Photos of Djibouti

The country of Djibouti is named after its capital and largest settlement. The city is located in the eastern part of the country on the Horn of Africa, approximately 21 km (13 m) northwest of the Somali border.

Introduction

Background

Present-day Djibouti was the site of the medieval Ifat and Adal Sultanates. In the late 19th century, the Afar sultans signed treaties with the French that allowed the latter to establish the colony of French Somaliland in 1862. The French signed additional treaties with the ethnic Somali in 1885.

Tension between the ethnic Afar and Somali populations increased over time, as the ethnic Somalis perceived that the French unfairly favored the Afar and gave them disproportionate influence in local governance. In 1958, the French held a referendum that provided residents of French Somaliland the option to either continue their association with France or to join neighboring Somalia as it established its independence. Ethnic Somali protested the vote, because French colonial leaders did not recognize many Somali as residents, which gave the Afar outsized influence in the decision to uphold ties with France. After a second referendum in 1967, the French changed the territory’s name to the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas, in part to underscore their relationship with the ethnic Afar and downplay the significance of the ethnic Somalis. A final referendum in 1977 established Djibouti as an independent nation and granted ethnic Somalis Djiboutian nationality, formally resetting the balance of power between the majority ethnic Somalis and minority ethnic Afar residents. Upon independence, the country was named after its capital city of Djibouti. Hassan Gouled APTIDON, an ethnic Somali leader, installed an authoritarian one-party state and served as president until 1999. Unrest between the Afar minority and Somali majority culminated in a civil war during the 1990s that ended in 2001 with a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Somali Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Djibouti's first multiparty presidential election resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH as president; he was reelected to a second term in 2005 and extended his tenure in office via a constitutional amendment, which allowed him to serve his third and fourth terms, and to begin a fifth term in 2021.

Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Its ports handle 95% of Ethiopia’s trade. Djibouti’s ports also service transshipments between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The government has longstanding ties to France, which maintains a military presence in the country, as do the US, Japan, Italy, Germany, Spain, and China.

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

Geography

Location

Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia

Geographic coordinates

11 30 N, 43 00 E

Area

total: 23,200 sq km

land: 23,180 sq km

water: 20 sq km

comparison ranking: total 150

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than New Jersey

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 528 km

border countries (3): Eritrea 125 km; Ethiopia 342 km; Somalia 61 km

Coastline

314 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

desert; torrid, dry

Terrain

coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains

Elevation

highest point: Moussa Ali 2,021 m

lowest point: Lac Assal -155 m

mean elevation: 430 m

Natural resources

potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum

Land use

agricultural land: 73.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 73.3% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.2% (2018 est.)

other: 26.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

10 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Abhe Bad/Abhe Bid Hayk (shared with Ethiopia) - 780 sq km

Population distribution

most densely populated areas are in the east; the largest city is Djibouti, with a population over 600,000; no other city in the country has a total population over 50,000 as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

earthquakes; droughts; occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods

volcanism: experiences limited volcanic activity; Ardoukoba (298 m) last erupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border, is also historically active

Geography - note

strategic location near world's busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields; terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia; mostly wasteland; Lac Assal (Lake Assal) is the lowest point in Africa and the saltiest lake in the world

People and Society

Population

total: 994,974

male: 450,796

female: 544,178 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 162; male 164; total 162

Nationality

noun: Djiboutian(s)

adjective: Djiboutian

Ethnic groups

Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (mostly Yemeni Arab, also French, Ethiopian, and Italian)

Languages

French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar

Religions

Sunni Muslim 94% (nearly all Djiboutians), other 6% (mainly foreign-born residents - Shia Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Baha'i, and atheist)

Demographic profile

Djibouti is a poor, predominantly urban country, characterized by high rates of illiteracy, unemployment, and childhood malnutrition. Approximately 70% of the population lives in cities and towns (predominantly in the capital, Djibouti). The rural population subsists primarily on nomadic herding. Prone to droughts and floods, the country has few natural resources and must import more than 80% of its food from neighboring countries or Europe. Health care, particularly outside the capital, is limited by poor infrastructure, shortages of equipment and supplies, and a lack of qualified personnel. More than a third of health care recipients are migrants because the services are still better than those available in their neighboring home countries. The nearly universal practice of female genital cutting reflects Djibouti’s lack of gender equality and is a major contributor to obstetrical complications and its high rates of maternal and infant mortality. A 1995 law prohibiting the practice has never been enforced.

Because of its political stability and its strategic location at the confluence of East Africa and the Gulf States along the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, Djibouti is a key transit point for migrants and asylum seekers heading for the Gulf States and beyond. Each year some 100,000 people, mainly Ethiopians and some Somalis, journey through Djibouti, usually to the port of Obock, to attempt a dangerous sea crossing to Yemen. However, with the escalation of the ongoing Yemen conflict, Yemenis began fleeing to Djibouti in March 2015, with almost 20,000 arriving by August 2017. Most Yemenis remain unregistered and head for Djibouti City rather than seeking asylum at one of Djibouti’s three spartan refugee camps. Djibouti has been hosting refugees and asylum seekers, predominantly Somalis and lesser numbers of Ethiopians and Eritreans, at camps for 20 years, despite lacking potable water, food shortages, and unemployment.

Age structure

0-14 years: 28.4% (male 141,829/female 140,696)

15-64 years: 67.4% (male 290,654/female 379,778)

65 years and over: 4.2% (2024 est.) (male 18,313/female 23,704)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50.6

youth dependency ratio: 47.5

elderly dependency ratio: 6.9

potential support ratio: 14.4 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 26.3 years (2024 est.)

male: 24.4 years

female: 27.9 years

comparison ranking: total 164

Population growth rate

1.89% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 45

Birth rate

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

comparison ranking: 56

Death rate

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

comparison ranking: 120

Net migration rate

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

comparison ranking: 23

Population distribution

most densely populated areas are in the east; the largest city is Djibouti, with a population over 600,000; no other city in the country has a total population over 50,000 as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 78.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.56% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

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

Major urban areas - population

600,000 DJIBOUTI (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.77 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female

total population: 0.83 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

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

comparison ranking: 39

Infant mortality rate

total: 45.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 52.1 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 38 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 25

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 65.9 years (2024 est.)

male: 63.4 years

female: 68.5 years

comparison ranking: total population 202

Total fertility rate

2.11 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 94

Gross reproduction rate

1.04 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.7% of population

rural: 59.3% of population

total: 90.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.3% of population

rural: 40.7% of population

total: 9.2% of population (2020 est.)

Physician density

0.22 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Hospital bed density

1.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 87.7% of population

rural: 24.2% of population

total: 73.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 12.3% of population

rural: 75.8% of population

total: 26.2% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2023)

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

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

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

13.5% (2016)

comparison ranking: 131

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.21 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.05 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.14 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 172

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

16.2% (2019)

comparison ranking: 31

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 1.4%

women married by age 18: 6.5% (2019 est.)

Education expenditures

3.6% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 136

Literacy

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 7 years

male: 7 years

female: 7 years (2011)

Environment

Environment - current issues

inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution; limited arable land; deforestation (forests threatened by agriculture and the use of wood for fuel); desertification; endangered species

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, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Climate

desert; torrid, dry

Land use

agricultural land: 73.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 73.3% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.2% (2018 est.)

other: 26.4% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 78.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.56% 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 unfavorable weather and high food prices - about 250,000 people were estimated to have faced acute food insecurity between March and June 2023, mainly due to the lingering impact of a prolonged and severe drought between late 2020 and early 2023, and high food prices (2023)

Revenue from forest resources

0.26% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 85

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 62

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 19.98 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.62 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.52 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 114,997 tons (2002 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Abhe Bad/Abhe Bid Hayk (shared with Ethiopia) - 780 sq km

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 0 cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 3 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

300 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Djibouti

conventional short form: Djibouti

local long form: Republique de Djibouti (French)/ Jumhuriyat Jibuti (Arabic)

local short form: Djibouti (French)/ Jibuti (Arabic)

former: French Somaliland, French Territory of the Afars and Issas

etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Djibouti

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Djibouti

geographic coordinates: 11 35 N, 43 09 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the origin of the name is disputed; multiple descriptions, possibilities, and theories have been proposed

Administrative divisions

6 districts (cercles, singular - cercle); Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Djibouti, Obock, Tadjourah

Independence

27 June 1977 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 June (1977)

Constitution

history: approved by referendum 4 September 1992

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the National Assembly; Assembly consideration of proposals requires assent of at least one third of the membership; passage requires a simple majority vote by the Assembly and approval by simple majority vote in a referendum; the president can opt to bypass a referendum if adopted by at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; constitutional articles on the sovereignty of Djibouti, its republican form of government, and its pluralist form of democracy cannot be amended; amended 2006, 2008, 2010

Legal system

mixed legal system based primarily on the French civil code (as it existed in 1997), Islamic religious law (in matters of family law and successions), and customary law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the mother must be a citizen of Djibouti

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Ismail Omar GUELLEH (since 8 May 1999)

head of government: Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil MOHAMED (since 1 April 2013)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term; election last held on 9 April 2021 (next to be held in April 2026); prime minister appointed by the president

election results:
2021:
Ismail Omar GUELLEH reelected president for a fifth term; percent of vote - Ismail Omar GUELLEH (RPP) 97.4%, Zakaria Ismael FARAH (MDEND) 2.7%

2016: Ismail Omar GUELLEH reelected president for a fourth term; percent of vote - Ismail Omar GUELLEH (RPP) 87%, Omar Elmi KHAIREH (CDU) 7.3%, other 5.6%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblée Nationale, formerly the Chamber of Deputies (65 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote using the D'Hondt method; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 24 February 2023 (next to be held in February 2028)

election results: percent of vote by party - UMP 93.6%, UDJ 6.3%; seats by party - UMP 58, UDJ 7; composition - men 48, women 17, percentage women 26.2%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA magistrates); Constitutional Council (consists of 6 magistrates)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court magistrates appointed by the president with the advice of the Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM), a 10-member body consisting of 4 judges, 3 members (non-parliamentarians and judges) appointed by the president, and 3 appointed by the National Assembly president or speaker; magistrates appointed for life with retirement at age 65; Constitutional Council magistrate appointments - 2 by the president of the republic, 2 by the president of the National Assembly, and 2 by the CSM; magistrates appointed for 8-year, non-renewable terms

subordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; customary courts; State Court (replaced sharia courts in 2003)

Political parties and leaders

Front for Restoration of Unity and Democracy (Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite Democratique) or FRUD [Ali Mohamed DAOUD]
National Democratic Party or PND [Abdourahman Mohamed ALLALEH]
People's Rally for Progress or RPP [Ismail Omar GUELLEH] (governing party)
Peoples Social Democratic Party or PPSD [Hasna Moumin BAHDON]
Union for Democracy and Justice or UDJ [Ilya Ismail GUEDI Hared]
Union for the Presidential Majority coalition or UMP [collective leadership] (electoral coalition includes FRUD, PND, RPP, PPSD, and UPR)
Union of Reform Partisans or UPR [Ibrahim Daoud CHEHEM]

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, ATMIS, AU, CAEU (candidates), COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed Siad DOUALEH (28 January 2016)

chancery: 1156 15th Street NW, Suite 515, Washington, DC 20005

telephone: [1] (202) 331-0270

FAX: [1] (202) 331-0302

email address and website:
info@djiboutiembassyus.org

https://www.djiboutiembassyus.org/

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d’Affaires Christopher SNIPES (since October 2023)

embassy: Lot 350-B Haramouss, B.P. 185

mailing address: 2150 Djibouti Place, Washington DC  20521-2150

telephone: [253] 21-45-30-00

FAX: [253] 21-45-31-29

email address and website:
DjiboutiACS@state.gov

https://dj.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of light blue (top) and light green with a white isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bearing a red five-pointed star in the center; blue stands for sea and sky and the Issa Somali people; green symbolizes earth and the Afar people; white represents peace; the red star recalls the struggle for independence and stands for unity

National symbol(s)

red star; national colors: light blue, green, white, red

National anthem

name: "Jabuuti" (Djibouti)

lyrics/music: Aden ELMI/Abdi ROBLEH

note: adopted 1977

Economy

Economic overview

food import-dependent Horn of Africa economy driven by various national military bases and port-based trade; fairly resilient from COVID-19 disruptions; major re-exporter; increasing Ethiopian and Chinese trade relations; investing in infrastructure

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$5.592 billion (2022 est.)
$5.423 billion (2021 est.)
$5.188 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 175

Real GDP growth rate

3.12% (2022 est.)
4.52% (2021 est.)
1.32% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 132

Real GDP per capita

$5,000 (2022 est.)
$4,900 (2021 est.)
$4,800 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 173

GDP (official exchange rate)

$3.515 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.18% (2022 est.)
1.18% (2021 est.)
1.78% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 77

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 17.3% (2017 est.)

services: 80.2% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 31; industry 170; agriculture 166

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 56.5% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 29.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 41.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 38.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -66.4% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

vegetables, beans, milk, beef, camel milk, lemons/limes, goat meat, lamb/mutton, tomatoes, beef offal (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage

Industries

construction, agricultural processing, shipping

Industrial production growth rate

-0.42% (2022 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 172

Labor force

250,000 (2022 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 172

Unemployment rate

26.67% (2022 est.)
27.96% (2021 est.)
27.85% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 216

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 79.9% (2021 est.)

male: 78.6%

female: 82.2%

comparison ranking: total 1

Population below poverty line

21.1% (2017 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

41.6 (2017 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 42

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.9%

highest 10%: 32.3% (2017 est.)

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

Remittances

1.56% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.35% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.01% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $725 million (2019 est.)

expenditures: $754 million (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 205

Public debt

31.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
33.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 165

Taxes and other revenues

35.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 18

Current account balance

$656.207 million (2022 est.)
-$225.106 million (2021 est.)
$366.358 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 51

Exports

$5.674 billion (2022 est.)
$5.16 billion (2021 est.)
$3.695 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 135

Exports - partners

Ethiopia 61%, China 17%, India 7%, Jordan 2%, Central African Republic 1% (2022)

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

Exports - commodities

palm oil, chlorides, seed oils, flax yarn, cattle (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$5.096 billion (2022 est.)
$5.483 billion (2021 est.)
$3.425 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 148

Imports - partners

China 38%, UAE 20%, India 10%, Morocco 6%, Turkey 6% (2022)

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

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, palm oil, fertilizers, cars, raw sugar (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$589.437 million (2022 est.)
$588.418 million (2021 est.)
$686.339 million (2020 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 162

Debt - external

$1.954 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.519 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 153

Exchange rates

Djiboutian francs (DJF) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
177.721 (2022 est.)
177.721 (2021 est.)
177.721 (2020 est.)
177.721 (2019 est.)
177.721 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 65% (2022 est.)

electrification - urban areas: 72.8%

electrification - rural areas: 36.6%

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 150,000 kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 516.233 million kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 512 million kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 128.74 million kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 54; imports 90; consumption 174; installed generating capacity 179

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 99.1% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 0.9% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

Coal

exports: 8 metric tons (2022 est.)

imports: 1,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

Petroleum

refined petroleum consumption: 4,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

660,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 660,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 183

Energy consumption per capita

9.559 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 152

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 28,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 167

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 519,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 46 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 174

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Djibouti remains one of the last bastions where the national telco has a monopoly on telecom services, including fixed lines, mobile, internet, and broadband with the exception of broad band fiber; despite the country benefiting from its location as a hub for international submarine cables, prices for telecom services remain relatively high, and out of reach for a number of customers, weighing on market advancement; the Djibouti government is aiming to sell a minority stake in the incumbent telco (retaining some control of decisions) while securing the financial backing and the management acumen of a foreign operator; this is part of a larger plan to modernize the country’s economy more generally; the state expects to conduct a sale of up to 40% of the company to an international investor (2023)

domestic: about 2 per 100 fixed-line teledensity and nearly 44 per 100 mobile-cellular (2021)

international: country code - 253; landing points for the SEA-ME-WE-3 & 5, EASSy, Aden-Djibouti, Africa-1, DARE-1, EIG, MENA, Bridge International, PEACE Cable, and SEACOM fiber-optic submarine cable systems providing links to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and Africa; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean and 1 Arabsat) (2019)

Broadcast media

state-owned Radiodiffusion-Television de Djibouti operates the sole terrestrial TV station, as well as the only 2 domestic radio networks; no private TV or radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2019)

Internet users

total: 759,000 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 69% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 157

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 25,053 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 159

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 4

Airports

10 (2024)

comparison ranking: 159

Heliports

6 (2024)

Railways

total: 97 km (2017) (Djibouti segment of the 756 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway)

standard gauge: 97 km (2017) 1.435-m gauge

comparison ranking: total 128

Roadways

total: 2,893 km (2013)

comparison ranking: total 165

Merchant marine

total: 40 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 1, container ship 1, general cargo 4, oil tanker 13, other 21

comparison ranking: total 126

Ports

total ports: 2 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 0

small: 2

very small: 0

ports with oil terminals: 2

key ports: Djibouti, Doraleh

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Djibouti Armed Forces (Forces Armées Djiboutiennes or FAD): Army, Navy, Air Force; Djibouti Coast Guard

Ministry of Interior: National Police (2024)

note: the National Police is responsible for security within Djibouti City and has primary control over immigration and customs procedures for all land border-crossing points, while the National Gendarmerie, which reports to the Ministry of Defense, is responsible for all security outside of Djibouti City, as well as for protecting critical infrastructure within the city, such as the international airport

Military expenditures

3.5% of GDP (2019 est.)
3.5% of GDP (2018 est.)
3.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
2.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
2.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 23

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 10,000 active-duty military personnel; approximately 2,000 Gendarmerie (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAD's inventory includes mostly older French and Soviet-era weapons systems, although in recent years it has received limited amounts of more modern, but largely secondhand equipment from a variety of other countries, including China, the Netherlands, and the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; 16-25 years of age for voluntary military training; no conscription (2023)

Military deployments

approximately 950 Somalia (ATMIS; note - ATMIS troop contingents are drawing down towards a final exit in December 2024); Djibouti has about 200 police deployed to the Central African Republic under MINUSCA (2024)

Military - note

Djibouti's military forces are largely focused on border, coastal, and internal security duties, such as counterterrorism; China, France, Italy, Japan, and the US maintain bases in Djibouti for regional military missions, including counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, crisis response, and security assistance (note – France has multiple bases and hosts troop contingents from Germany and Spain); the EU and NATO also maintain a presence to support multinational naval counter-piracy operations and maritime training efforts (2023)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): al-Shabaab

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): 6,518 (Yemen) (mid-year 2022); 13,467 (Somalia) (2024)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Djibouti does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore, Djibouti was downgraded to Tier 3; the government took some steps to address trafficking, including partnering with international organizations to establish a shelter and provide services to victims, and directing creation of a national coordinating body to combat trafficking; however, officials did not report investigating or prosecuting any cases and did not convict any traffickers for the sixth consecutive year; prosecutors dropped trafficking charges or reclassified cases as other crimes with lower penalties, and judges did not incorporate provisions from the 2016 anti-trafficking law; no victims were identified for the fourth consecutive year, and protection services remained limited; the government lacked coordinated anti-trafficking efforts and did not draft a new National Action Plan to replace the expired plan; some officials continued to deny the existence of sex and labor trafficking in Djibouti (2023)