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
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).

Fun Facts

  • In area, it is slightly smaller than Texas.
  • Restaurants are popular in many cities in Somalia, however, women very rarely dined out with men until the late 1990s.
  • When people in Somali get married, there is not just a bond between the man and his wife, but also between the clans and the families.
  • The most widely recognized symbol in Somalia is the camel. This is because the camel provides meat, milk, transportation, income, and status for those who own one.
  • More than half of the residents of Somalia are self-employed. They are farmers, herders, and independent business owners.