Somalia | Facts & Information

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
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Facts & Figures

  • President: Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (2012)

    Prime Minister: Abdi Farrah Shirdon Said (2012)

    Land area: 242,216 sq mi (627,339 sq km); total area: 246,199 sq mi (637,657 sq km)

    Population (July 2014 est.): 10,428,043 (growth rate: 1.75%); birth rate: 40.87/1000; infant mortality rate: 100.14/1000; life expectancy: 51.58

    Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Mogadishu, 1.554 million

    Monetary unit: Somali shilling

    National name: Soomaaliya

    Current government officials

    Languages: Somali (official), Arabic, English, Italian

    Ethnicity/race: Somali 85%, Bantu and others 15% (including Arabs 30,000)

    Religion: Islam (Sunni)

    Literacy rate: 37.8% (2001 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2010 est.): $5.896 billion; per capita $600. Real growth rate: 2.6%. Inflation: n.a. (businesses print their own money). Unemployment: n.a. Arable land: 1.73%. Agriculture: bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; cattle, sheep, goats; fish. Labor force: 3.447 million (very few are skilled laborers); agriculture (mostly pastoral nomadism) 71%, industry and services 29%. Industries: a few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication. Natural resources: uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves. Exports: $515.8 million (2012 est.): livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal. Imports: $1.263 billion (2010 est.): manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat. Major trading partners: UAE, Yemen, Oman, Djibouti, Kenya, India, China, Pakistan (2012).

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 100,000 (2012); mobile cellular: 658,000 (2012). Broadcast media: 2 private TV stations rebroadcast Al-Jazeera and CNN; Somaliland has 1 government-operated TV station and Puntland has 1 private TV station; Radio Mogadishu operated by the transitional government; 1 SW and roughly 10 private FM radio stations broadcast in Mogadishu; several radio stations operate in central and southern regions; Somaliland has 1 government-operated radio station; Puntland has roughly a half dozen private radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 186 (2012). Internet users: 106,000 (2009).

    Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 22,100 km; paved: 2,608 km; unpaved: 19,492 km (2000 est.). Ports and harbors: Berbera, Kismaayo. Airports: 61 (2013).

    International disputes: Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist Courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera to landlocked Ethiopia and have established commercial ties with other regional states; "Puntland" and "Somaliland" "governments" seek international support in their secessionist aspirations and overlapping border claims; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia's Ogaden and southern Somalia's Oromo region; Kenya works hard to prevent the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading south across the border, which has long been open to nomadic pastoralists.

    Major sources and definitions