Country Summary

2023 population pyramid



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 withdrew in 1967 from what became the People's Republic of Southern Yemen (colloquially known as South Yemen). The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990.



total: 527,968 sq km
land: 527,968 sq km
water: 0 sq km


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

Natural resources

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

People and Society


total: 32,140,443
male: 16,221,139
female: 15,919,304 (2024 est.)

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


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.)

Population growth rate

1.78% (2024 est.)


Government type

in transition


name: Sanaa

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)

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)


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.)

Real GDP per capita

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

Agricultural products

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


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


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

Exports - partners

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

Exports - commodities

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


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

Imports - partners

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

Imports - commodities

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

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.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, July 17, 2024