing
    South Sudanese pounds (SSP) per US dollar -
    0.885 (2017 est.)
    0.903 (2016 est.)
    0.9214 (2015 est.)
    0.885 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: South Sudan
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 11 million (2019)
    electrification - total population: 1% (2019)
    electrification - urban areas: 4% (2019)
    electrification - rural areas: 1% (2019)
    Electricity - production field listing
    412.8 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    391.8 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    80,400 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Crude oil - production field listing
    150,200 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    147,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    3.75 billion bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    8,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    7,160 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    63.71 billion cu m (1 January 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    1.224 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
  • Communications :: South Sudan
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 0
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 225
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 3,439,784
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33.46 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: one of the least developed telecommunications and Internet systems in the world; the international community has provided billions in aid to help the young country, unfortunate instability, widespread poverty and low literacy rate all contribute to a struggle for their telecom sector; the few carriers in the market have reduced the areas in which they offer service, not expanded them; recently the government shut down the largest cellphone carrier isolating 1.4 million customers over a disputed service fee arrangement (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line less than 1 per 100 subscriptions, mobile-cellular 33 per 100 persons (2019)
    international: country code - 211 (2017)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing

    a single TV channel and a radio station are controlled by the government; several community and commercial FM stations are operational, mostly sponsored by outside aid donors; some foreign radio broadcasts are available

    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 814,326
    percent of population: 7.98% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 200
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
  • Transportation :: South Sudan
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    Z8 (2016)
    Airports field listing
    89 (2020)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 4 (2020)
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 84 (2020)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
    914 to 1,523 m: 38
    under 914 m: 33
    Heliports field listing
    3 (2020)
    Railways field listing
    total: 248 km (2018)

    note: a narrow gauge, single-track railroad between Babonosa (Sudan) and Wau, the only existing rail system, was repaired in 2010 with $250 million in UN funds, but is not currently operational

    country comparison to the world: 126
    Roadways field listing
    total: 90,200 km (2019)
    paved: 300 km (2019)
    unpaved: 89,900 km (2019)

    note: most of the road network is unpaved and much of it is in disrepair

    country comparison to the world: 55
    Waterways field listing
    see entry for Sudan
  • Military and Security :: South Sudan
  • Military and security forces field listing
    South Sudan People’s Defence Force (SSPDF): Ground Force, Air Force, Air Defense Forces, Presidential Guard (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    3.5% of GDP (2019)
    3.7% of GDP (2018)
    2.4% of GDP (2017)
    4.6% of GDP (2016)
    10% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) has an estimated 190,000 active personnel, including ground, air, and riverine forces (2019)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the SSPDF inventory is primarily of Soviet origin; South Sudan was under a UN arms embargo through May 2020; from 2010 to 2015, Russian and the United Arab Emirates were the leading suppliers of arms and equipment (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service; the Government of South Sudan signed agreements in March 2012 and August 2015 that included the demobilization of all child soldiers within the armed forces and opposition, but the recruitment of child soldiers by the warring parties continues; as of the end of 2018, UNICEF estimated that more than 19,000 child soldiers had been used in the country's civil war since it began in December 2013 (2018)
    Military - note field listing
    under the September 2018 peace agreement, all armed groups in South Sudan were to assemble at designated sites where fighters could be either disarmed and demobilized, or integrated into unified military and police forces; the unified forces were then to be retrained and deployed prior to the formation of a national unity government; all fighters were ordered to these sites in July 2019; some progress toward merging the various armed forces into a national army has been made; for example, in May 2020, South Sudan announced that it was graduating some unified forces at various training centers across the country, and in June the SSPDF incorporated some senior officers from the main opposition force, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement Army - in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) into its rank structure; nevertheless, progress has been slow, and as of August 2020 armed clashes continued to occur between government forces and armed militant groups

    the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has operated in the country since 2011 with the objectives of consolidating peace and security and helping establish conditions for the successful economic and political development of South Sudan; UNMISS had more than 18,000 personnel deployed in the country as of May 2020

    United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) has operated in the disputed Abyei region along the border between Sudan and South Sudan since 2011; UNISFA's mission includes ensuring security, protecting civilians, strengthening the capacity of the Abyei Police Service, de-mining, monitoring/verifying the redeployment of armed forces from the area, and facilitating the flow of humanitarian aid; UNISFA had about 4,000 personnel deployed as of March 2020 (2020)
  • Transnational Issues :: South Sudan
  • Disputes - international field listing

    South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan; periodic violent skirmishes with South Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic; the boundary that separates Kenya and South Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 729,530 (Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 16,176 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2020)
    IDPs: 1.66 million (alleged coup attempt and ethnic conflict beginning in December 2013; information is lacking on those displaced in earlier years by: fighting in Abyei between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in May 2011; clashes between the SPLA and dissident militia groups in South Sudan; inter-ethnic conflicts over resources and cattle; attacks from the Lord's Resistance Army; floods and drought) (2020)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: South Sudan is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; South Sudanese women and girls, particularly those who are internally displaced, orphaned, refugees, or from rural areas, are vulnerable to forced labor and sexual exploitation, often in urban centers; children may be victims of forced labor in construction, market vending, shoe shining, car washing, rock breaking, brick making, delivery cart pulling, and begging; girls are also forced into marriages and subsequently subjected to sexual slavery or domestic servitude; women and girls migrate willingly from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to South Sudan with the promise of legitimate jobs and are forced into the sex trade; inter-ethnic abductions and abductions by criminal groups continue, with abductees subsequently forced into domestic servitude, herding, or sex trafficking; in 2014, the recruitment and use of child soldiers increased significantly within government security forces and was also prevalent among opposition forces
    tier rating: Tier 3 – South Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; despite the government’s formal recommitment to an action plan to eliminate the recruitment and use of child soldiers by 2016, the practice expanded during 2014, and the government did not hold any officers criminally responsible; government officials reportedly are complicit in trafficking offenses but these activities continue to go uninvestigated; authorities reportedly identified five trafficking victims but did not transfer them to care facilities; law enforcement continued to arrest and imprison individuals for prostitution, including trafficking victims; no known steps were taken to address the exploitation of South Sudanese nationals working abroad or foreign workers in South Sudan (2015)