Country Summary

2023 population pyramid



In the late 19th century, the area that would become Somalia was colonized by Britain in the north and Italy in the south. The two colonies merged in 1960 to form the new nation of Somalia. Since 1991, civil war and political instability have resulted in the country being split into several regional governments, and terrorist group al-Shabaab controls large portions of the country.



total: 637,657 sq km
land: 627,337 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km


principally desert; northeast monsoon (December to February), moderate temperatures in north and hot in south; southwest monsoon (May to October), torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons

Natural resources

uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves

People and Society


total: 13,017,273
male: 6,546,312
female: 6,470,961 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

predominantly Somali with lesser numbers of Arabs, Bantus, and others


Somali (official), Arabic (official), Italian, English


Muslim 99.9% (Sunni Muslim 98.1%, Shia Muslim 1.2%, Islamic schismatic 0.6%), ethnic religionist 0.1% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.55% (2024 est.)


Government type

federal parliamentary republic


name: Mogadishu

Executive branch

chief of state: President HASSAN SHEIKH Mohamud (since 23 May 2022)
head of government: Prime Minister Hamza Abdi BARRE (since 25 June 2022)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Federal Parliament to consist of:
Senate (54 seats; senators indirectly elected by state assemblies to serve 4-year terms)
House of the People (275 seats; members indirectly elected by electoral colleges, each consisting of 51 delegates selected by the 136 Traditional Elders in consultation with sub-clan elders; members serve 4-year terms)


Economic overview

low-income African Horn economy; 30 years of war and instability crippled economic potential; high remittances for basic survival; new fiscal federalism approach; cleared some unsustainable debt; environmentally fragile; digitally driven urbanization efforts

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$25.491 billion (2022 est.)
$24.886 billion (2021 est.)
$24.089 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

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

Agricultural products

camel milk, milk, goat milk, sheep milk, sugarcane, fruits, sorghum, cassava, vegetables, maize (2022)


light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication


$819 million (2014 est.)
$779 million (2013 est.)

Exports - partners

UAE 50%, Oman 30%, Bulgaria 3%, India 3%, Kuwait 2% (2022)

Exports - commodities

gold, sheep and goats, cattle, gum resins, shellfish (2022)


$94.43 billion (2018 est.)
$80.07 billion (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

UAE 33%, China 19%, India 16%, Turkey 7%, Ethiopia 5% (2022)

Imports - commodities

tobacco, raw sugar, palm oil, rice, milk (2022)

Exchange rates

Somali shillings (SOS) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
23,097.987 (2017 est.)
23,061.784 (2016 est.)
22,254.236 (2015 est.)
20,230.929 (2014 est.)
19,283.8 (2013 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2024