Photos of Chad

Aorounga Impact Crater, located in the Sahara Desert of north-central Chad, is one of the best-preserved impact structures in the world. The crater is thought to be about 345-370 million years old, based on the age of the sedimentary rocks deformed by the impact. Radar data suggests that Aorounga is one of a set of three craters formed by the same impact event. The other two suggested impact structures are buried by sand deposits. Image courtesy of NASA.



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 at its peak, the empire controlled territory stretching from southern Chad to southern Libya and included portions of modern-day Algeria, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, 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 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 then 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 approved a constitution and held elections in 1996. Shortly after DEBY was killed during a rebel incursion in 2021, a group of military officials -- led by 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 (TMC), while pledging to hold democratic elections by October 2022. A national dialogue in August-October 2022 culminated in decisions to extend the transition for up to two years, dissolve the TMC, and appoint Mahamat DEBY as Transitional President; the transitional authorities held a constitutional referendum in December 2023 and claimed 86 percent of votes were in favor of the new constitution. The transitional authorities have announced plans to hold elections by October 2024.

Chad has faced widespread poverty, an economy severely weakened by volatile international oil prices, terrorist-led insurgencies in the Lake Chad Basin, and several waves of rebellions in northern and eastern Chad. In 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. The same year, Boko Haram conducted bombings in N'Djamena. In 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. 

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

comparison ranking: total 22

Area - comparative

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

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 6,406 km

border countries (6): Cameroon 1,116 km; Central African Republic 1,556 km; Libya 1,050 km; Niger 1,196 km; Nigeria 85 km; Sudan 1,403 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 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

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


total: 19,093,595

male: 9,464,699

female: 9,628,896 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 65; male 65; total 65


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, around 40% of Chad’s population lived below the poverty line as of 2018. 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 as of 2022 – although the mortality rate is high and life expectancy is low. Chad has the world’s second highest maternal mortality rate as of 2017. 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. Less than a quarter of women are literate, less than 10% use contraceptives, and more than 40% undergo genital cutting.

As of December 2022, more than 403,000 refugees from Sudan and more than 120,000 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 more than 380,000 of its citizens displaced in the eastern part of the country as of 2022.

Age structure

0-14 years: 45.8% (male 4,428,132/female 4,323,398)

15-64 years: 51.7% (male 4,831,744/female 5,031,383)

65 years and over: 2.5% (2024 est.) (male 204,823/female 274,115)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 98.7

youth dependency ratio: 94.7

elderly dependency ratio: 4

potential support ratio: 24.9 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 16.7 years (2024 est.)

male: 16.3 years

female: 17.2 years

comparison ranking: total 225

Population growth rate

3.01% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 8

Birth rate

39.2 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 7

Death rate

9 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 60

Net migration rate

-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 101

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: 24.4% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

1.592 million N'DJAMENA (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

18.1 years (2014/15 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 20-49

Maternal mortality ratio

1,063 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 2

Infant mortality rate

total: 62.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 68.1 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 56.7 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 7

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 60 years (2024 est.)

male: 58.1 years

female: 62 years

comparison ranking: total population 222

Total fertility rate

5.24 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 6

Gross reproduction rate

2.57 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 90.2% of population

rural: 51.9% of population

total: 60.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 9.8% of population

rural: 48.1% of population

total: 39.1% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

5.4% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 57.5% of population

rural: 4.9% of population

total: 17.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 42.5% of population

rural: 95.1% of population

total: 82.7% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

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

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and sexually transmitted diseases: hepatitis B (2024)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

note: on 31 August 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Chad is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

6.1% (2016)

comparison ranking: 171

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.55 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.37 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.16 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 162

Tobacco use

total: 8.3% (2020 est.)

male: 13.8% (2020 est.)

female: 2.7% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 147

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

18.9% (2022)

comparison ranking: 21

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 24.2%

women married by age 18: 60.6%

men married by age 18: 8.1% (2019 est.)

Education expenditures

2.9% of GDP (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 161


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

total population: 26.8%

male: 35.4%

female: 18.2% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 7 years

male: 9 years

female: 6 years (2015)


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


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: 24.4% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Food insecurity

widespread lack of access: due to civil insecurity and shortfall in cereal production - according to the latest analysis, about 1.86 million people are projected to experience acute food insecurity during the June to August 2023 lean season period; this would be an improvement compared to the previous year, mostly due to the higher year-on-year cereal output in 2022 after the below average 2021 production; acute food insecurity is underpinned by persisting insecurity in the Lac and Tibesti regions, which had displaced over 380 000 people by April 2023; furthermore, elevated food prices due to high fuel costs and localized crop losses during the 2022 floods are aggravating food insecurity (2023)

Revenue from forest resources

3.81% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 19

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 73

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 41.15 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 1.02 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 30.69 megatons (2020 est.)

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: 100 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 100 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 670 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

45.7 billion cubic meters (2020 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 adopted by National Transitional Council 27 June 2023, approved by referendum 17 December, verified by Chad Supreme Court 28 December, promulgated 1 January 2024

amendments: previous process: 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

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: Transitional President Mahamat Idriss DEBY (since 20 April 2021); note - on 20 April 2021, newly reelected President Idriss DEBY Itno, Lt. Gen., died of injuries sustained following clashes between government forces he was commanding and insurgents in the northern part of the country; following his death, Mahamat Idriss DEBY took control of the country and dismissed the Chadian parliament, establishing a Transitional Military Council (TMC) and promising elections within 18 months; the transition was extended for 24 months and the TMC was dissolved in October 2022, postponing elections until 31 October 2024

head of government: Prime Minister Succès MASRA (since 1 January 2024)

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; note - on 20 April 2021, military officials suspended the constitution and formed a Transitional Military Council, pledging to hold democratic elections by October 2022 but have since delayed elections until 31 October 2024

election results:
: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno reelected transitional president; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY (MPS) 79.3%, Pahimi PADACKET Albert (RNDT) 10.3%, Lydie BEASSEMDA (Party for Democracy and Independence) 3.2%, other 7.2%

: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno reelected president in first round; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY (MPS) 61.6%, Saleh KEBZABO (UNDR) 12.8%, Laokein Kourayo MEDAR (CTPD) 10.7%, Djimrangar DADNADJI (CAP-SUR) 5.1%, other 9.8%

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), replacing the National Assembly, which was disbanded after he took control of the country on 20 April 2021; according to DEBY, the NTC will act as a national assembly of transition until the country’s next elections take place

elections: members of the so called "National Transitional Council" were installed by Interim President DEBY on 5 October 2021 (next to be held in September 2022)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 64, women 29, percent of women 31.2% 

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 court(s): 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 MEDARD]
Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarledjy YORONGAR]
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 Unity and Reconstruction or PUR
Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [formerly Idriss DEBY] 
Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Mahamat Allahou TAHER]
Rally of Chadian Nationalists/Awakening or RNDT/Le Reveil [Albert Pahimi PADACKE]
Social Democratic Party for a Change-over of Power or PDSA [Malloum YOBODA]
Union for Democracy and the Republic or UDR
Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Felix Romadoumngar NIALBE]
Transformers [Succès MASRA]
note 1: 19 additional parties each contributed one member

note 2: on 5 October 2021, Interim President Mahamat Idriss DEBY appointed 93 members to the interim National Transitional Council (NTC); 30% of the NTC members were retained from parties previously represented in the National Assembly

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador KITOKO GATA Ngoulou (since 30 June 2023)

chancery: 2401 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 652-1312

FAX: [1] (202) 578-0431

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander LASKARIS (since 18 August 2022)

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 2 (1 natural, 1 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Lakes of Ounianga (n); Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape (m)


Economic overview

primarily oil-based economy, vulnerable to regional competition and international price shocks; increasing extreme poverty and minimal human capital capacities; one of the most environmentally disrupted economies; high maternal and infant mortality rates destabilizing labor force potentials

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$25.037 billion (2022 est.)
$24.49 billion (2021 est.)
$24.787 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 151

Real GDP growth rate

2.24% (2022 est.)
-1.2% (2021 est.)
-1.6% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 163

Real GDP per capita

$1,400 (2022 est.)
$1,400 (2021 est.)
$1,500 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 219

GDP (official exchange rate)

$12.704 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.79% (2022 est.)
-0.77% (2021 est.)
4.46% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 90

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 52.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 14.7% (2017 est.)

services: 33.1% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 221; industry 184; agriculture 3

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, cereals, beef, sugarcane, yams, maize, cassava, milk (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


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

Industrial production growth rate

4.08% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 95

Labor force

5.602 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 75

Unemployment rate

1.1% (2022 est.)
1.59% (2021 est.)
1.68% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 10

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 2.4% (2021 est.)

male: 3.3%

female: 1.4%

comparison ranking: total 199

Population below poverty line

42.3% (2018 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

37.5 (2018 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 75

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 29.7% (2018 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


0% of GDP (2020 est.)
0% of GDP (2019 est.)
0% of GDP (2018 est.)


revenues: $2.29 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $2.12 billion (2020 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 91

Public debt

52.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
52.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 97

Taxes and other revenues

13.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 156

Current account balance

-$558 million (2017 est.)
-$926 million (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 106


$6.503 billion (2022 est.)
$4.565 billion (2021 est.)
$2.863 billion (2020 est.)

note: GDP expenditure basis - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 127

Exports - partners

Germany 25%, China 21%, UAE 20%, Taiwan 12%, France 10% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, gold, oil seeds, gum resins, cotton (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$5.028 billion (2022 est.)
$5.211 billion (2021 est.)
$4.502 billion (2020 est.)

note: GDP expenditure basis - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 149

Imports - partners

China 25%, UAE 20%, France 7%, US 7%, Belgium 7% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

vaccines, jewelry, electric generating sets, broadcasting equipment, packaged medicine (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$211.591 million (2021 est.)
$390.675 million (2020 est.)
$310.032 million (2019 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 187

Debt - external

$1.724 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 154

Exchange rates

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

Exchange rates:
623.76 (2022 est.)
554.531 (2021 est.)
575.586 (2020 est.)
585.911 (2019 est.)
555.446 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

population without electricity: 15 million (2020)

electrification - total population: 11.2% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 43.2% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 1.3% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 87,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 188.46 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 111 million kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 186; transmission/distribution losses 55; imports 190; exports 185; consumption 187

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 96.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 3.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 87,900 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 12,600 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 116,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 1.5 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 136

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 189

Refined petroleum products - imports

2,285 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 189

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

1.771 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 1.771 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 162

Energy consumption per capita

1.575 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 190


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 5,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2022 est.) less than 1

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 204

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 12.087 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 68 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 82

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the telecom infrastructure is particularly poor; fixed, mobile and internet is well below African averages; Chad’s telecom market offers some potential for investors to develop services given the low starting base; the country’s first 3G/LTE mobile license was awarded in April 2014; Chad finally gained access to international fiber bandwidth in 2012 its national backbone infrastructure remains underdeveloped; the World Bank-funded Central African Backbone (CAB) project takes in Chad, while the country is also party to a Trans-Saharan Backbone project which will link a fiber cable to Nigeria and Algeria (2022)

domestic: fixed-line connections less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership base of about 60 per 100 persons (2021)

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

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: 3.06 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 18% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 119

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2020 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3


42 (2024)

comparison ranking: 96


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

comparison ranking: total 92


12,400 km (2022) (Chari and Logone Rivers are navigable only in wet season) Chari is 11,400 km Legone is 1,000 km

comparison ranking: 12

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Chadian National Army (Armee Nationale du Tchad, ANT): Land 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) (2023)

note 1: 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-sized force 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)

note 2: the Chadian National Police are under the Ministry of Public Security and Immigration; border security duties are shared by the Army, Customs (Ministry of Public Security and Immigration), the Gendarmerie, and the GNNT

Military expenditures

2.5% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.5% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.9% of GDP (2020 est.)
2% of GDP (2019 est.)
2% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 40

Military and security service personnel strengths

limited and varied information; estimated to have up to 40,000 active ANT personnel (approximately 30-35,000 Ground Forces, 5,000 GDSSIE, and a few hundred Air Force); approximately 5,000 National Gendarmerie; approximately 3,000 Nomadic Guard (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the ANT is mostly armed with older or secondhand equipment from Belgium, France, Russia, and the former Soviet Union; in recent years it has received equipment, including donations, from other countries, including China, Turkey, and the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

20 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service for men with an 18-36 month service obligation (information varies); women are subject to 12 months of compulsory military or civic service at age 21; 18-35 for voluntary service; soldiers released from active duty are in the reserves until the age of 50 (2023)

Military deployments

Chad has committed approximately 1,000-1,500 troops to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram and other terrorist groups operating in the general area of the Lake Chad Basin and along Nigeria's northeast border; national MNJTF troop contingents are deployed within their own territories, although cross‐border operations are conducted periodically (2024)

Military - note

the ANT has considerable combat experience against insurgents and terrorist groups; it also has a tradition of deep involvement in domestic politics; over the past decade, the ANT has received substantial foreign military assistance, particularly from France, which maintains a military base in N’Djamena; the ANT's current operational focus is on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations; it is engaged with the Boko Haram and Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in West Africa terrorist groups in the Lake Chad Basin area; in addition, the ANT conducts frequent operations against internal anti-government militias and armed dissident groups

several rebel groups operate in northern Chad from bases in southern Libya, including the FACT (Front pour le Changement et la Concorde au Tchad), the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic le Conseil de Commandement Militaire pour le salut de la République or CCSMR), the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (le Union des Forces pour la Démocratie et le Développement or UFDD), and the Union of Resistance Forces (le Union des Forces de la Résistance UFR); former Chadian President Idriss DEBY was killed in April 2021 during fighting in the northern part of the country between the FACT and the Chadian Army; some armed groups, including the UFDD and UFR, signed an accord in August 2022 in return for the release of prisoners, amnesty, and an end to hostilities between the Chadian Government and these armed factions; however, other armed groups, including the FACT and CCSMR, refused to join the accord (2023)


Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Boko Haram; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - West Africa (ISIS-WA)

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 694,569 (Sudan) (includes refugees since 15 April 2023), 26,692 (Cameroon) (2023); 134,015 (Central African Republic), 21,381 (Nigeria) (2024)

IDPs: 215,918 (majority are in the east) (2023)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Chad does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore, Chad was downgraded to Tier 3; officials took some steps to address trafficking, prosecuting trafficking cases and launching an inter-ministerial committee to enhance protections for migrant workers and reduce vulnerabilities to trafficking; however, the government did not identify any victims or convict traffickers for the second consecutive year; officials did not consistently implement standard operating procedures to screen for and identify victims; the government did not operationalize its National Trafficking Commission nor conduct awareness campaigns (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Chad, and traffickers exploit Chadian victims 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 production, and fishing, and those attending Quranic schools are forced into begging and street vending or other forms of trafficking; some military or local officials exploit with impunity child herders in forced labor; girls from rural areas who search for work in larger towns are exploited in sex trafficking and domestic servitude; armed groups most likely recruit and use children in armed conflict; traffickers exploit some undocumented migrants in sex or labor trafficking; Chinese and Cuban nationals working in Chad may have been forced to work by their governments (2023)