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Republic of Yemen

الجُمهورية اليَمَنية
al-Jumhūrīyah al-Yamanīyah
Flag of Yemen
Location of Yemen
Official languagesArabic
Demonym(s)Yemeni, Yemenite
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
• President
Abd Rabbuh Mansur Al-Hadi
Khaled Bahah
LegislatureAssembly of Representatives
• North Yemen independence from the Ottoman Empire
1 November 1918
• South Yemen independence from the United Kingdom
30 November 1967
22 May 1990
27 January 2011
• Total
527,970 km2 (203,850 sq mi) (50th)
• Water (%)
• 2011 estimate
25,130,000 (46th)
• April 2011 census
• Density
44.7/km2 (115.8/sq mi) (160th)
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
• Total
$57.966 billion[1]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2011 estimate
• Total
$33.675 billion[1]
• Per capita
HDI (2011)Increase 0.462[2]
low · 154th
CurrencyYemeni rial (YER)
Time zoneUTC+3
Driving sideright[3]
Calling code967
ISO 3166 codeYE

The Republic of Yemen or Yemen is a nation in the Middle East. It is the old North Yemen and South Yemen, in the south of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Saudi Arabia and Oman on the north and the east. To the south is the Arabian Sea, and to the west is the Red Sea. Yemen owns the island of Socotra (217 miles) to the south off the coast of East Africa. A person or thing from Yemen is called Yemeni. Yemen's capital city is Sana'a.

Yemen is the origin land of all Arabs in the Middle East. In ancient times, Yemen was an important center of trade and power. Many powerful kingdoms were in Yemen, including the Sabaeans. Yemen was important in the trade of spices as well. It was known to the ancient Romans as Arabia Felix ("Happy Arabia" in Latin). They called it Happy Arabia because the area was so beautiful and powerful.

In the 700s, Yemenis were among the first to join the new religion Islam. Since then, Yemenis have been staunch Muslims who were in the forefront of all Islam conquests and Yemenis were the rulers of Islamic Spain for more than 800 years.

Today, Yemen has over 20 million people. Most of them speak Arabic.


Map of Yemen
Map of Yemen

Yemen is in Western Asia. It is on the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula. A number of Red Sea islands, including the Hanish Islands, Kamaran, and Perim, as well as Socotra in the Arabian Sea, belong to Yemen. Many of the islands are volcanic. For example Jabal al-Tair had a volcanic eruption in 2007 and before that in 1883. The highest point in Yemen is Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb.


Yemen is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Arab World. There is a 35% employment rate, which means only 35 out of every 100 people has a job.


As a result of the 2011–2012 Yemeni uprising, the constitution of Yemen is to be rewritten. New elections will be held in 2014. Some areas are controlled by armed militant groups.


As of February 2004, Yemen is divided into twenty governorates and one municipality called "Amanat Al-Asemah".[4]

Division Capital City Population
2004 Census [5]
2006 est.[6]
'Aden Aden 589,419 634,710 1
'Amran 'Amran 877,786 909,992 2
Abyan Zinjibar 433,819 454,535 3
Ad-Dali' Ad Dali' 470,564 504,533 4
Al Bayda' Al Bayda' 577,369 605,303 5
Al Hudaydah Al-Hudaydah 2,157,552 2,300,179 6
Al Jawf Al-Jawf 443,797 465,737 7
Al-Mahrah Al-Ghaydah 88,594 96,768 8
Al-Mahwit Al-Mahweet 494,557 523,236 9
Amanat Al-Asemah Sana'a 1,747,834 1,947,139 10
Dhamar Dhamar 1,330,108 1,412,142 11
Hadhramaut Al-Mukalla 1,028,556 1,092,967 12
Hajjah Hajjah 1,479,568 1,570,872 13
Ibb Ibb 2,131,861 2,238,537 14
Lahij Lahij 722,694 761,160 15
Ma'rib Ma'rib 238,522 251,668 16
Raymah Kosmah 394,448 418,659 17
Sa'dah Sa`dah 695,033 746,957 18
Sana'a Sana'a 919,215 957,798 19
Shabwah Ataq 470,440 494,638 20
Taiz Taiz 1,121,000 2,513,003 21

The governorates are divided into 333 districts. The districts are divided into 2,210 sub-districts, and then into 38,284 villages (as of 2001).


Yemen has about 24 million people according to June 2011 estimates. 46% of the people are under 15 years old. Yemenis are mainly of Arab origin.[7] Arabic is the official language.

Religion in Yemen is mostly of two main Islamic religious groups; 53% of the Muslim population is Sunni[8] and 45% is Shiite according to the UNHCR.[8][9]

According to 2009 estimates, life expectancy in Yemen is 63.27 years.[7]


See also: Yemen at the Olympics

Football is the most popular sport in Yemen. The Yemen national football team competes in the FIFA and the AFC leagues. The country also hosts many football clubs that compete in the national or international leagues.

Yemen's mountains have many opportunities for outdoor sports, such as rock climbing, hill climbing, skiing, and hiking. The coast of Yemen and Socotra island have opportunities for water sports, such as surfing, sailing, swimming, and scuba diving. Socotra island is one of the best surfing places in the world.

Yemen's biggest sports event was hosting the 2010 Gulf Cup of Nations.