Yemen Country Profile Facts

Population | Religion | Ethnic groups | Language | Economy |
Yemen map

Yemen is located at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. This region contains more than 200 islands, and its seashore stretches for about 2000 km. In ancient days, it remained a commerce state which includes current Ethiopia and Eritrea. This territory came under the control of the Himyarite Kingdom, profoundly Jewish and influenced in 275 CE. In the 4th century, Christianity arrived in the country, and later in the 7th century, Islam spread rapidly. As it was home to Sabaeans, they were active in spreading Islam. From the 9th to 16th centuries, several dynasties appeared in the country; among them, the most upstanding and wealthy is the Rasulid dynasty. In the early 12th century, the country divided between the Ottoman and British empires. Zaydi Mutawakkilite Kingdom established in North Yemen after World War I. In 1990, the two Yemen states, namely North Yemen and South Amen, integrated into the modern Republic of Yemen. The first president of the new republic nation was Ali Abdullah Saleh, and he resigned in 2012. Since 2011, several street protests were raised in the country against poverty, unemployment, and corruption. Yemen’s officially declared capital city Sanaa is in the hands of Houthi rebel since 2015. In 2016, there were significant civil war outbreaks in the country, and nearly 56,000 civilians killed by armed forces. This war pushed Yemen into famine were 17 million people are vastly affected. Cholera started to spread rapidly in 2017, were confirmed cases increased, and more than 2000 people died. All these factors pushed the country into an impoverished economy. The United Nations report says that about 85% of Yemen’s population required humanitarian aid.

Ethnic Groups

Majority of Yemeni ethnic groups are Arabs followed by Arabs of Sub-Saharan African descent known as Afro-Arabs , South Asians and Europeans. Only few amount of Zaidi tribes settled in the mountain region at the northern part. Al-Akhdam is the ancestry caste groups in urban area.

Ethnic composition in 2000 :  Arab 92.8%, Somalis 3.7%, Afro-Arab-1.1%, Indian-Pakistani 1%, Other 1.4%


Yemen has a total land area of 527,968 square kilometers and bordered by Saudi Arabia, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Guardafui Channel, and Oman. Yemen territory was home to numerous islands where Socotra Island is the largest located in the Arabian Sea, while the other islands are in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Oil and natural gas are the vital natural resources of the country.


As of 2018, the population of the country was 28,498,687, and it was estimated to be 29.28 million in 2019. Of its population, 46% are under 15 years, and 3% are above 65 years. The life expectancy of both males and females at birth was 66.09 years. In 2017, the life expectancy of a male was 63.7 years, and the female is 68.2 years. The net migration rate in 2020 is -1.020 per 1000 population


Arabs are the majority of the population living in Yemen. Hence, Islam is assumed to be the main religion of the country. The Muslim community in the country is 45% Shia Muslims and 55% Sunni Muslims.At a shallow rate, some Yemenis belong to Christianity, Hinduism, and Judaism. Sunni’s are mostly Shaffi, Malikis, and Hanbalis group. Zaydi and other minorities group of Islam belongs to Shia.  Islam is their primary religion;


Arabic is considered as the official language of the country. Mehri and Soqotri are South Semitic Languages widely spoken in some parts of the country.


Yemen is the only country in the Arab world, having the most impoverished economy. The agriculture sector is generating more than 20% of revenue on GDP. Sorghum is the main crop cultivated in this region. Following this, oil and gas are the other resources found in the country. Its economy is highly dependent on oil and natural gas. The main exports of the country are crude oil, natural gas, coffee, cotton, fish, and livestock. The GDP in 2018 was $26.914 billion, and it shows the annual growth of -2.7%. In 2018, it had a deficient Human Development Index value of 0.463.

Yemen Country Code : YE 

Yemen Dialing Code: +967