Pyramids of the Kushite rulers at Meroe.
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Introduction

Background

Long referred to as Nubia, modern-day Sudan was the site of the Kingdom of Kerma (ca. 2500-1500 B.C.) until it was absorbed into the New Kingdom of Egypt. By the 11th century B.C., the Kingdom of Kush gained independence from Egypt; it lasted in various forms until the middle of the 4th century A.D. After the fall of Kush, the Nubians formed three Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria, and Alodia. The latter two endured until around 1500. Between the 14th and 15th centuries much of Sudan was settled by Arab nomads, and between the 16th–19th centuries it underwent extensive Islamization. Following Egyptian occupation early in the 19th century, the British established an Anglo-Egyptian Sudan - nominally a condominium, but in effect a British colony.

Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since Sudan gained independence from Anglo-Egyptian co-rule in 1956. The 30-year reign of President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR, following months of nationwide protests, ended with the military forcing him out in April 2019. In July 2019, the country’s Transitional Military Council signed an agreement with the Forces for Freedom and Change (an umbrella group of civilian actors) to form a transitional government under a Constitutional Declaration. Economist and former international civil servant Abdalla HAMDOUK al-Kinani was selected to serve as prime minister of a civilian-led transitional government, which was to have guided the country to credible democratic elections in late 2022. In October 2021, the Sudanese military organized a takeover that ousted Prime Minister HAMDOUK and his government and replaced civilian members of the Sovereign Council (Sudan’s collective Head of State) with individuals selected by the military. HAMDOUK was briefly reinstated in November 2021 but resigned in January 2022.

As of March 2022, General Abd-al-Fatah al-BURHAN Abd-al-Rahman, the Chair of Sudan’s Sovereign Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, serves as de facto head of state and government. He presides over a Sovereign Council consisting of military leaders, former armed opposition group representatives, and civilians appointed by the military. A cabinet of acting ministers handles day-to-day administration. These acting ministers are either senior civil servants (some appointed by former Prime Minister HAMDOUK and some selected by the military) or holdover ministers from Prime Minister HAMDOUK’s former cabinet who were appointed by former armed opposition groups that the military allowed to remain in their positions. The UN, the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development are currently facilitating a Sudanese-led political process intended to enable Sudanese civilian and military stakeholders to agree on the framework for a new civilian-led transitional government.

During most of the second half of the 20th century, Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of the largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern portion of the country. The first civil war ended in 1972, but another broke out in 1983. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04, and the final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years followed by a referendum on independence for Southern Sudan. South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011, but Sudan and South Sudan have yet to fully implement security and economic agreements relating to the normalization of relations between the two countries.

In the 21st century, Sudan faced conflict in Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile starting in 2003. Together, these conflicts displaced more than 3 million people; while some repatriation has taken place, about 3.04 million IDPs remained in Sudan as of February 2022. Sudan also faces refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Central African Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Syria.

 

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

Geography

Location

north-eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea

Geographic coordinates

15 00 N, 30 00 E

Area

total: 1,861,484 sq km

land: 1,731,671 sq km

water: 129,813 sq km

country comparison to the world: 17

Area - comparative

slightly less than one-fifth the size of the US

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 6,819 km

border countries (7): Central African Republic 174 km; Chad 1,403 km; Egypt 1,276 km; Eritrea 682 km; Ethiopia 744 km; Libya 382 km; South Sudan 2,158 km

note: Sudan-South Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment; final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei region pending negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan

Coastline

853 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 18 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate

hot and dry; arid desert; rainy season varies by region (April to November)

Terrain

generally flat, featureless plain; desert dominates the north

Elevation

highest point: Jabal Marrah 3,042 m

lowest point: Red Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 568 m

Natural resources

petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold; hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 100% (2018 est.)

arable land: 15.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 84.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 0% (2018 est.)

other: 0% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

15,666 sq km (2020)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Nile (shared with Rwanda [s], Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, and Egypt [m]) - 6,650 km; Blue Nile river mouth (shared with Ethiopia [s]) - 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major aquifers

Nubian Aquifer System, Sudd Basin (Umm Ruwaba Aquifer)

Population distribution

with the exception of a ribbon of settlement that corresponds to the banks of the Nile, northern Sudan, which extends into the dry Sahara, is sparsely populated; more abundant vegetation and broader access to water increases population distribution in the south extending habitable range along nearly the entire border with South Sudan; sizeable areas of population are found around Khartoum, southeast between the Blue and White Nile Rivers, and throughout South Darfur as shown on this population distribution map

Natural hazards

dust storms and periodic persistent droughts

Geography - note

the Nile is Sudan's primary water source; its major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, meet at Khartoum to form the River Nile which flows northward through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Sudanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Sudanese

Ethnic groups

Sudanese Arab (approximately 70%), Fur, Beja, Nuba, Ingessana, Uduk, Fallata, Masalit, Dajo, Gimir, Tunjur, Berti; there are over 500 ethnic groups

Languages

Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur

major-language sample(s):
كتاب حقائق العالم، المصدر الذي لا يمكن الاستغناء عنه للمعلومات الأساسية (Arabic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information. (English)

Arabic audio sample:

Religions

Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.01% (male 9,726,937/female 9,414,988)

15-24 years: 20.94% (male 4,852,903/female 4,687,664)

25-54 years: 29.89% (male 6,633,567/female 6,986,241)

55-64 years: 4.13% (male 956,633/female 923,688)

65 years and over: 3.03% (male 729,214/female 649,721) (2020 est.)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 76.9

youth dependency ratio: 74

elderly dependency ratio: 6.2

potential support ratio: 16.2 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 18.3 years

male: 18.1 years

female: 18.5 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 211

Birth rate

33.47 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Death rate

6.3 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Net migration rate

-1.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

Population distribution

with the exception of a ribbon of settlement that corresponds to the banks of the Nile, northern Sudan, which extends into the dry Sahara, is sparsely populated; more abundant vegetation and broader access to water increases population distribution in the south extending habitable range along nearly the entire border with South Sudan; sizeable areas of population are found around Khartoum, southeast between the Blue and White Nile Rivers, and throughout South Darfur as shown on this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 36.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

6.344 million KHARTOUM (capital), 1.057 million Nyala (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

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

country comparison to the world: 38

Infant mortality rate

total: 42.27 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 47.76 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 36.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 67.12 years

male: 64.89 years

female: 69.46 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 193

Gross reproduction rate

2.21 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99% of population

rural: 80.7% of population

total: 87.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 1% of population

rural: 19.3% of population

total: 12.9% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

4.6% of GDP (2019)

Physicians density

0.26 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

0.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 72.1% of population

rural: 30.6% of population

total: 45.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 27.9% of population

rural: 69.4% of population

total: 54.7% of population (2020 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, dengue fever, and Rift Valley fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.93 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.29 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 1.63 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 131

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 60.7%

male: 65.4%

female: 56.1% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 8 years

male: 8 years

female: 7 years (2015)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 35.6%

male: 30.5%

female: 45.8% (2021 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; water scarcity and periodic drought; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; deforestation; loss of biodiversity

 

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: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 47.92 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 20 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 75.1 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

hot and dry; arid desert; rainy season varies by region (April to November)

Land use

agricultural land: 100% (2018 est.)

arable land: 15.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 84.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 0% (2018 est.)

other: 0% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 36.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

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

country comparison to the world: 170

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, dengue fever, and Rift Valley fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to conflict, civil insecurity, and soaring food prices - according to the results of the latest analysis, about 11.7 million people (24% of the analyzed population) are estimated to be severely food insecure during June to September 2022; the main drivers are macroeconomic challenges resulting in rampant food and non‑food inflation, tight supplies due to a poor 2021 harvest and the escalation of intercommunal violence (2022)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2,831,291 tons (2015 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Nile (shared with Rwanda [s], Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, and Egypt [m]) - 6,650 km; Blue Nile river mouth (shared with Ethiopia [s]) - 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major aquifers

Nubian Aquifer System, Sudd Basin (Umm Ruwaba Aquifer)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 950 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 75 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 25.91 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

37.8 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of the Sudan

conventional short form: Sudan

local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan

local short form: As-Sudan

former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Sudan

etymology: the name "Sudan" derives from the Arabic "bilad-as-sudan" meaning "Land of the Black [peoples]"

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Khartoum

geographic coordinates: 15 36 N, 32 32 E

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

etymology: several explanations of the name exist; two of the more plausible are that it is derived from Arabic "al-jartum" meaning "elephant's trunk" or "hose," and likely referring to the narrow strip of land extending between the Blue and White Niles; alternatively, the name could derive from the Dinka words "khar-tuom," indicating a "place where rivers meet"

Administrative divisions

18 states (wilayat, singular - wilayah); Blue Nile, Central Darfur, East Darfur, Gedaref, Gezira, Kassala, Khartoum, North Darfur, North Kordofan, Northern, Red Sea, River Nile, Sennar, South Darfur, South Kordofan, West Darfur, West Kordofan, White Nile

note: the peace Agreement signed in October 2020 included a provision to establish a system of governance that will likely restructure the country's current 18 provinces/states into regions

Independence

1 January 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 January (1956)

Constitution

history: previous 1973, 1998, 2005 (interim constitution, which was suspended in April 2019); latest initial draft completed by Transitional Military Council in May 2019; revised draft known as the "Draft Constitutional Charter for the 2019 Transitional Period," or “2019 Constitutional Declaration” was signed by the Council and opposition coalition on 4 August 2019

amendments: amended 2020 to incorporate the Juba Agreement for Peace in Sudan; the military suspended several provisions of the Constitutional Declaration in October 2021

Legal system

mixed legal system of Islamic law and English common law; note - in mid-July 2020, Sudan amended 15 provisions of its 1991 penal code

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2008

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Sudan

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

17 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Sovereign Council Chair and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces General Abd-al-Fatah al-BURHAN Abd-al-Rahman; note – the 2019 Constitutional Declaration established a collective chief of state of the "Sovereign Council," which was chaired by al-BURHAN; on 25 October 2021, al-BURHAN dissolved the Sovereign Council but reinstated it on 11 November 2021, replacing its civilian members (previously selected by the umbrella civilian coalition the Forces for Freedom and Change) with civilians of the military’s choosing; the Sovereign Council currently consists of 5 military-appointed civilians, 5 generals, and 3 representatives selected by former armed opposition groups

head of government: Sovereign Council Chair and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces General Abd-al-Fatah al-BURHAN Abd-al-Rahman; Acting Prime Minister Osman HUSSEIN (since 19 January 2022); note - former Prime Minister Abdallah HAMDOUK resigned on 2 January 2022; HAMDOUK served as prime minister from August 2019 to October 2019 before he was kidnapped; he was later freed and reinstated as prime minister on 21 November 2021

cabinet: most members of the Council of Ministers were forced from office in October 2021 by the military and subsequently resigned in November 2021; the military allowed a handful of ministers appointed by former armed opposition groups to retain their posts; at present, most of the members of the Council are senior civil servants serving in an acting minister capacity appointed either by Prime Minister HAMDOUK prior to his resignation or by the military

elections/appointments: the 2019 Constitutional Declaration originally called for elections to be held in late 2022 at the end of the transitional period; that date was pushed back to late 2023 by the Juba Peace Agreement; the methodology for future elections has not yet been defined; according to the 2019 Constitutional Declaration, civilian members of the Sovereign Council and the prime minister were to have been nominated by an umbrella coalition of civilian actors known as the Forces for Freedom and Change; this methodology was followed in selecting HAMDOUK as prime minister in August 2019; the military purports to have suspended this provision of the 2019 Constitutional Declaration in October 2021; Prime Minister HAMDOUK’s restoration to office in November 2021 was the result of an agreement signed between him and Sovereign Council Chair BURHAN; military members of the Sovereign Council are selected by the leadership of the security forces; representatives of former armed groups to the Sovereign Council are selected by the signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement

election results: NA

Legislative branch

description: according to the August 2019 Constitutional Declaration, which established Sudan's transitional government, the Transitional Legislative Council (TLC) was to have served as the national legislature during the transitional period until elections could be held; as of March 2022, the TLC had not been established

elections: Council of State - last held 1 June 2015; subsequently dissolved in April 2019
National Assembly - last held on 13-15 April 2015; subsequently dissolved in April 2019
note – according to the 2019 Constitutional Declaration, elections for a new legislature are to be held in late 2023

election results: Council of State - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; former composition - men 35, women 19, percent of women 35.2%
National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; former seats by party - NCP 323, DUP 25, Democratic Unionist Party 15, other 44, independent 19; former composition - men 296 women 130, percent of women 30.5%; note - former
total National Legislature percent of women 31%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): National Supreme Court (consists of 70 judges organized into panels of 3 judges and includes 4 circuits that operate outside the capital); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 justices including the court president); note - the Constitutional Court resides outside the national judiciary and has not been appointed since the signature of the 2019 Constitutional Declaration

judge selection and term of office: National Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges selected by the Supreme Judicial Council, which replaced the National Judicial Service Commission upon enactment of the 2019 Constitutional Declaration

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; other national courts; public courts; district, town, and rural courts

Political parties and leaders

Major Parties as of April 2019:
Democratic Unionist Party [Muhammad Uthman al-MIRGHANI]
Democratic Unionist Party or DUP [Babika BABIKER]
Federal Umma Party [Dr. Ahmed Babikir NAHAR]
Muslim Brotherhood or MB [Sadig Abdalla ABDELMAJID and Dr. Yousif Al-Hibir Nor-ELDAYIM]
National Congress Party or NCP [Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR]
National Umma Party or NUP [Fadlallah Baramah NASSER]
Popular Congress Party or PCP [Nawal Al-KHIDIR]
Reform Movement Now [Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin al-ATABANI]
Sudan National Front [Ali Mahmud HASANAYN]
Sudanese Communist Party or SCP [Mohammed Moktar Al-KHATEEB]
Sudanese Congress Party or SCoP [Omar El DIGAIR]
Umma Party for Reform and Development [Mubarak Al-Fadul Al-MAHDI]
Unionist Movement Party or UMP [led by DUP Chair Mohammed Osama Al-MERGHANI]

note: in November 2019, the transitional government banned the National Congress Party

International organization participation

ABEDA, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, CAEU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNHRC, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed Abdalla Idris MOHAMED (since 16 September 2022)

chancery: 2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 338-8565

FAX: [1] (202) 667-2406

email address and website:
consular@sudanembassy.org

https://www.sudanembassy.org/

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lucy TAMLYN  (since 3 February  2022)

embassy: P.O. Box 699, Kilo 10, Soba, Khartoum

mailing address: 2200 Khartoum Place, Washington DC  20521-2200

telephone: [249] 187-0-22000

email address and website:
ACSKhartoum@state.gov

https://sd.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; colors and design based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I, but the meanings of the colors are expressed as follows: red signifies the struggle for freedom, white is the color of peace, light, and love, black represents the people of Sudan (in Arabic 'Sudan' means black), green is the color of Islam, agriculture, and prosperity

National symbol(s)

secretary bird; national colors: red, white, black, green

National anthem

name: "Nahnu Djundulla Djundulwatan" (We Are the Army of God and of Our Land)

lyrics/music: Sayed Ahmad Muhammad SALIH/Ahmad MURJAN

note: adopted 1956; originally served as the anthem of the Sudanese military

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 3 (2 cultural, 1 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region (c); Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe (c); Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park (n)

Economy

Economic overview

low-income Sahel economy; one of the world’s major agricultural exporters; shared oil pipeline exports with South Sudan; transitional government increasing human capital investment; food prices hit hard by COVID-19; ongoing Gezira Scheme irrigation project

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$168.98 billion (2021 est.)

$172.198 billion (2020 est.)

$178.684 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 73

Real GDP growth rate

-1.87% (2021 est.)

-3.63% (2020 est.)

-2.18% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Real GDP per capita

$3,700 (2021 est.)

$3,900 (2020 est.)

$4,100 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 190

GDP (official exchange rate)

$24.918 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

382.82% (2021 est.)

150.32% (2020 est.)

50.99% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 226

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 39.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 2.6% (2017 est.)

services: 57.8% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 77.3% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 5.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 18.4% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.6% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 9.7% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -11.8% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, sorghum, milk, groundnuts, onions, sesame seed, goat milk, millet, bananas, wheat

Industries

oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly, milling

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 80%

industry: 7%

services: 13% (1998 est.)

Unemployment rate

19.81% (2021 est.)

19.65% (2020 est.)

17.65% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 208

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 35.6%

male: 30.5%

female: 45.8% (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.7%

highest 10%: 26.7% (2009 est.)

Budget

revenues: $8.48 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: $13.36 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

121.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

99.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$2.886 billion (2021 est.)

-$5.841 billion (2020 est.)

-$4.78 billion (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 170

Exports

$5.916 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.065 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.101 billion (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123

Exports - partners

United Arab Emirates 31%, China 19%, Saudi Arabia 14%, India 12%, Egypt 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, crude petroleum, sesame seeds, sheep, goats, cotton, ground nuts (2019)

Imports

$9.788 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$10.52 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$9.787 billion (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 114

Imports - partners

China 31%, India 14%, United Arab Emirates 11%, Egypt 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

raw sugar, wheat, packaged medicines, jewelry, tires, cars and vehicle parts (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$177.934 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$168.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 187

Debt - external

$56.05 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$51.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

Exchange rates

Sudanese pounds (SDG) per US dollar -

53.996 (2020 est.)

45.767 (2019 est.)

24.329 (2018 est.)

6.683 (2017 est.)

6.212 (2016 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 47% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 71% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 35% (2019)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 4.354 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 9,682,060,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 4.599 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 43.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

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

solar: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

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

hydroelectricity: 55.5% 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: 0.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

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.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 66,900 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 137,700 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 12,900 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 9,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 5 billion barrels (2021 est.)

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: 84.95 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

17.319 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

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

from petroleum and other liquids: 17.319 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

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

country comparison to the world: 91

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 129,408 (2020 est.)

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

country comparison to the world: 129

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 33,014,200 (2019)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 77.11 (2019)

country comparison to the world: 44

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Sudan emerged as a poorer country when South Sudan separated from it in 2011; although Sudan has about four times the population of South Sudan, the latter benefits from its control of the majority of known oil reserves; the Sudanese economy has been affected by hyperinflation in recent years, partly the result of the loss of oil revenue but also due to domestic volatility and social unrest; the difficult economic conditions have meant that for several years telcos have reported revenue under hyper inflationary reporting standards; pressure on revenue has made it difficult for operators to invest in infrastructure upgrades, and so provide improved services to customers; despite this, the number of mobile subscribers increased 7.% in 20201, year-on-year; this level of growth is expected to have been maintained in 2022, though could slow from 2023 as the acute influences resulting the pandemic begin to wane; the country’s poor fixed-line infrastructure has helped the development of mobile broadband services (2022)

domestic: consists of microwave radio relay, cable, fiber optic, radiotelephone communications, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations; teledensity fixed-line less than 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular over 80 telephones per 100 persons (2020)

international: country code - 249; landing points for the EASSy, FALCON and SAS-1,-2, fiber-optic submarine cable systems linking Africa, the Middle East, Indian Ocean Islands and Asia; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)

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 a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

Following the establishment of Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government in August 2019, government-owned broadcasters became increasingly independent from government and military control. Following the October 2021 military takeover, additional restrictions were imposed on these government-owned broadcasters, which now practice a heightened degree of self-censorship but still operate more independently than in the pre-2019 environment. (2022)

Internet users

total: 12,277,795 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 28% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 28,782 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 156

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 9 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 42

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 269,958 (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 17

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 11

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 50

1,524 to 2,437 m: 17

914 to 1,523 m: 24

under 914 m: 9 (2021)

Heliports

7 (2021)

Pipelines

156 km gas, 4,070 km oil, 1,613 km refined products (2013)

Railways

total: 7,251 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 5,851 km (2014) 1.067-m gauge

1,400 km 0.600-m gauge for cotton plantations

country comparison to the world: 31

Roadways

total: 31,000 km (2019)

paved: 8,000 km (2019)

unpaved: 23,000 km (2019)

urban: 1,000 km (2019)

country comparison to the world: 97

Waterways

4,068 km (2011) (1,723 km open year-round on White and Blue Nile Rivers)

country comparison to the world: 27

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Port Sudan

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF): Ground Force, Navy, Sudanese Air Force; Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Border Guards

Ministry of Interior: security police, special forces police, traffic police, Central Reserve Police (2022)

note 1: the RSF is a semi-autonomous paramilitary force formed in 2013 to fight armed rebel groups in Sudan, with Mohammed Hamdan DAGALO (aka Hemeti) as its commander (he is also a member of the Sovereign Council); it was initially placed under the National Intelligence and Security Service, then came under the direct command of former president Omar al-BASHIR, who boosted the RSF as his own personal security force; as a result, the RSF was better funded and equipped than the regular armed forces; the RSF has since recruited from all parts of Sudan beyond its original Darfuri Arab groups but remains under the personal patronage and control of DAGALO; the RSF has been accused of committing human rights abuses against civilians; it is also reportedly involved in business enterprises, such as gold mining; in late 2019, Sovereign Council Chairman and SAF Commander-in-Chief General Abd-al-Fatah al-BURHAN said the RSF would be fully integrated into the SAF, but did not give a timeline

note 2: the Central Reserve Police is a combat-trained paramilitary force that has been used against demonstrators and sanctioned by the US for human rights abuses

Military expenditures

1% of GDP (2021 est.)

1% of GDP (2020 est.)

2.4% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $2.08 billion)

2% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $2.08 billion)

3.6% of GDP (2017 est.) (approximately $2.75 billion)

note: many defense expenditures are probably off-budget

country comparison to the world: 134

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies widely; estimated 100-125,000 active duty armed forces personnel; approximately 30-40,000 Rapid Support Forces (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the SAF's inventory includes a mix of Chinese, Russian, Soviet-era, Ukrainian, and domestically-produced weapons systems; since 2010, the leading arms providers to the SAF have been Belarus, China, Russia, and Ukraine; North Korea has also provided arms; Sudan has a domestic arms industry that manufactures ammunition, small arms, and armored vehicles, largely based on older Chinese and Russian systems (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18-33 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service for men and women; 1-2 year service obligation (2022)

note: implementation of conscription is reportedly uneven

Military deployments

approximately 750 Democratic Republic of the Congo (East African Community stabilization force)

Sudan joined the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015, reportedly providing as many as 40,000 troops during the peak of the war in 2016-17, mostly from the Rapid Support Forces; by 2021, Sudan had reduced the size of the force to about a brigade (approximately 2-3,000 troops) (2022)

Military - note

the Sudanese military has been a dominant force in the ruling of the country since its independence in 1956; in addition, the Sudanese military and security forces have a large role in the country's economy, reportedly controlling over 200 commercial companies, including businesses involved in gold mining, rubber production, agriculture, and meat exports

the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) has operated in the disputed Abyei region along the border between Sudan and South Sudan since 2011; UNISFA's mission includes ensuring security, protecting civilians, strengthening the capacity of the Abyei Police Service, de-mining, monitoring/verifying the redeployment of armed forces from the area, and facilitating the flow of humanitarian aid; UNISFA had about 2,000 personnel deployed as of mid-2022

in addition, the United Nations African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) operated in the war-torn Darfur region between 2007 and the end of its mandate in July 2021; UNAMID was a joint African Union-UN peacekeeping force with the mission of bringing stability to Darfur, including protecting civilians, facilitating humanitarian assistance, and promoting mediation efforts, while peace talks on a final settlement continued; UNAMID withdrew the last of its personnel in December 2021; note - the October 2020 peace agreement provided for the establishment of a Joint Security Keeping Forces (JSKF) comprised of 12,000 personnel tasked with securing the Darfur region in the place of UNAMID; in June 2021, Sudan's transitional government announced it would increase the size of this force to 20,000 and expand its mission scope to include the capital and other parts of the country suffering from violence; the force would include the SAF, RSF, police, intelligence, and representatives from armed groups involved in peace negotiations; in Sep 2022, the first 2,000 members of the JSKF completed training (2022)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS); al-Qa’ida; Harakat Sawa’d Misr

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

Sudan-Central African Republic: periodic violent skirmishes persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic over water and grazing rights; Sudan closed its border with the Central African Republic in January 2022 due to security concerns

Sudan-Chad: Chad wants 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; however, since the August 2020 Juba Peace Agreement between the Sudanese Government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and the termination of the UN’s peacekeeping mission, UNAMID, at the end of 2020, violence continues to break out over land and water access

Sudan-Egypt: Sudan claims, but Egypt de facto administers, security and economic development of the Halaib region north of the 22nd parallel boundary

Sudan-Eritrea: none identified

Sudan-Ethiopia: civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia; clashes continue between Sudan and Ethiopia over al-Fashaga, a fertile piece of land inhabited by Ethiopian farmers for years until the Sudanese army expelled them in December 2020, claiming the land belonged to Sudan based on colonial-era maps from over 100 years ago; in February, 2022, the two countries were discussing resuming talks over the border conflict

Sudan-Libya: none identified

Sudan-South Sudan: the South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan; clashes continue in the oil-rich Abyei region; the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) has been deployed since 2011, when South Sudan became independent; the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) has condemned renewed clashes on 23 September 2022 between the Twik and Ngok Dinka communities taking place in Agok, 28 kilometres from Abyei town

 

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 796,831 (South Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 134,714 (Eritrea) (refugees and asylum seekers), 93,478 (Syria) (refugees and asylum seekers), 70,978 (Ethiopia) (refugees and asylum seekers), 24,369 (Central African Republic) (2022)

IDPs: 3.71 million (civil war 1983-2005; ongoing conflict in Darfur region; government and rebel fighting along South Sudan border; inter-tribal clashes) (2022)