Country Summary



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 independence from Anglo-Egyptian co-rule in 1956, military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics. A referendum on independence for Southern Sudan was held in January 2011 and indicated overwhelming support for independence. South Sudan became independent in July 2011.



total: 1,861,484 sq km
land: 1,731,671 sq km
water: 129,813 sq km


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

Natural resources

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

People and Society


49,197,555 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

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


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


Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority

Population growth rate

2.55% (2023 est.)


Government type

presidential republic


name: Khartoum

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 but then relieved the newly appointed civilian members of their duties on 6 July 2022; note - Sovereign Council currently consists of only the 5 generals
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

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 June 2023, the TLC had not been established


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.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,700 (2021 est.)
$3,900 (2020 est.)
$4,100 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

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


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


$5.916 billion (2021 est.)
$5.065 billion (2020 est.)
$5.101 billion (2019 est.)

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)


$9.788 billion (2021 est.)
$10.52 billion (2020 est.)
$9.787 billion (2019 est.)

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)

Exchange rates

Sudanese pounds (SDG) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
53.996 (2020 est.)
45.767 (2019 est.)
24.329 (2018 est.)
6.683 (2017 est.)
6.212 (2016 est.)

Page last updated: Friday, February 23, 2024