South Sudan

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

British explorers established the colony of Equatoria in 1870,  which composed most of what is now South Sudan. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was declared that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the political system. A referendum, held in January 2011, was in favor of secession and South Sudan gained independence on 9 July 2011.

Geography

Area

total: 644,329 sq km

Climate

hot with seasonal rainfall influenced by the annual shift of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone; rainfall heaviest in upland areas of the south and diminishes to the north

Natural resources

hydropower, fertile agricultural land, gold, diamonds, petroleum, hardwoods, limestone, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver

People and Society

Population

11,544,905 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Dinka (Jieng) approximately 35-40%, Nuer (Naath) approximately 15%, Shilluk (Chollo), Azande, Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, Acholi, Baka, Fertit (2011 est.)

Languages

English (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants), ethnic languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk

Religions

Christian 60.5%, folk religion 32.9%, Muslim 6.2%, other <1%, unaffiliated <1% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

4.91% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Juba

Executive branch

chief of state: President Salva KIIR Mayardit (since 9 July 2011); First Vice President Riek MACHAR Teny Dhurgon (since 22 February 2020); Vice President James Wani IGGA (since 22 February 2020); Vice President TABAN Deng Gai (since 22 February 2020); Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng Chol GARANG de Mabior (since 22 February 2020); Vice President Hussein ABDELBAGI Ayii (since 22 February 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Salva KIIR Mayardit (since 9 July 2011); First Vice President Taban Deng GAI (since 26 July 2016); Vice President James Wani IGGA (since 22 February 2020); Vice President TABAN Deng Gai (since 22 February 2020); Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng Chol GARANG de Mabior (since 22 February 2020); Vice President Hussein ABDELBAGI Ayii (since 22 February 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Legislature consists of:
Council of States, pending establishment as stipulated by the 2018 peace deal
Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), established on 4 August 2016, in accordance with the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan; note - originally 400 seats; the TNLA was expanded to 550 members from 400 and reestablished in May 2020 under the 2018 peace agreement

Economy

Economic overview

low-income, oil-based Sahelian economy; extreme poverty and food insecurity; COVID-19 and ongoing violence threaten socioeconomic potential; environmentally fragile; ongoing land and property rights issues; natural resource rich but lacks infrastructure

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$20.01 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$1,600 (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, sorghum, vegetables, cassava, goat milk, fruit, beef, sesame seed, sheep milk, mutton

Exports

$3.01 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

China 88%, United Arab Emirates 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, gold, forage crops, lumber, insect resins (2019)

Imports

$3.07 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

United Arab Emirates 37%, Kenya 18%, China 18% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, delivery trucks, packaged medicines, foodstuffs, clothing and apparel (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022