Demographics of Yemen

Demographics of Yemen

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Yemen, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.



The U.S. government has estimated a population of 23.4 million persons as of July 2010, and the International Monetary Fund estimated almost 21 million persons in 2005. Yemen’s latest census, conducted in December 2004, reported a population of 19.72 million persons, reflecting an average annual population growth rate of more than 3 percent. Yemen’s population has more than doubled since 1975 and has grown approximately 35 percent since the 1994 census, making Yemen the second most populous country on the Arabian Peninsula. Adding to the growth of the native population is the influx of Somali refugees into Yemen—tens of thousands every year. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, there were almost 96,000 African refugees in Yemen in 2006, including more than 91,000 Somalis. The Yemen government estimated 300,000 Somalis in Yemen in 2007. According to the United Nations, Yemen’s population in 2005 was 27.3 percent urban and 73.7 percent rural; population density was 40 persons per square kilometer.[1]

Population structure, births, and deaths

Yemen’s population is predominantly young. According to U.S. government and United Nations estimates, in 2007 about 46 percent of the population was under age 15; slightly more than half the population, 15–64; and less than 3 percent, 65 and older. The population was almost equally divided between males and females. In 2007 the birthrate and death rate were estimated to be 42.7 per 1,000 and 8.1 per 1,000, respectively. The infant mortality rate was almost 58 deaths per 1,000 live births. The rate was estimated to be higher for males than for females—more than 62 male deaths per 1,000 live births, as compared with about 53 female deaths per 1,000 live births. Despite an increase of 14 years in the last decade, life expectancy at birth in Yemen has remained low compared with other developing countries— 60.6 years for males and 64.5 years for females, or 62.5 years overall. The country’s fertility rate was almost 6.5 children per woman in 2007.[1]

Ethnic groups and languages

Yemen’s population is predominantly Arab, but it also includes Afro-Arabs, South Asians, and Europeans.[1] Arabic is the official language; English is also used in official and business circles.[1] In the Mahra area (the extreme east), several non-Arabic languages (including Mehri) are spoken.[2] When the former states of north and south Yemen were established, most resident minority groups departed.[2]


Virtually all citizens of Yemen are Muslims, either belonging to the Zaydi order of Shi'a Islam (50%) or to the Shafa'i order of Sunni Islam (50%).[1] Zaydis are generally found in the north and northwest and Shafa'is in the south and southeast.[2] There are also approximately 3,000 Christians, 400 Jews, and 40 Hindus. [1]


According to composite data compiled by the World Bank, the adult literacy rate for Yemen in 2005 was 35 percent for females and 73 percent for males. The overall literacy rate for the population age 15 and older was 54 percent. By comparison, low-income countries in the aggregate average an adult literacy rate of almost 62 percent.[1]

In 2006 only 75 percent of Yemen’s school-age population was enrolled in primary school; enrollment was even lower for the female population—only 65 percent. In that same year, only 37 percent of the school-age population was enrolled in secondary school, including only 26 percent of eligible females.[1]


The Yemeni diaspora is largely concentrated in the United Kingdom, where between 70,000 and 80,000 Yemenis live. Just over 10,000 Yemenis reside in the United States, and an additional 2,812 live in Italy. Other Yemenis also reside in the Gulf states (especially Saudia Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain), as well as Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and some parts of Brunei and the former USSR.[3]

Demographic statistics from the CIA World Factbook

Population: thousands of inhabitants. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2005. Yemen has a growth rate of 3.46% (2008 est.)[4]

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.[4]


Year Population
(July est.)
Growth rate
2011 24,133,492
2010 23,495,361
2009 23,822,783
2008 23,013,376
2007 22,230,531
2006 21,456,188
2005 20,727,063
2004 20,024,867

Source: CIA Factbooks 2000–2010.

Year Birth rate (est.):
births/1000 pop.
Death rate (est.):
deaths/1000 pop.
Net migration rate (est.):
migrants/1000 pop.
2010 34.37 7.24 N/A
2009 42.14 7.61 N/A
2008 42.42 7.83
2007 42.67 8.05 0
2006 42.89 8.3 0
2005 43.07 8.53 0
2004 43.16 8.78 0

18.78 18.3

Age structure

estimates for 2010:

0–14 years: 43.5% (male 5,199,954/female 5,013,165)
15–64 years: 53.9% (male 6,438,569/female 6,233,708)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 291,319/female 318,646)

Population growth rate

2.713% (2010 est.)

Sex ratio

(2010 est.)

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female

Infant mortality rate

(2010 est.)

total: 56.77 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 61.46 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.85 deaths/1,000 live births

Total fertility rate

4.63 children born/woman (2011 est.)


Urban population: 31% of total population (2008)
Rate of urbanization: 4.9% annual rate of change (2005–2010 est.)

AIDS adult prevalence rate

0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS

12,000 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – deaths


Life expectancy at birth

(2010 est.)

total population: 63.36 years
male: 61.35 years
female: 65.47 years

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: cows
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)


  • noun: Yemeni(s)
  • adjective: Yemeni


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Country profile: Yemen. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (August 2008).  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b c Background note: Yemen. US Department of State (December 2007).  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Yemenis in the UK
  4. ^ a b The World Factbook - Yemen

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Yemen — Republic of Yemen الجمهورية اليمنية al Jumhūrīyah al Yamanīyah …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of present-day nations and states — This is a list of Demographics by country articles, including both de jure and de facto independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. The entries are listed below. compactTOC2 NOTOC A… …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Hong Kong — Demographics and Culture of Hong Kong Demographics …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Malaysia — Indicator Rank Measure Economy GDP (PPP) per capita 56th $13,315 Unemployment rate …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Kazakhstan — Population of Kazakhstan (in millions) from 1950 2009. Population: 16,500,000 (April, 2011) Density: 5.94/km2 Growth rate …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Kyrgyzstan — Population of Kyrgyzstan (in millions) from 1950 2009 Population: 5,362,800 (2009 est.) Density: 27.4/km2; 71/sq mi Growth rate …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of the Middle East — discribes population in the Middle East. The population growth rate in the Middle East is among the highest in the world. The high population growth brings challenges in the Middle East societies. During 1990 2008 the growth rate was higher than… …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Mongolia — Demographics of Mongolia, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands. This article is about the demographic features of the population of Mongolia, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Turkey — Demographics of Republic of Turkey 1961–2007 Population: 72,586,256[1] (2009 est.) Growth rate: 1.45% (2009 est …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Lebanon — Indicator Rank Measure Economy GDP (PPP) per capita 51th $15,557 Unemployment rate …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.