Photos of Yemen

A thick dust cloud travels southward from Saudi Arabia's Rub al Khali sand sea towards the edge of the Arabian Peninsula. This natural-color satellite image shows the dense part of the cloud approaching Yemen (lower left) and translucent swirls of dust over the Arabian Sea.Lines of small clouds cling to the margins of the dust plumes south of Oman (lower right). These clouds may result from the same weather front that kicked up high winds and stirred the dust storm. This region is one of the world's most prolific dust-producing areas, thanks in part to the presence of the sand sea. The Rub al Khali holds about half as much sand as the Sahara Desert. Image courtesy of NASA.



The Kingdom of Yemen (colloquially known as North Yemen) became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and in 1962 became the Yemen Arab Republic. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became the People's Republic of Southern Yemen (colloquially known as South Yemen). Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation and changed the country's name to the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen. The exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states, which were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement and brief civil war in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to delineate their border. Fighting in the northwest between the government and the Houthis, a Zaydi Shia Muslim minority, continued intermittently from 2004 to 2010, and then again from 2014 to the present. The southern secessionist movement was revitalized in 2007.

Public rallies in Sana'a against then President Ali Abdallah SALIH -- inspired by similar Arab Spring demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt -- slowly gained momentum in 2011, fueled by complaints over high unemployment, poor economic conditions, and corruption. Some protests resulted in violence, and the demonstrations spread to other major cities. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) mediated the crisis with the GCC Initiative, an agreement in which the president would step down in exchange for immunity from prosecution. SALIH eventually agreed to step down and transfer some powers to Vice President Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI. After HADI's uncontested election victory in 2012, SALIH formally transferred all presidential powers. In accordance with the GCC Initiative, Yemen launched a National Dialogue Conference (NDC) in 2013 to discuss key constitutional, political, and social issues. HADI concluded the NDC in 2014 and planned to proceed with constitutional drafting, a constitutional referendum, and national elections.

The Houthis, perceiving their grievances were not addressed in the NDC, joined forces with SALIH and expanded their influence in northwestern Yemen, which culminated in a major offensive against military units and rival tribes and enabled their forces to overrun the capital, Sana'a, in 2014. In 2015, the Houthis surrounded key government facilities, prompting HADI and the cabinet to resign. HADI fled first to Aden -- where he rescinded his resignation -- and then to Oman before moving to Saudi Arabia and asking the GCC to intervene militarily in Yemen. Saudi Arabia assembled a coalition of Arab militaries and began airstrikes, and ground fighting continued through 2016. In 2016, the UN initiated peace talks that ended without agreement. Rising tensions between the Houthis and SALIH culminated in Houthi forces killing SALIH. In 2018, the Houthis and the Yemeni Government participated in UN-brokered peace talks, agreeing to a limited cease-fire and the establishment of a UN mission.

In 2019, Yemen’s parliament convened for the first time since the conflict broke out in 2014. Violence then erupted between HADI's government and the pro-secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in southern Yemen. HADI's government and the STC signed a power-sharing agreement to end the fighting, and in 2020, the signatories formed a new cabinet. In 2020 and 2021, fighting continued as the Houthis gained territory and also conducted regular UAV and missile attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia. In 2022, the UN brokered a temporary truce between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition. HADI and his vice-president resigned and were replaced by an eight-person Presidential Leadership Council. Although the truce formally expired in 2022, the parties nonetheless refrained from large-scale conflict through the end of 2023. Saudi Arabia, after the truce expired, continued to negotiate with the Yemeni Government and Houthis on a roadmap agreement that would include a permanent ceasefire and a peace process under UN auspices.

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Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates

15 00 N, 48 00 E

Map references

Middle East


total: 527,968 sq km

land: 527,968 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Perim, Socotra, the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)

comparison ranking: total 52

Area - comparative

almost four times the size of Alabama; slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 1,601 km

border countries (2): Oman 294 km; Saudi Arabia 1,307 km


1,906 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east


narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula


highest point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,666 m

lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 999 m

Natural resources

petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west

Land use

agricultural land: 44.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 41.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 1% (2018 est.)

other: 54.5% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

6,800 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

the vast majority of the population is found in the Asir Mountains (part of the larger Sarawat Mountain system), located in the far western region of the country

Natural hazards

sandstorms and dust storms in summer

volcanism: limited volcanic activity; Jebel at Tair (Jabal al-Tair, Jebel Teir, Jabal al-Tayr, Jazirat at-Tair) (244 m), which forms an island in the Red Sea, erupted in 2007 after awakening from dormancy; other historically active volcanoes include Harra of Arhab, Harras of Dhamar, Harra es-Sawad, and Jebel Zubair, although many of these have not erupted in over a century

Geography - note

strategic location on Bab el Mandeb, the strait linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes

People and Society


total: 32,140,443

male: 16,221,139

female: 15,919,304 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 47; male 47; total 48


noun: Yemeni(s)

adjective: Yemeni

Ethnic groups

predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asian, European


Arabic (official); note - a distinct Socotri language is widely used on Socotra Island and Archipelago; Mahri is still fairly widely spoken in eastern Yemen

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.

Arabic audio sample:


Muslim 99.1% (official; virtually all are citizens, an estimated 65% are Sunni and 35% are Shia), other 0.9% (includes Jewish, Baha'i, Hindu, and Christian; many are refugees or temporary foreign residents) (2020 est.)

MENA religious affiliation

Age structure

0-14 years: 34.4% (male 5,622,998/female 5,430,285)

15-64 years: 62.2% (male 10,112,603/female 9,865,805)

65 years and over: 3.4% (2024 est.) (male 485,538/female 623,214)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 71.7

youth dependency ratio: 69.4

elderly dependency ratio: 4.7

potential support ratio: 19.9 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 22 years (2024 est.)

male: 21.9 years

female: 22.2 years

comparison ranking: total 188

Population growth rate

1.78% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 48

Birth rate

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

comparison ranking: 49

Death rate

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

comparison ranking: 182

Net migration rate

-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 108

Population distribution

the vast majority of the population is found in the Asir Mountains (part of the larger Sarawat Mountain system), located in the far western region of the country


urban population: 39.8% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.71% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

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

Major urban areas - population

3.292 million SANAA (capital), 1.080 million Aden, 941,000 Taiz, 772,000 Ibb (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.8 years (2013 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

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

comparison ranking: 49

Infant mortality rate

total: 44.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 49.9 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 39 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 26

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 68.2 years (2024 est.)

male: 65.8 years

female: 70.6 years

comparison ranking: total population 191

Total fertility rate

2.82 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 54

Gross reproduction rate

1.37 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.5% of population

rural: 84.2% of population

total: 99.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.5% of population

rural: 15.8% of population

total: 10.4% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

4.3% of GDP (2015)

Physicians density

0.53 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Hospital bed density

0.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 83.5% of population

rural: 44.2% of population

total: 59.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 16.5% of population

rural: 55.8% of population

total: 40.9% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2023)

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

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

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

note: on 31 August 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Asia; Yemen is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

17.1% (2016)

comparison ranking: 120

Alcohol consumption per capita

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

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

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

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

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

comparison ranking: total 182

Tobacco use

total: 20.3% (2020 est.)

male: 32.5% (2020 est.)

female: 8.1% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 85

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

39.9% (2013)

comparison ranking: 1


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 70.1%

male: 85.1%

female: 55% (2015)


Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban


mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east

Land use

agricultural land: 44.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 41.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 1% (2018 est.)

other: 54.5% (2018 est.)


urban population: 39.8% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.71% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

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

Food insecurity

widespread lack of access: due to conflict, poverty, floods, high food and fuel prices - in 2023, a partial analysis in government‑controlled areas, where approximately 25 percent of the population in acute food insecurity resides, shows that the situation remains dire; despite some improvements in security, the economic crisis and localized conflicts continue, fueled by persistent political instability, while insufficient external revenues and elevated global commodity prices on imported food limits food security (2023)

Revenue from forest resources

0.04% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 130

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 65

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 41.61 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 10.61 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 8.03 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 4,836,820 tons (2011 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 386,946 tons (2016 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 8% (2016 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 270 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 70 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 3.24 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

2.1 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Yemen

conventional short form: Yemen

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah

local short form: Al Yaman

former: Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]

etymology: name derivation remains unclear but may come from the Arab term "yumn" (happiness) and be related to the region's classical name "Arabia Felix" (Fertile or Happy Arabia); the Romans referred to the rest of the peninsula as "Arabia Deserta" (Deserted Arabia)

Government type

in transition


name: Sanaa

geographic coordinates: 15 21 N, 44 12 E

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

etymology: the name is reputed to mean "well-fortified" in Sabaean, the South Arabian language that went extinct in Yemen in the 6th century A.D.

Administrative divisions

22 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Abyan, 'Adan (Aden), Ad Dali', Al Bayda', Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, Amanat al 'Asimah (Sanaa City), 'Amran, Arkhabil Suqutra (Socotra Archipelago), Dhamar, Hadramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Raymah, Sa'dah, San'a' (Sanaa), Shabwah, Ta'izz


22 May 1990 (Republic of Yemen was established with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]); notable earlier dates: North Yemen became independent on 1 November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and became a republic with the overthrow of the theocratic Imamate on 27 September 1962; South Yemen became independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)

National holiday

Unification Day, 22 May (1990)


history: adopted by referendum 16 May 1991 (following unification); note - after the National Dialogue ended in January 2015, a Constitutional Drafting Committee appointed by the president worked to prepare a new draft constitution that was expected to be put to a national referendum before being adopted; however, the start of the current conflict in early 2015 interrupted the process

amendments: amended several times, last in 2009

Legal system

mixed legal system of Islamic (sharia) law, Napoleonic law, English common law, and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Yemen; if the father is unknown, the mother must be a citizen

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Chairperson, Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Muhammad al-ALIMI, Dr. (since 19 April 2022)

head of government: Prime Minister Ahmad Awad Bin MUBAREK (since 5 February 2024)

cabinet: 24 members from northern and southern Yemen, with representatives from Yemen's major political parties

elections/appointments: formerly, the president was directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 February 2012 (next election NA); note - a special election was held on 21 February 2012 to remove Ali Abdallah SALIH under the terms of a Gulf Cooperation Council-mediated deal during the political crisis of 2011; vice president appointed by the president; prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI (GPC) elected consensus president

note: on 7 April 2022, President Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI announced his abdication, the dismissal of Vice President ALI MUHSIN al-Ahmar and the formation of a Presidential Leadership Council, an eight-member body chaired by former minister Rashad AL-ALIMI; on 19 April 2022, the Council was sworn in before Parliament and began assuming the responsibilities of the president and vice president and carrying out the political, security, and military duties of the government

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Majlis consists of:
Shura Council or Majlis Alshoora (111 seats; members appointed by the president; member tenure NA)
House of Representatives or Majlis al Nuwaab (301 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms)

elections: Shura Council - last appointments NA (next appointments NA)
House of Representatives - last held in April 2019 (next to be held in NA)

election results: percent of vote by party - GPC 58%, Islah 22.6%, YSP 3.8%, Unionist Party 1.9%, other 13.7%; seats by party - GPC 238, Islah 46, YSP 8, Nasserist Unionist Party 3, National Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party 2, independent 4; composition - men 245, women 0, percent of women 0%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president, 2 deputies, and nearly 50 judges; court organized into constitutional, civil, commercial, family, administrative, criminal, military, and appeals scrutiny divisions)

judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council, which is chaired by the president of the republic and includes 10 high-ranking judicial officers; judges serve for life with mandatory retirement at age 65

subordinate courts: appeal courts; district or first instance courts; commercial courts

Political parties and leaders

General People’s Congress or GPC (3 factions: pro-Hadi [Abdrabbi Mansur HADI], pro-Houthi [Sadeq Ameen Abu RAS], pro-Salih [Ahmed SALIH]
Nasserist Unionist People's Organization [Abdulmalik al-MEKHLAFI]
National Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party [Qassem Salam SAID]
Southern Transitional Council or STC [Aydarus Qasim al-ZUBAYDI]
Yemeni Reform Grouping or Islah [Muhammed Abdallah al-YADUMI]
Yemeni Socialist Party or YSP [Dr. Abd al-Rahman Umar al-SAQQAF]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed AL-HADHRAMI (since 7 June 2022)

chancery: 2319 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 965-4760

FAX: [1] (202) 337-2017

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Steven H. FAGIN (since 1 June 2022); note - the embassy closed in March 2015; Yemen Affairs Unit currently operates out of US Embassy Riyadh

embassy: previously - Sa'awan Street, Sanaa

mailing address: 6330 Sanaa Place, Washington DC  20521-6330

telephone: US Embassy Riyadh [966] 11-488-3800
previously - [967] 1 755-2000

FAX: US Embassy Riyadh [966] 11-488-7360

email address and website:

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white)

note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars in the white band, and of Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt, which has a heraldic eagle centered in the white band

National symbol(s)

golden eagle; national colors: red, white, black

National anthem

name: "al-qumhuriyatu l-muttahida" (United Republic)

lyrics/music: Abdullah Abdulwahab NOA'MAN/Ayyoab Tarish ABSI

note: adopted 1990; the music first served as the anthem for South Yemen before unification with North Yemen in 1990

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 5 (4 cultural, 1 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Old Walled City of Shibam (c); Old City of Sana'a (c); Historic Town of Zabid (c); Socotra Archipelago (n); Landmarks of the Ancient Kingdom of Saba, Marib (c)


Economic overview

low-income Middle Eastern economy; infrastructure, trade, and economic institutions devastated by civil war; oil/gas-dependent but decreasing reserves; massive poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment; high inflation

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$73.63 billion (2017 est.)
$78.28 billion (2016 est.)
$90.63 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 102

Real GDP growth rate

0.75% (2018 est.)
-5.07% (2017 est.)
-9.38% (2016 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 190

Real GDP per capita

$2,500 (2017 est.)
$2,700 (2016 est.)
$3,200 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 197

GDP (official exchange rate)

$21.606 billion (2018 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

24.7% (2017 est.)
-12.6% (2016 est.)
8.1% (2014 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 204

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 20.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 11.8% (2017 est.)

services: 67.9% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 82; industry 200; agriculture 46

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 116.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 17.6% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 2.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 7.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -43.9% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

mangoes/guavas, potatoes, onions, milk, sorghum, spices, watermelons, chicken, tomatoes, grapes (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale production of cotton textiles, leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; aluminum products; cement; commercial ship repair; natural gas production

Industrial production growth rate

-1.12% (2018 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 183

Labor force

6.663 million (2022 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 69

Unemployment rate

17.61% (2022 est.)
18.65% (2021 est.)
18.34% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 201

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 25.5% (2021 est.)

male: 24.3%

female: 36.3%

comparison ranking: total 61

Population below poverty line

48.6% (2014 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

36.7 (2014 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 85

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 29.4% (2014 est.)

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


17.21% of GDP (2022 est.)
21.03% of GDP (2021 est.)
20.19% of GDP (2020 est.)

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


revenues: $2.207 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $3.585 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-5.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 170

Public debt

74.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
68.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 47

Taxes and other revenues

9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 193

Current account balance

-$2.419 billion (2016 est.)
-$3.026 billion (2015 est.)
-$1.488 billion (2014 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 152


$384.5 million (2017 est.)
$938.469 million (2016 est.)
$1.867 billion (2015 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 193

Exports - partners

China 32%, Thailand 20%, India 12%, UAE 7%, Oman 5% (2022)

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

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, scrap iron, gold, fish, shellfish (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$4.079 billion (2017 est.)
$8.256 billion (2016 est.)
$7.697 billion (2015 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 155

Imports - partners

China 26%, UAE 14%, Turkey 10%, India 10%, Oman 4% (2022)

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

Imports - commodities

wheat, raw iron bars, rice, garments, milk (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.251 billion (2022 est.)
$1.688 billion (2021 est.)
$969.613 million (2020 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 133

Debt - external

$6.805 billion (2018 est.)
$7.181 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 124

Exchange rates

Yemeni rials (YER) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
1,114.293 (2022 est.)
1,035.467 (2021 est.)
743.006 (2020 est.)
486.731 (2019 est.)
214.89 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

population without electricity: 16 million (2020) 17 million

electrification - total population: 74.8% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 93.1% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 63.4% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 1.772 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 2,677,920,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 753 million kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: imports 199; exports 198; installed generating capacity 123; transmission/distribution losses 92; consumption 143

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 84.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

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

solar: 15.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

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

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


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 22,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 22,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 70,100 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 75,700 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 3 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

20,180 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 89

Refined petroleum products - exports

12,670 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 78

Refined petroleum products - imports

75,940 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 65

Natural gas

production: 89.906 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 89.906 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2020 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 478.554 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

10.158 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 79,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 9.896 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 183,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 105

Energy consumption per capita

5.453 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 169


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1.24 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 65

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 15.178 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 46 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 70

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Yemen continues to provide an exceptionally challenging market for telcos; civil unrest has caused havoc and devastation across most parts of the country, while the threat of sanctions has also made it a challenging environment in which to operate; a large proportion of the population requires humanitarian assistance, and there is little disposable income for services upon which telcos can generate revenue; essential telecom infrastructure, such as mobile towers and fiber cabling, has often been targeted, destroyed, or damaged by the opposing sides in the ongoing conflict; these difficulties have proved to be a disincentive to telcos investing in infrastructure, with the result that the country lacks basic fixed-line infrastructure, and mobile services are based on outdated GSM; this has prevented the development of a mobile broadband sector, or the evolution of mobile data services; the ownership of telecommunication services, and the scrutiny of associated revenues and taxes, have become a political issue in Yemen; until telecom infrastructure can be improved across Yemen, and until civil unrest eases, there will be little progress for the sector (2022)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is 4 per 100 but mobile cellular is 46 per 100 (2021)

international: country code - 967; landing points for the FALCON, SeaMeWe-5, Aden-Djibouti, and the AAE-1 international submarine cable connecting Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Southeast Asia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 2 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and Djibouti (2020)

Broadcast media

state-run TV with 2 stations; state-run radio with 2 national radio stations and 5 local stations; stations from Oman and Saudi Arabia can be accessed

Internet users

total: 8,229,624 (2022 est.)

percent of population: 26.6% (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total 73

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 391,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 98


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 8

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 336,310 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 3.27 million (2018) mt-km


36 (2024)

comparison ranking: 109


6 (2024)


641 km gas, 22 km liquid petroleum gas, 1,370 km oil (2013)


total: 71,300 km

paved: 6,200 km

unpaved: 65,100 km (2005)

comparison ranking: total 69

Merchant marine

total: 30 (2023)

by type: general cargo 2, oil tanker 1, other 27

comparison ranking: total 133


total ports: 10 (2024)

large: 1

medium: 2

small: 2

very small: 5

ports with oil terminals: 6

key ports: Aden, Al Ahmadi, Al Mukalla, Al Mukha, Ras Isa Marine Terminal

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Republic of Yemen Government (ROYG) forces:

Ministry of Defense: Yemeni National Army, Air Force and Air Defense, Navy and Coastal Defense Forces, Border Guard, Strategic Reserve Forces (includes Special Forces and Presidential Protection Brigades, which are under the Ministry of Defense but responsible to the president), Popular Committee Forces (aka Popular Resistance Forces; government-backed tribal militia)

Ministry of Interior: Special Security Forces (paramilitary; formerly known as Central Security Forces), Political Security Organization (state security), National Security Bureau (intelligence), Counterterrorism Unit

Saudi-backed forces: paramilitary/militia border security brigades based largely on tribal or regional affiliation (based along the Saudi-Yemen border)

United Arab Emirates-backed forces include tribal and regionally based militia and paramilitary forces (concentrated in the southern governates): Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces, including the Security Belt Forces, the Shabwani and Hadrami “Elite” Forces, the Support and Backup Forces (aka Logistics and Support Forces), Facilities Protection Forces, and Anti-Terrorism Forces; Republican Forces; Joint Forces

Houthi (aka Ansarallah) forces: land, aerospace (air, missile), naval/coastal defense, presidential protection, special operations, internal security, and militia/tribal auxiliary forces (2023)

note 1: under the 2019 Riyadh Agreement, the STC forces were to be incorporated into Yemen’s Ministries of Defense and Interior under the authority of the HADI government 

note 2:
a considerable portion--up to 70 percent by some estimates--of Yemen’s military and security forces defected in whole or in part to former president SALAH and the Houthi opposition in 2011-2015

Military expenditures

prior to the start of the civil war in 2014, annual military expenditures were approximately 4-5% of Yemen's GDP 

Military and security service personnel strengths

information limited and widely varied; Yemen Government: up to 300,000 estimated military, paramilitary, militia, and other security forces; UAE- and Saudi-backed forces: estimated 150-200,000 trained militia and paramilitary fighters; Houthis: up to 200,000 estimated fighters (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of the Yemeni Government forces consists primarily of Russian and Soviet-era equipment, although much of it has been lost in the current conflict; since the start of the civil war in 2014, it has received limited amounts of donated equipment from some Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia and UAE, as well as the US

Houthi forces are armed largely with weapons seized from Yemeni Government forces; they are also reported to have received military hardware from Iran (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2001; 2-year service obligation (note - limited information since the start of the civil war in 2014) (2022)

note: as late as 2022, all parties to the ongoing conflict were implicated in child soldier recruitment and use; during the beginning of the truce in April 2022, the Houthis signed a plan with the UN to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers; Houthi leaders previously pledged to end the use of child soldiers in 2012, as did the Government of Yemen in 2014 

Military - note

government forces under the Yemeni Ministry of Defense are responsible for territorial defense, but also have internal security functions; their main focus is on the Houthi rebels and protecting Yemen’s maritime borders, which are susceptible to smuggling of arms, fighters, and other material support for the Houthis and terrorist groups operating in Yemen, including al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in Yemen; the National Army is organized into brigades of armored, border guard, infantry, mechanized, presidential protection, and special forces; the brigades vary significantly in size, structure, and capabilities; the Air Force has small numbers of mostly Soviet-era aircraft while the Navy and Coast Guard have a few patrol boats

in 2015, a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states (UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, Kuwait, Jordan and Egypt) intervened militarily in Yemen in support of the Republic of Yemen Government against the separatist Houthis; Saudi military forces conducted operations in Yemen and raised and equipped paramilitary/militia security forces in Yemen based largely on tribal or regional affiliation to deploy along the Saudi-Yemen border; UAE's participation in 2015 included several thousand ground troops, as well as supporting air and naval forces; UAE withdrew its main military force from Yemen in 2019, but has retained a smaller military presence while working with proxies in southern Yemen, most notably the Southern Transitional Council (STC); UAE has recruited, trained, and equipped tens of thousands of Yemeni fighters and formed them into dozens of militia and paramilitary units

Houthi (aka Ansarallah) forces are organized into combat, presidential protection, special forces, and tribal/militia/paramilitary brigades and independent battalions; the Houthis also have UAV and missile units, as well as naval forces (mines, anti-ship missiles, and some boats); Iran has provided military and political support to the Houthis; in January 2024, the US Government designated the Houthis as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group; the designation came after the Houthis began launching attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, as well as military forces positioned in the area to defend the safety and security of commercial shipping (2024)


Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)/Qods Force; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - Yemen; al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Hizballah

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): 45,608 (Somalia), 17,812 (Ethiopia) (2023)

IDPs: 4.523 million (conflict in Sa'ada Governorate; clashes between al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula and government forces) (2022)