Chad Country Facts

By | June 2, 2024
Tchad – تشاد‎ Tshad
Capital city N’Djamena
Surface 1,284,000 km²
Population 16,244,000
Road network length 2,331 km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Right
License plate code TCH – TD

Chad (Arabic: تشاد ‎ Tshād, French: Tchad), formally the Republic of Chad, is a large country in Africa. The country is approximately 32 times the size of the Netherlands and has 16 million inhabitants. The capital is N’Djamena.


Chad is located on the transition from Central Africa to North Africa. The country borders Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest and Niger to the west.. The capital N’Djamena is located on the border with Cameroon. Because of its position in the Sahara, the country is also called the dead heart of Africa. The country measures approximately 1,750 kilometers from north to south and 1,150 kilometers from east to west. The north of the country consists of the Sahara desert, the center of the Sahel and the south of savannas. The Emi Koussi in the Tibesti Mountains in the northwest is the highest point in Chad at 3,415 meters.

The north of Chad is inhospitable and dry, the south is wetter and also has several rivers. Chad’s primary river is the Chari, a 1,400-kilometer-long river that rises in the Central African Republic and flows into Lake Chad near N’Djamena. The Logone River is an important tributary of this. The south of Chad has a river system, which is where most of the agriculture takes place. Lake Chad is a large seasonal lake on the borders with Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger. The country has a wet and dry season, but precipitation does not fall much further north during the wet period than in the center of the country. There is hardly any precipitation in the north. In the north falls less than 50 mm of precipitation per year, in the middle 300-500 mm and in the south around 900 mm. The average maximum temperature in the capital N’


Chad grew from 3 million inhabitants in 1960 to 8 million in 2000. Today, the country has more than 16 million inhabitants.  The only major city is the capital N’Djamena, which has a population of 1.3 million, but counts are not very accurate. Moundou, Sarh and Abéché are cities with just over 100,000 inhabitants. The north is extremely sparsely populated, large parts of the Sahara have no permanent population. The south and especially the southwest is more densely populated.

More than 200 ethnic groups live in Chad. The country is actually made up of all kinds of small societies. More than 100 languages ​​are spoken by the diverse population, most of them on a small scale. Only Arabic and French have official status. Chadic Arabic is the lingua franca in the country.


Chad is one of the least developed countries in the world, with widespread poverty, widespread corruption and only a limited formal economy. It is estimated that 80% of the population lives below the poverty line. During the French colonial period, cotton farming was developed in the southwest of the country and was for a long time the primary export product. Chad began drilling for oil in 2003, Chad is believed to have the 10th largest oil reserve in Africa, producing 140,000 barrels per day in 2020. Since 2003, oil has been Chad’s main export and also its main source of government revenue.

The country produces very few other goods. The vast majority of the population works in agriculture for their own food supply. Despite significant oil revenues, Chad is very underdeveloped, especially outside the capital N’Djamena. The economy is constrained by the extremely underdeveloped infrastructure and long distances within the country and to export ports. Chad is a country with no access to the sea, a large part of the export goes through the ports of Cameroon.


Chadic kingdoms arose mainly in the Sahel region and around Lake Chad. There were several empires in the area from the Middle Ages, but an organized government did not come until the colonial period. Because of its location far inland, Chad was one of the last areas in Africa to be colonized by Europeans. Between 1900 and 1920, the area gradually came under French rule. The French never had much interest in the colony and had a very low priority. Apart from cotton from 1929 onwards, the colony’s economy was barely developed. Only the south of Chad had a clear rule of the French, they rarely came to the north.

Chad became independent from France in 1960. It soon became a dictatorship under François Tombalbaye. In 1965, Muslims in northern Chad started a civil war, which eventually led to the overthrow of Tombalbaye in 1975. However, the war continued and the country disintegrated in the late 1970s. Neighboring Libyawanted to use the chaos to gain territory, but in the end Chad won the conflict over much more powerful Libya. Rebel leader Hissène Habré was in power from the late 1970s and remained in power until 1990. He had significant support from the French and Americans. Chad has been under the administration of President Idriss Déby since 1990. Oil extraction in Chad started in 2003, bringing government revenue but not improving the economy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *