Yemen 1997Yemen

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Yemen - Introduction 1997
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Background: North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued.

Yemen - Geography 1997
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Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 48 00 E

Map referenceMiddle East

Total: 527,970 km²
Land: 527,970 km²
Water: 0 km²
Note: includes Perim, Socotra, the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)
Comparative: slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming

Land boundaries
Total: 1,746 km
Border countries: (2) Oman 288 km; , Saudi Arabia 1,458 km

Coastline: 1,906 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 18 nm in the North; 24 nm in the South
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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

Terrain: narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula

Extremes lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,760 m

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble, small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper, fertile soil in west
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 3%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 30%
Forests and woodland: 4%
Other: 63% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 3,600 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: sandstorms and dust storms in summer

Note: controls Bab el Mandeb, the strait linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes

Yemen - People 1997
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Population: 13,972,477 (July 1997 est.)
Note: other estimates range as high as 16.6 million
Growth rate: 3.57% (1997 est.)

Noun: Yemeni(s)
Adjective: Yemeni

Ethnic groups: predominantly Arab; Afro-Arab concentrations in western coastal locations; South Asians in southern regions; small European communities in major metropolitan areas

Languages: Arabic

Religions: Muslim including Sha'fi (Sunni) and Zaydi (Shi'a), small numbers of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 48% (male 3,421,216; female 3,237,594)
15-64 years: 49% (male 3,454,912; female 3,479,395)
65 years and over: 3% (male 162,600; female 216,760) (July 1997 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 3.57% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 44.83 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 9.17 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 68.1 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 60.31 years
Male: 58.9 years
Female: 61.78 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 7.18 children born/woman (1997 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 can read and write
Total population: 38%
Male: 53%
Female: 26% (1990 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Yemen - Government 1997
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Yemen
Conventional short form: Yemen
Local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah
Local short form: Al Yaman

Government type: republic

Capital: Sanaa

Administrative divisions: 17 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Abyan, Aden, Al Bayda, Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, Ataq, Dhamar, Hadhramaut, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Sa'dah, San'a', Ta'izz
Note: there may be a new governorate for the capital city of Sanaa

Dependent areas

Independence: 22 May 1990 Republic of Yemen was established on 22 May 1990 with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic {Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen} and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen {Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen}; previously North Yemen had become independent on NA November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and South Yemen had become independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)

National holiday: Proclamation of the Republic, 22 May (1990)

Constitution: 16 May 1991; amended 29 September 1994

Legal system: based on Islamic law, Turkish law, English common law, and local tribal customary law; does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Ali Abdallah SALIH (since 22 May 1990, the former president of North Yemen, assumed office upon the merger of North and South Yemen); Vice President Maj. Gen. Abd al-Rab Mansur al-HADI (since NA October 1994)
Head of government: Prime Minister Abd al-Aziz ABD AL-GHANI (since NA October 1994); Deputy Prime Ministers Abd al-Wahhab al-ANISI (since NA October 1994), Dr. Abd al-Karim Ali al-IRYANI (since NA October 1994), Dr. Muhammad Said al-ATTAR (since NA October 1994), and Abd al-Qadir al-BA JAMAL (since NA October 1994)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
Elections: president elected by the House of Representatives for a five-year term; election last held 1 October 1994 (next to be held NA 1999); vice president appointed by the president; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
Election results: Ali Abdallah SALIH elected president; percent of House of Representatives vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Representatives (301 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held 27 April 1997 (next to be held NA April 2001)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - GPC 189, Islaah 52, Nasserite Unionist Party 3, Baath Party 2, independents 54, election pending 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
In the us chancery: Suite 705, 2,600 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,037
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 965-4,760, 4,761
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 337-2017
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador David G. NEWTON
From the us embassy: Dhahr Himyar Zone, Sheraton Hotel District, Sanaa
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 22,347, Sanaa
From the us telephone: [967] (1) 238,843 through 238,852
From the us FAX: [967] (1) 251,563

Flag descriptionflag of Yemen: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; similar to the flag of Syria which has two green stars and of Iraq which has three green stars (plus an Arabic inscription) in a horizontal line centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt which has a symbolic eagle centered in the white band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Yemen - Economy 1997
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Economy overview: The northern city Sanaa is the political capital of a united Yemen, and the southern city Aden, with its refinery and port facilities, is the economic and commercial capital. Future economic development depends heavily on Western-assisted development of the country's moderate oil resources. Former South Yemen's willingness to merge stemmed partly from the steady decline in Soviet economic support. The low level of domestic industry and agriculture has made northern Yemen dependent on imports for practically all of its essential needs. Once self-sufficient in food production, northern Yemen has become a major importer. Land once used for export crops - cotton, fruit, and vegetables - has been turned over to growing a shrub called qat, whose leaves are chewed for their stimulant effect by Yemenis and which has no significant export market. Economic growth in former South Yemen has been constrained by a lack of incentives, partly stemming from centralized control over production decisions, investment allocation, and import choices. Yemen's GDP has been supplemented by remittances from Yemenis working abroad and by foreign aid. Since the Gulf crisis, however, remittances have dropped substantially. Floods in June 1996 caused the loss of much valuable topsoil in the agricultural sector, increasing the need for imports of foodstuffs. Oil production and GDP as a whole are expected to increase moderately in 1997.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2.8% (1996 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: 14%
Industry: 35%
Services: 51%

Agriculture products: grain, fruits, vegetables, qat (mildly narcotic shrub), coffee, cotton; dairy products, poultry, meat; fish

Industries: crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; small aluminum products factory; cement

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: no reliable estimates exist, most people are employed in agriculture and herding or as expatriate laborers; services, construction, industry, and commerce account for less than one-half of the labor force
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 30% (1995 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $3 billion
Expenditures: $3.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1996 est.)

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: $2.5 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
Commodities: crude oil, cotton, coffee, hides, vegetables, dried and salted fish
Partners: China 23%, South Korea 19%, Japan 12%, Singapore 10%, Brazil 9%, Thailand 7% (1995)

Total value: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
Commodities: textiles and other manufactured consumer goods, petroleum products, sugar, grain, flour, other foodstuffs, cement, machinery, chemicals
Partners: UAE 14%, Saudi Arabia 10%, US 8%, Malaysia 6%, UK 5% (1995)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $8 billion (1996)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Yemeni rials (YRl) per US$1 - 50.04 (new official fixed rate), 40.839 (1995), 12.010 (official fixed rate 1992-94); 490 (market rate, December 1994)
Note: on 29 March 1995 the official rate was changed from 12.01 Yemeni rials to 50.04 Yemeni rials per US dollar

Yemen - Energy 1997
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 1.84 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 117 kWh (1995 est.)

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

Yemen - Communication 1997
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: since unification in 1990, efforts have been made to create a national telecommunications network
Domestic: the network consists of microwave radio relay, cable, and tropospheric scatter
International: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 2 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and Djibouti

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Yemen - Military 1997
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Yemen - Transportation 1997
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 42 (1996 est.)
With paved runways total: 12
With paved runways over 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 6
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 3 (1996 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 30
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 2
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 10
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 8
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 10 (1996 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 12
Over 3047 m: 2
2438 to 3047 m: 6
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
Under 914 m: 3 (1996 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 30
Over 3047 m: 2
2438 to 3047 m: 10
15-24 to 2437 m: 8
914 to 1523 m: 10 (1996 est.)


Pipelines: crude oil 644 km; petroleum products 32 km

Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine
Total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 12,059 GRT/18,563 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 1, oil tanker 2 (1996 est.)

Ports and terminals

Yemen - Transnational issues 1997
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Disputes international: a large section of boundary with Saudi Arabia is not defined; a dispute with Eritrea over sovereignty of the Hanish Islands in the southern Red Sea has been submitted to arbitration under the auspices of the International Court of Justice

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Volotea Air

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