Emi Koussi Volcano and Aorounga Impact Crater in Chad are featured in this striking image photographed from the International Space Station. The two circular landscape features show craters produced by very different geological processes. At left, the broad grey-green shield volcano of Emi Koussi is visible (its 3,415 m summit is the highest in the Sahara region). The circular Aorounga Impact Crater is located approximately 110 km to the southeast of Emi Koussi and has its origin in forces from above rather than eruptions from below. The Aorounga structure is thought to record a meteor impact approximately 345-370 million years ago. Image courtesy of NASA.
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Chad emerged from a collection of powerful states that controlled the Sahelian belt starting around the 9th century. These states focused on controlling trans-Saharan trade routes and profited mostly from the slave trade. The Kanem-Bornu Empire, centered around the Lake Chad Basin, existed between the 9th and 19th centuries, and during its peak, the empire controlled territory stretching from southern Chad to southern Libya and included portions of modern-day Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, and Sudan. The Sudanese warlord Rabih AZ-ZUBAYR used an army comprised largely of slaves to conquer the Kanem-Bornu Empire in the late 19th century. In southeastern Chad, the Bagirmi and Ouaddai (Wadai) kingdoms emerged in the 15th and 16th centuries and lasted until the arrival of the French in the 19th and 20th centuries. France began moving into the region in the late 1880s and defeated the Bagirmi kingdom in 1897, Rabih AZ-ZUBAYR in 1900, and the Ouddai kingdom in 1909. In the arid regions of northern Chad and southern Libya, an Islamic order called the Sanusiyya (Sanusi) relied heavily on the trans-Saharan slave trade and had upwards of 3 million followers by the 1880s. The French arrived in the region in the early 1900s and defeated the Sanusiyya in 1910 after years of intermittent war. By 1910, France had incorporated the northern arid region, the Lake Chad Basin, and southeastern Chad into French Equatorial Africa.  

Chad achieved its independence in 1960 and saw three decades of instability, oppressive rule, civil war, and a Libyan invasion. With the help of the French military and several African countries, Chadian leaders expelled Libyan forces during the 1987 "Toyota War," so named for the use of Toyota pickup trucks as fighting vehicles. In 1990, Chadian general Idriss DEBY led a rebellion against President Hissene HABRE. Under DEBY, Chad drafted and approved a constitution and held elections in 1996. DEBY led the country until April 2021 when he was killed during a rebel incursion. Shortly after his death, a group of military officials - led by former President DEBY’s son, Mahamat Idriss DEBY - took control of the government. The military officials dismissed the National Assembly, suspended the Constitution, and formed a Transitional Military Council while pledging to hold democratic elections in October 2022.

Chad faces widespread poverty, an economy severely weakened by low international oil prices, and rebel and terrorist-led insurgencies in the Lake Chad Basin. Additionally, northern Chad has seen several waves of rebellions since 1998. In late 2015, the government imposed a state of emergency in the Lake Chad Basin following multiple attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram, now known as ISIS-West Africa. In mid-2015, Boko Haram conducted bombings in N'Djamena. In late 2019, the Chadian government also declared a state of emergency in the Sila and Ouaddai regions bordering Sudan and in the Tibesti region bordering Niger where rival ethnic groups are still fighting. The army has suffered heavy losses to Islamic terror groups in the Lake Chad Basin. In March 2020, ISIS-West Africa fighters attacked a Chadian military camp in the Lake Chad Basin and killed nearly 100 soldiers; it was the deadliest attack in the history of the Chadian military.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Central Africa, south of Libya

Geographic coordinates

15 00 N, 19 00 E


total: 1.284 million sq km

land: 1,259,200 sq km

water: 24,800 sq km

country comparison to the world: 22

Area - comparative

almost nine times the size of New York state; slightly more than three times the size of California

<p>almost nine times the size of New York state; slightly more than three times the size of California</p>

Land boundaries

total: 6,406 km

border countries (6): Cameroon 1116 km, Central African Republic 1556 km, Libya 1050 km, Niger 1196 km, Nigeria 85 km, Sudan 1403 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


tropical in south, desert in north


broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south


highest point: Emi Koussi 3,445 m

lowest point: Djourab 160 m

mean elevation: 543 m

Natural resources

petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt

Land use

agricultural land: 39.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 3.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 35.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 9.1% (2018 est.)

other: 51.3% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

300 sq km (2012)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major aquifers

Lake Chad Basin, Nubian Aquifer System

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Chad (endorheic lake shared with Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon) - 10,360-25,900 sq km
note - area varies by season and year to year

Population distribution

the population is unevenly distributed due to contrasts in climate and physical geography; the highest density is found in the southwest, particularly around Lake Chad and points south; the dry Saharan zone to the north is the least densely populated as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues

Geography - note

note 1: Chad is the largest of Africa's 16 landlocked countries

note 2: not long ago - geologically speaking - what is today the Sahara was green savannah teeming with wildlife; during the African Humid Period, roughly 11,000 to 5,000 years ago, a vibrant animal community, including elephants, giraffes, hippos, and antelope lived there; the last remnant of the "Green Sahara" exists in the Lakes of Ounianga (oo-nee-ahn-ga) in northern Chad, a series of 18 interconnected freshwater, saline, and hypersaline lakes now protected as a World Heritage site

note 3: Lake Chad, the most significant water body in the Sahel, is a remnant of a former inland sea, paleolake Mega-Chad; at its greatest extent, sometime before 5000 B.C., Lake Mega-Chad was the largest of four Saharan paleolakes that existed during the African Humid Period; it covered an area of about 400,000 sq km (150,000 sq mi), roughly the size of today's Caspian Sea

People and Society


noun: Chadian(s)

adjective: Chadian

Ethnic groups

Sara (Ngambaye/Sara/Madjingaye/Mbaye) 30.5%, Kanembu/Bornu/Buduma 9.8%, Arab 9.7%, Wadai/Maba/Masalit/Mimi 7%, Gorane 5.8%, Masa/Musseye/Musgum 4.9%, Bulala/Medogo/Kuka 3.7%, Marba/Lele/Mesme 3.5%, Mundang 2.7%, Bidiyo/Migaama/Kenga/Dangleat 2.5%, Dadjo/Kibet/Muro 2.4%, Tupuri/Kera 2%, Gabri/Kabalaye/Nanchere/Somrai 2%, Fulani/Fulbe/Bodore 1.8%, Karo/Zime/Peve 1.3%, Baguirmi/Barma 1.2%, Zaghawa/Bideyat/Kobe 1.1%, Tama/Assongori/Mararit 1.1%, Mesmedje/Massalat/Kadjakse 0.8%, other Chadian ethnicities 3.4%, Chadians of foreign ethnicities 0.9%, foreign nationals 0.3%, unspecified 1.7% (2014-15 est.)


French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects

major-language sample(s):
The World Factbook, une source indispensable d'informations de base. (French)

كتاب حقائق العالم، المصدر الذي لا يمكن الاستغناء عنه للمعلومات الأساسية (Arabic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

French audio sample:
Arabic audio sample:


Muslim 52.1%, Protestant 23.9%, Roman Catholic 20%, animist 0.3%, other Christian 0.2%, none 2.8%, unspecified 0.7% (2014-15 est.)

Demographic profile

Despite the start of oil production in 2003, 40% of Chad’s population lives below the poverty line. The population will continue to grow rapidly because of the country’s very high fertility rate and large youth cohort – more than 65% of the populace is under the age of 25 – although the mortality rate is high and life expectancy is low. Chad has the world’s third highest maternal mortality rate. Among the primary risk factors are poverty, anemia, rural habitation, high fertility, poor education, and a lack of access to family planning and obstetric care. Impoverished, uneducated adolescents living in rural areas are most affected. To improve women’s reproductive health and reduce fertility, Chad will need to increase women’s educational attainment, job participation, and knowledge of and access to family planning. Only about a quarter of women are literate, less than 5% use contraceptives, and more than 40% undergo genital cutting.

As of October 2017, more than 320,000 refugees from Sudan and more than 75,000 from the Central African Republic strain Chad’s limited resources and create tensions in host communities. Thousands of new refugees fled to Chad in 2013 to escape worsening violence in the Darfur region of Sudan. The large refugee populations are hesitant to return to their home countries because of continued instability. Chad was relatively stable in 2012 in comparison to other states in the region, but past fighting between government forces and opposition groups and inter-communal violence have left nearly 60,000 of its citizens displaced in the eastern part of the country.

Age structure

0-14 years: 47.43% (male 4,050,505/female 3,954,413)

15-24 years: 19.77% (male 1,676,495/female 1,660,417)

25-54 years: 27.14% (male 2,208,181/female 2,371,490)

55-64 years: 3.24% (male 239,634/female 306,477)

65 years and over: 2.43% (male 176,658/female 233,087) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Chad. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 96

youth dependency ratio: 91.1

elderly dependency ratio: 4.9

potential support ratio: 20.4 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 16.1 years

male: 15.6 years

female: 16.5 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 223

Birth rate

41.05 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Death rate

9.7 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 40

Net migration rate

-0.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

Population distribution

the population is unevenly distributed due to contrasts in climate and physical geography; the highest density is found in the southwest, particularly around Lake Chad and points south; the dry Saharan zone to the north is the least densely populated as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 23.8% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.1% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.476 million N'DJAMENA (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.78 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

18.1 years (2014/15 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

1,140 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Infant mortality rate

total: 67.02 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 72.83 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 60.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 58.73 years

male: 56.92 years

female: 60.6 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 222

Total fertility rate

5.57 children born/woman (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 86.7% of population

rural: 46.6% of population

total: 55.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 13.3% of population

rural: 53.4% of population

total: 44.3% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.04 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 56.5% of population

rural: 3.1% of population

total: 15.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 43.5% of population

rural: 96.9% of population

total: 84.7% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis


definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic

total population: 22.3%

male: 31.3%

female: 14% (2016)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 7 years

male: 9 years

female: 6 years (2015)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 1.5%

male: 2.4%

female: 0.7% (2018)


Environment - current issues

inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas and poor farming practices contribute to soil and water pollution; desertification

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping-London Convention

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 53.01 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 1.02 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 30.69 megatons (2020 est.)


tropical in south, desert in north

Land use

agricultural land: 39.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 3.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 35.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 9.1% (2018 est.)

other: 51.3% (2018 est.)


urban population: 23.8% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.1% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Food insecurity

widespread lack of access: due to civil insecurity - about 1.78 million people were projected to be in “Crisis” and above in the June‑August 2021 period due to persistent insecurity in the Lac and Tibesti regions, which continues to disrupt livelihood activities and to cause population displacements; about 336,124 people were displaced due to insecurity in Lake Chad Region; COVID‑19 pandemic containment measures continue to slow down the national economy, reducing employment opportunities; this downturn has contributed to a weakening of the purchasing power of poor vulnerable households, limiting their access to food (2021)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,358,851 tons (2010 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Chad (endorheic lake shared with Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon) - 10,360-25,900 sq km
note - area varies by season and year to year

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major aquifers

Lake Chad Basin, Nubian Aquifer System

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 103.7 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 103.7 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 672.2 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

45.7 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Chad

conventional short form: Chad

local long form: Republique du Tchad/Jumhuriyat Tshad

local short form: Tchad/Tshad

etymology: named for Lake Chad, which lies along the country's western border; the word "tsade" means "large body of water" or "lake" in several local native languages

note: the only country whose name is composed of a single syllable with a single vowel

Government type

presidential republic


name: N'Djamena

geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 15 02 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: name taken from the Arab name of a nearby village, Nijamina, meaning "place of rest"

Administrative divisions

23 provinces (provinces, singular - province); Barh-El-Gazel, Batha, Borkou, Chari-Baguirmi, Ennedi-Est, Ennedi-Ouest, Guera, Hadjer-Lamis, Kanem, Lac, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul, Mayo-Kebbi-Est, Mayo-Kebbi-Ouest, Moyen-Chari, N'Djamena, Ouaddai, Salamat, Sila, Tandjile, Tibesti, Wadi-Fira


11 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 11 August (1960)


history: several previous; latest approved 30 April 2018 by the National Assembly, entered into force 4 May 2018

amendments: proposed as a revision by the president of the republic after a Council of Ministers (cabinet) decision or by the National Assembly; approval for consideration of a revision requires at least three-fifths majority vote by the Assembly; passage requires approval by referendum or at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly (2021)

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Chad

dual citizenship recognized: Chadian law does not address dual citizenship

residency requirement for naturalization: 15 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Interim President Mahamat Idriss DEBY; note - on 20 April 2021, newly reelected President Idriss DEBY Itno, Lt. Gen. died of injuries he sustained following clashes between government forces he was commanding and insurgents in the northern part of the country; following his death, Mahamat took control of the country and dismissed the Chadian parliament, promising elections within eighteen months

head of government: Interim President Mahamat Idriss DEBY; note - on 20 April 2021, President Idriss DEBY Itno, Lt. Gen. died of injuries he sustained following clashes between government forces he was commanding and insurgents in the northern part of the country; following his death, Mahamat took control of the country and dismissed the Chadian parliament, promising elections within eighteen months

cabinet: Council of Ministers

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 11 April 2021

election results: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno reelected; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY (MPS) 79.3%, Pahimi PADACKET Albert (RNDT) 10.3%, Lydie BEASSEMDA (Party for Democracy and Independence) 3.16%

Legislative branch

description: formerly a unicameral National Assembly or Assemblée Nationale (188 seats; 163 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 25 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 4-year terms); note - on 5 October 2021, Interim President Mahamat Idriss DEBY installed 93 members of an interim parliament, called the National Transitional Council (NTC); according to DEBY, the NTC will act as a national assembly of transition until the country’s next elections take place


last held on 13 February and 6 May 2011 (next originally scheduled on 13 December 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPS 117, UNDR 10, RDP 9, RNDT/Le Reveil 8, URD 8, Viva-RNDP 5, FAR 4, CTPD 2, PDSA 2, PUR 2, UDR 2, other 19; composition - men 164, women 24, percent of women 12.8%

note: the National Assembly mandate was extended to 2020, reportedly due to a lack of funding for the scheduled 2015 election; the MPS has held a majority in the NA since 1997

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, 3 chamber presidents, and 12 judges or councilors and divided into 3 chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 3 judges and 6 jurists)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice selected by the president; councilors - 8 designated by the president and 7 by the speaker of the National Assembly; chief justice and councilors appointed for life; Constitutional Council judges - 2 appointed by the president and 1 by the speaker of the National Assembly; jurists - 3 each by the president and by the speaker of the National Assembly; judges appointed for 9-year terms

subordinate courts: High Court of Justice; Courts of Appeal; tribunals; justices of the peace

Political parties and leaders

Chadian Convention for Peace and Development or CTPD [Laoukein Kourayo MEDAR]
Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarledjy YORONGAR]
Framework of Popular Action for Solidarity and Unity of the Republic or CAP-SUR [Joseph Djimrangar DADNADJI]
National Rally for Development and Progress or Viva-RNDP [Dr. Nouradine Delwa Kassire COUMAKOYE]
National Union for Democracy and Renewal or UNDR [Saleh KEBZABO]
Party for Liberty and Development or PLD [Ahmat ALHABO]
Party for Unity and Reconciliation
Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [Idriss DEBY]
Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Mahamat Allahou TAHER]RNDT/Le Reveil [Albert Pahimi PADACKE]
Social Democratic Party for a Change-over of Power or PDSA [Malloum YOBODA]
Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Felix Romadoumngar NIALBE]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador NGOTE GALI Koutou (since 22 June 2018)

chancery: 2401 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 652-1312

FAX: [1] (202) 265-1937

email address and website:


Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires David GILMOUR (since December 2020)

embassy: Rond-Point Chagoua, B.P. 413, N’Djamena

mailing address: 2410 N'Djamena Place, Washington DC  20521-2410

telephone: [235] 2251-5017

FAX: [235] 2253-9102

email address and website:


Flag description

three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and red; the flag combines the blue and red French (former colonial) colors with the red and yellow (gold) of the Pan-African colors; blue symbolizes the sky, hope, and the south of the country, which is relatively well-watered; gold represents the sun, as well as the desert in the north of the country; red stands for progress, unity, and sacrifice

note: almost identical to the flag of Romania but with a darker shade of blue; also similar to the flags of Andorra and Moldova, both of which have a national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; design based on the flag of France

National symbol(s)

goat (north), lion (south); national colors: blue, yellow, red

National anthem

name: "La Tchadienne" (The Chadian)

lyrics/music: Louis GIDROL and his students/Paul VILLARD

note: adopted 1960


Economic overview

Chad’s landlocked location results in high transportation costs for imported goods and dependence on neighboring countries. Oil and agriculture are mainstays of Chad’s economy. Oil provides about 60% of export revenues, while cotton, cattle, livestock, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings. The services sector contributes less than one-third of GDP and has attracted foreign investment mostly through telecommunications and banking.

Nearly all of Chad’s fuel is provided by one domestic refinery, and unanticipated shutdowns occasionally result in shortages. The country regulates the price of domestic fuel, providing an incentive for black market sales.

Although high oil prices and strong local harvests supported the economy in the past, low oil prices now stress Chad’s fiscal position and have resulted in significant government cutbacks. Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most of its public and private sector investment. Investment in Chad is difficult due to its limited infrastructure, lack of trained workers, extensive government bureaucracy, and corruption. Chad obtained a three-year extended credit facility from the IMF in 2014 and was granted debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in April 2015.

In 2018, economic policy will be driven by efforts that started in 2016 to reverse the recession and to repair damage to public finances and exports. The government is implementing an emergency action plan to counterbalance the drop in oil revenue and to diversify the economy. Chad’s national development plan (NDP) cost just over $9 billion with a financing gap of $6.7 billion. The NDP emphasized the importance of private sector participation in Chad’s development, as well as the need to improve the business environment, particularly in priority sectors such as mining and agriculture.

The Government of Chad reached a deal with Glencore and four other banks on the restructuring of a $1.45 billion oil-backed loan in February 2018, after a long negotiation. The new terms include an extension of the maturity to 2030 from 2022, a two-year grace period on principal repayments, and a lower interest rate of the London Inter-bank Offer Rate (Libor) plus 2% - down from Libor plus 7.5%. The original Glencore loan was to be repaid with crude oil assets, however, Chad's oil sales were hit by the downturn in the price of oil. Chad had secured a $312 million credit from the IMF in June 2017, but release of those funds hinged on restructuring the Glencore debt. Chad had already cut public spending to try to meet the terms of the IMF program, but that prompted strikes and protests in a country where nearly 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Multinational partners, such as the African Development Bank, the EU, and the World Bank are likely to continue budget support in 2018, but Chad will remain at high debt risk, given its dependence on oil revenue and pressure to spend on subsidies and security.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$24.97 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$25.19 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$24.4 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 144

Real GDP growth rate

-3.1% (2017 est.)

-6.4% (2016 est.)

1.8% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 211

Real GDP per capita

$1,500 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$1,600 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$1,600 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 220

GDP (official exchange rate)

$10.912 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.9% (2019 est.)

4.2% (2018 est.)

-1.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 52.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 14.7% (2017 est.)

services: 33.1% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 75.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 4.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 35.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -39.4% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sorghum, groundnuts, millet, yams, cereals, sugar cane, beef, maize, cotton, cassava


oil, cotton textiles, brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 80%

industry: 20% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 30.8% (2003)


revenues: 1.337 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.481 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

52.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

52.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 94

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$558 million (2017 est.)

-$926 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 124


$2.464 billion (2017 est.)

$2.187 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Exports - partners

China 32%, United Arab Emirates 21%, India 19%, United States 10%, France 6%, Germany 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, gold, livestock, sesame seeds, gum arabic, insect resins (2019)


$2.16 billion (2017 est.)

$1.997 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174

Imports - partners

China 29%, United Arab Emirates 16%, France 10%, United States 8%, India 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

delivery trucks, paints, packaged medicines, aircraft, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$22.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$20.92 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190

Debt - external

$1.724 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 154

Exchange rates

Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -

605.3 (2017 est.)

593.01 (2016 est.)

593.01 (2015 est.)

591.45 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 9% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 32% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 1% (2019)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 5,340 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 8,687,151 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 52.89 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 94

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Chad’s inadequate telecom infrastructure, corruption, and high taxes hinder penetration in fixed, mobile, and Internet sectors; with tax reform, operators are investing in voice and data infrastructure to 3G/4G; government approved telecom infrastructure upgrade; World Bank-funded Central African Backbone (CAB) project; Trans-Saharan Backbone project will link a fiber cable to Nigeria and Algeria (2020)

domestic: fixed-line connections less than 1 per 100 persons, with mobile-cellular subscribership base of about 48 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 235; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

1 state-owned TV station; 2 privately-owned TV stations; state-owned radio network, Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne (RNT), operates national and regional stations; over 10 private radio stations; some stations rebroadcast programs from international broadcasters (2017)

Internet users

total: 2.86 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 10.4% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 117

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 0 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 212


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3

Airports - with paved runways

total: 9

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 50

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 14

914 to 1,523 m: 22

under 914 m: 11 (2013)


582 km oil (2013)


total: 40,000 km (2018)

note: consists of 25,000 km of national and regional roads and 15,000 km of local roads; 206 km of urban roads are paved

country comparison to the world: 89


(Chari and Legone Rivers are navigable only in wet season) (2012)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Chadian National Army (Armee Nationale du Tchad, ANT): Ground Forces (l'Armee de Terre, AdT), Chadian Air Force (l'Armee de l'Air Tchadienne, AAT), General Direction of the Security Services of State Institutions (Direction Generale des Services de Securite des Institutions de l'Etat, GDSSIE); National Gendarmerie; Ministry of Public Security and Immigration: National Nomadic Guard of Chad (GNNT), national police (2021)

note(s) - the GDSSIE, formerly known as the Republican Guard, is the presidential guard force and is considered to be Chad's elite military unit; it is reportedly a division-size unit with infantry, armor, and special forces/anti-terrorism regiments (known as the Special Anti-Terrorist Group or SATG, aka Division of Special Anti-Terrorist Groups or DGSAT)

Military expenditures

2.9% of GDP (2020 est.)

2.2% of GDP (2019)

2.3% of GDP (2018)

2.2% of GDP (2017)

1.8% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 32

Military and security service personnel strengths

limited and varied information; approximately 30,000 active personnel (20-25,000 Ground Forces; 300 Air Force; 5-10,000 General Direction of the Security Services of State Institutions); 5,000 National Gendarmerie; 3,500 National Nomadic Guard of Chad (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the ANT is mostly armed with older or second-hand equipment from Belgium, France, Russia, and the former Soviet Union; since 2010, it has received equipment, including donations, from a variety of countries, including China, Italy, Ukraine, and the US (2021)

Military deployments

note(s) - Chad is part of a five-nation anti-jihadist task force known as the G5 Sahel Group, set up in 2014 with Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger; Chad has committed 550 troops and 100 gendarmes to the force; in early 2020, G5 Sahel military chiefs of staff agreed to allow defense forces from each of the states to pursue terrorist fighters up to 100 km into neighboring countries; the G5 force is backed by the UN, US, and France; G5 troops periodically conduct joint operations with French forces deployed to the Sahel under Operation Barkhane; Chad hosts the headquarters of Operation Barkhane in N’Djamena

Chad has committed approximately 1,000-1,500 troops to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram; national MNJTF troop contingents are deployed within their own territories, although cross‐border operations are conducted periodically; in 2019, Chad sent more than 1,000 troops to Nigeria’s Borno State to fight BH as part of the MNJTF mission

Military service age and obligation

20 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service, with a 3-year service obligation; 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service; no minimum age restriction for volunteers with consent from a parent or guardian; women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age 21 (2021)

Military - note

as of 2021, the ANT was chiefly focused on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations; it was engaged with the Boko Haram (BH) and the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) terrorist groups in the Lake Chad Basin area (primarily the Lac Province) and in the Sahel; in 2020, it conducted a large military operation against BH in the Lake Chad region; that same year, Chad sent troops to the tri-border area with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to combat ISWA militants (it also contributes a large force to the UN MINUSCA mission in Mali); in addition, the ANT was conducting operations against internal anti-government militias and armed dissident groups; several Chadian rebel groups, including the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) and the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), operate in northern Chad from bases in Libya; former Chadian President Idriss DEBY was killed in April 2021 during fighting in the northern part of the country between FACT and the Chadian Army


Terrorist group(s)

Boko Haram; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham – West Africa

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

since 2003, ad hoc armed militia groups and the Sudanese military have driven hundreds of thousands of Darfur residents into Chad; Chad wishes to be a helpful mediator in resolving the Darfur conflict, and in 2010 established a joint border monitoring force with Sudan, which has helped to reduce cross-border banditry and violence; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 374,804 (Sudan), 121,525 (Central African Republic), 19,321 (Nigeria), 8,842 (Cameroon) (2021)

IDPs: 406,573 (majority are in the east) (2021)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Chad and Chadians abroad; most trafficking is internal; some children are sent by their parents to relatives or intermediaries to receive education, an apprenticeship, goods, or money and are then forced to work in domestic service or cattle herding; children are also forced to work in agriculture, gold mines, charcoal vending, and fishing, and those attending Koranic schools are forced into begging and street vending; girls from rural areas who search for work in larger towns are exploited in sex trafficking and domestic servitude; terrorist groups abduct children to serve as soldiers, suicide bombers, brides, and forced laborers

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Chad does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; one trafficker was convicted, the first under a 2018 law, but the government did not report investigating or prosecuting alleged traffickers, including complicit government officials; the government adopted a formal Road Map to implement its 2108 National Action Plan but did not report executing it; authorities did not identify any victims and have not drafted victim identification and referral procedures; the government continued to make no effort to raise awareness on trafficking (2020)