Somalia Country Overview
Where is Somalia located? The Republic of Somalia is located in East Africa, right on the Horn of Africa. Somalia owes its name to the majority of its inhabitants, the Somali people. The time zone map places Somalia in the East Africa time zone, where there is a standard time offset of +3 hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This time difference also remains in summer, since in Somalia, as in many other African countries, there is no changeover to daylight saving time.
Bordering Countries of Somalia
According to abbreviationfinder, Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa, bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya to the southwest and Gulf of Aden in the north. It is an archipelago nation consisting of six major islands and numerous smaller islands. The country covers a total land area of 637,657 square kilometers making it one of the largest countries in Africa.
The Republic of Djibouti lies to Somalia’s north across the Bab el Mandeb strait which separates them from each other. It is a small nation with a population estimated at around 930 thousand people spread across 22,000 square kilometers. It has a strategic location at the crossroads between Africa and Middle East making it an important hub for trade activities. The country’s economy relies heavily on its port services as well as tourism activities due to its stunning beaches and crystal clear waters perfect for swimming or snorkelling among others.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia lies to Somalia’s west across an oceanic trench called “the Afar Triangle” which separates them from each other. It is one of Africa’s oldest countries with a population estimated at over 107 million people spread across 1 million square kilometers making it one of the most populous countries on earth as well as one largest by land area size. Ethiopia’s economy relies heavily on agriculture activities such as coffee production while its rich history makes it ideal for tourism activities such as visiting ancient ruins or archeological sites among others.
The Republic of Kenya lies to Somalia’s southwest across an oceanic trench called “the Somali Basin” which separates them from each other. It is one of East African Community (EAC) nations with a population estimated at around 47 million people spread across 580 thousand square kilometers making it one most populous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as well third most populous country in whole Africa after Nigeria and Ethiopia respectively. Kenya’s economy relies heavily on agriculture activities such as tea production while its wide range flora and fauna make it ideal for tourism activities such as safari tours or bird watching among others.
As of 2023, the latest population of Somalia is 11,757,124, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||2.21%|
|Birth rate||39.60 births per 1,000 people|
|Overall life expectancy||51.19 years|
|Men life expectancy||49.22 years|
|Women life expectancy||53.23 years|
|65 years and above||2.19%|
|Median age||17.80 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||1.01|
|Population density||18.44 residents per km²|
|approx. 95% Somal tribes (Isaaq, Absami, Habargidir, Abgal, Darod, Digil, Issa, Hawiye etc.) and others|
|Muslims (Sunnis) 99.8%, Christians 0.1; Others 0.1|
People in Somalia
About 15.4 million people live in Somalia. That is not so much compared to the size of the country. By the way, the people who live in Somalia are called Somalis. Somali, on the other hand, are only the Somalis who actually belong to the Somali people. However, this is the largest proportion of Somalis: 85 out of 100 people are also Somali.
The Somali live mainly in the north of the country. Minorities live more in the south. They mainly belong to the Somali Bantu and are also referred to here as Jarir. There are also the Bajuni with mixed origins, the Brawanese, the Benadiri as well as Arabs and a few Indians.
Nomads and clans
25 out of 100 residents live as nomads or semi-nomads. They roam the country with their herds of cattle. These are mostly camels or goats. 22 out of 100 work as farmers. 40 out of 100 Somalis live in cities. The proportion of urban residents in Somalia is increasing. The area around the capital Mogadishu is most densely populated.
However, there is also a second capital, the city of Hargeysa in northern Somalia. This is the capital of the Republic of Somaliland. However, this republic has not yet been recognized internationally. More people are said to live in this area than in Mogadishu.
The Somali are divided into clans based on their descent, a kind of family association. There are five major clans. The Darod, Dir, Hawiye and Isaaq have traditionally been nomadic. You look down on the fifth group, the sedentary Rahanweyn who live as farmers. This last group is sometimes subdivided. Each clan has its ancestral settlement area. You will find a map on the next page.
Each clan is also divided into many subclans. Belonging to a clan is inherited through the father. You can always tell from the name. Their own names are always followed by those of their father, grandfather, etc. Every child learns the sequence by heart.
Lots of kids
Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. The life expectancy of people is very low at 56 years. The health system is poor and education is lagging behind. Many babies die at or shortly after birth. But the birth rate remains high, so the population is growing rapidly despite this high death rate. 43 out of 100 Somalis are younger than 15 years old. On average, every woman has six children.
Languages in Somalia
In Somalia we speak Somali. It is the language of the Somali people, but it is also spoken by the minorities in the country. The Somali language is an Afro-Asian language. These languages are spoken in the north of Africa and in the west of Asia, that is, on the Arabian Peninsula.
In Somali, many words come from Arabic, English, and Italian. English and Italian were the official languages in the country before independence. Today Somali and Arabic are the country’s official languages.
Religions in Somalia
The Islam is the state religion in Somalia and almost all residents are Sunnis. Sharia, Islamic law, applies. The decisive factor in Somalia is not so much religious affiliation but affiliation to the clan. While moderate Islam prevails in many parts, there are now also radical currents.