Area: 527,970 sq. km. (203,796 sq. mi.); about the size of California and Pennsylvania combined. Cities: Capital--Sanaa. Other cities--Aden, Taiz, Hodeida, and al-Mukalla. Terrain: Mountainous interior bordered by desert with a flat and sandy coastal plain. Climate: Temperate in the mountainous regions in the western part of the country, extremely hot with minimal rainfall in the remainder of the country. Humid on the coast.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Yemeni(s).
Population (April 2011 est.): 25,130,000.
Annual population growth rate: 3%.
Ethnic group: Predominantly Arab.
Religions: Islam including Shaf’i (Sunni), Zaydi (Shia), and a small but growing number of Salafi (Sunni). Additionally, there are a small number of Jews, Christians, and Hindus.
Education: Attendance (2008 est.)--85% for boys at the primary level and 62% for girls. Attendance was 49% for boys at the secondary level and 26% for girls (2005 est.). Literacy(2009 est.)--62% overall, including 80% of males, 45% of females.
Health: Infant mortality rate--53/1,000 live births (2008 est.). Life expectancy--64 years (2008 est.).
Work force (by sector): Agriculture--53%; public services--17%; manufacturing--4%;construction--7%; percentage of total population--25%.
GDP (2010 est.) $31.273 billion.
Per capita GDP (2010 est.): $1,281.
Natural resources: Oil, natural gas, fish and seafood, rock salt, minor deposits of coal and copper.
Agriculture (est. 8.2% of GDP): Products--qat (a shrub containing a natural amphetamine), coffee, cotton, fruits, vegetables, cereals, livestock and poultry. Arable land (est.)--3%.
Industry (est. 38.8% of GDP): Types--petroleum refining, mining, wholesale and retail trade, transportation, manufacturing, and construction.
Services (est. 53% of GDP).
Trade: Exports (2010)--$7.5 billion: crude petroleum, liquefied natural gas, refined oil products, seafood, fruits, vegetables, hides, tobacco products. Major markets--China, India, Thailand, South Africa, South Korea, United States, Switzerland. Imports (2010)--$9.2 billion: petroleum products, cereals, feed grains, foodstuffs, machinery, transportation equipment, iron, sugar, honey. Major suppliers--United Arab Emirates, China, Saudi Arabia, India, Switzerland, Kuwait.
Exchange rate (2011): Official rate 214 rials per U.S. $1. However, as of May 2011, black market exchange rates reached as high as 250 rials per U.S. $1. While the Yemeni rial (YR) usually floats freely based on an average of foreign currencies, in 2010, the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) initiated a program of monetary interference in the exchange rate utilizing foreign currency reserves and restricted the export of currencies by money exchangers in an attempt to stabilize a rapidly depreciating rial. Due to the CBY’s efforts, the riyal’s official exchange rate has stabilized against the dollar over the past year. However, over that period, exchange rates at money exchangers have fluctuated between 10-20% higher than the official rate due to changes in the public’s overall confidence in Yemen’s political and economic stability.
Type: Republic; unification (of former south and north Yemen): May 22, 1990.
Constitution: Adopted May 21, 1990 and ratified May 1991.
Branches: Executive--president, and prime minister with cabinet. Legislative--bicameral legislature with 111-seat Shura Council and 301-seat House of Representatives. Judicial--the constitution calls for an independent judiciary. The former northern and southern legal codes have been unified. The legal system includes separate commercial courts and a Supreme Court based in Sanaa.
Administrative subdivisions: 22 governorates subdivided into districts.
Main political parties: General People's Congress (GPC), Islah Party, Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP).
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
National holiday: May 22 (Unity Day).
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