Statistical information Somalia 1996Somalia

Map of Somalia | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Somalia in the World
Somalia in the World


Somalia - Introduction 1996
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Background: Intermittent civil war has been a fact of life in Somalia since 1977. In 1991 the northern portion of the country declared its independence as Somaliland; although de facto independent and relatively stable compared to the tumultuous south it has not been recognized by any foreign government. Beginning in 1993 a two-year UN humanitarian effort (primarily in the south) was able to alleviate famine conditions but when the UN withdrew in 1995 having suffered significant casualties order still had not been restored.

Somalia - Geography 1996
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Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 637,660 km²
Land: 627,340 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries: Total 2,366 km, Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,626 km, Kenya 682 km

Coastline: 3,025 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea:200 nm

Climate: Principally desert; December to February_northeast monsoon, moderate temperatures in north and very hot in south; May to October_southwest monsoon, torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons

Terrain: Mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north

Extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Shimbiris 2,450 m

Natural resources:
Uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 2%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 46%
Forests and woodland: 14%
Other: 38%

Irrigated land: 1,600 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Somalia - People 1996
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Population: 9,639,151 (July 1996 est.)
Note: this estimate was derived from an official census taken in 1987 by the Somali Government with the cooperation of the UN and the US Bureau of the Census; population estimates are updated year by year between census years by factoring growth rates into them, and by taking account of refugee movements, and of losses due to famine; lower estimates of Somalia's population in mid-1996 (on the order of 6.0 to 6.5 million) have been made by aid and relief agencies, based on the number of persons being fed; population counting in Somalia is complicated by the large numbers of nomads and by refugee movements in response to famine and clan warfare
Growth rate:
3.1% (1996 est.)
15.58% (1995 est.)

Noun: Somali(s)
Adjective: Somali

Ethnic groups:
Somali 85%
Bantu, Arabs 30,000

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

Religions: Sunni Muslim

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 44% (male 2,143,775; female 2,139,104)
15-64 years: 52% (male 2,609,911; female 2,387,620)
65 years and over: 4% (male 182,991; female 175,750) (July 1996 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
3.1% (1996 est.)
15.58% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
44.17 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
45.53 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
13.22 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
13.3 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
123.62 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: famine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Current issues Natural hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer
International agreements: party to_Endangered Species, Law of the Sea; signed, but not ratified_Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban
International agreements note: Strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.05 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:121.1 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
119.5 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 55.49 years (1996 est.); 55.74 years (1995 est.)
Male: 55.18 years (1996 est.); 55.48 years (1995 est.)
Female: 55.8 years (1996 est.); 56 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
7.01 children born/woman (1996 est.)
7.13 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1990 est.)
Total population: 24%
Male: 36%
Female: 14%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Somalia - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Somalia
Former: Somali Republic

Government type: None

Capital: Mogadishu

Administrative divisions: 18 regions (plural_NA, singular_gobolka; Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellaha Hoose, Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland, which became independent from the U.K. on 26 June 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on 1 July 1960, to form the Somali Republic)

National holiday: NA

Constitution: 25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: Somalia has no functioning government; the United Somali Congress (USC) ousted the regime of Maj. Gen. Mohamed SIAD Barre on 27 January 1991; the present political situation is one of anarchy, marked by inter-clan fighting and random banditry

Legislative branch: Unicameral People's Assembly People's Assembly (Golaha Shacbiga):Not functioning

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (not functioning)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGADD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Somalia: The flag of Somalia is light blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; design based on the flag of the UN (Italian Somaliland was a UN trust territory)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Somalia - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: One of the world's poorest and least developed countries, Somalia has few resources. Moreover, much of the economy has been devastated by the civil war. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. Nomads and seminomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Crop production generates only 10% of GDP and employs about 20% of the work force. The main export crop is bananas; sugar, sorghum, and corn are grown for the domestic market. The small industrial sector is based on the processing of agricultural products and accounts for less than 10% of GDP; most facilities have been shut down because of the civil strife. The greatly increased political turmoil of 1991-93 resulted in a substantial drop in agricultural output, with widespread famine. In 1994 economic conditions stabilized in the countryside, followed in 1995 by slight improvements. However, ongoing civil strife in Mogadishu and outlying areas is interfering with any substantial recovery.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2% (1995 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Dominant sector, led by livestock raising (cattle, sheep, goats; crops_bananas, sorghum, corn, mangoes, sugarcane; not self-sufficient in food; distribution of food disrupted by civil strife; fishing potential largely unexploited

A few small industries including:

Sugar refining
Petroleum refining (mostly shut down)

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate NA

Labor force: 3.7 million (very few are skilled laborers)(1993 est.)
By occupation Agriculture (mostly pastoral nomadism): 71%
By occupation Industry and services: 29%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: NA
Expenditures: NA

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $100 million (1995 est.)
$58 million (1990 est.)

Live animals

Saudi Arabia
Other Gulf states
U.S. (bananas)

Imports: total value:$249 million (1990 est.)
Petroleum products
Construction materials

U.S. 13%
Saudi Arabia (1986)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.9 billion (1989)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Somali shillings (So. Sh.) per US$1_approximately 7,000 (January 1996), 5,000 (1 January 1995), 2,616 (1 July 1993), 4,200 (December 1992), 3,800.00 (December 1990), 490.7 (1989),

Somalia - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: NA kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: NA kWh

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Somalia - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 9,000 telephones; the public telecommunications system was completely destroyed or dismantled by the civil war factions; all relief organizations depend on their own private systems
Local: NA
Domestic: recently, local cellular telephone systems have been established in Mogadishu and in several other population centers

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Somalia - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Somalia - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 52
With paved runways over 3047 m: 3
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 6
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 4
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 15
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 20 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 3
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 6

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 4
15-24 to 2437 m: 15
914 to 1523 m: 20 (1995 est.)


Pipelines: Crude oil 15 km




Merchant marine
Total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,529 GRT/6,892 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 1

Ports and terminals

Somalia - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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