South Sudan Country Facts

By | March 21, 2024
South Sudan
Capital city Juba
Surface 619,745 km²
Population 12,230,000
Road network length ? km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Right
License plate code ?

South Sudan, formally the Republic of South Sudan is a country in Africa, located in the center of the continent. The country has approximately 12 million inhabitants and is more than 15 times the size of the Netherlands. The capital is Juba.


South Sudan is located in the interior of Central Africa, and is bordered to the north by Sudan, to the west by the Central African Republic, to the south by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya and to the east by Ethiopia. The capital Juba is located in the south of the country. South Sudan mainly consists of swamps and savanna around the Nile River. Large parts of the country are therefore difficult to access. In the southeast are higher mountains, the Kinyeti is the highest point in South Sudan at 3,187 meters.

The country has a tropical climate with a wet and dry season. The average maximum temperature in the capital Juba ranges from 31°C in the wet season to 38°C in the dry season. There is approximately 950 mm of precipitation per year, largely in the period from April to October. The dry season is therefore relatively short. Due to the rainfall, South Sudan is more fertile than Sudan.


The exact population of South Sudan is unclear, the UN estimates about 12 million. A large part of the population lives in rural areas. The capital Juba is the largest city with approximately 230,000 inhabitants. Wau, Malakal and Yambio are cities that have between 100,000 and 120,000 inhabitants.

About 60 different ethnic groups live in South Sudan, the largest of which are the Dinka and Nuer. Most inhabitants speak one of the Nilo-Saharan languages. English is the official language. Arabic was previously an official language of Sudan and thus South Sudan. There is no clear lingua franca in South Sudan, which makes communication between the ethnic groups difficult, especially since not everyone has learned English through education.


South Sudan is one of the least developed areas in the world. In many parts of the country there is no formal economy. Nominal GDP is less than $250 per capita. The country has little infrastructure, a poor education and is poorly connected to international trade routes.

South Sudan’s main asset is oil, which is extracted in the border region with Sudan. Oil revenues account for 98% of South Sudan’s government budget. Apart from the oil industry, the country produces almost nothing, although the country has several mineral resources, which are only exploited to a limited extent. The majority of the population works in agriculture for their own food supply.


The history of South Sudan is based on that of neighboring Sudan. Its history is strongly shared with that of Egypt because of the Nile. ‘The Sudan’ is also the name of the savanna region in West Africa, sandwiched between the Sahel and the tropical rainforest. Historically, ‘The Sudan’ is not directly related to modern-day Sudan, but today the term is often used more broadly, as a transition zone between the Sahel and the tropical forests across the width of Africa. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Sudan was populated by Arab nomads. From the 16th to 19th century, the area became Arabized. From the late 19th century, the area began to be under British influence.

In 1899, the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, a United Kingdom condominium, was established. In practice, the British had full control of Sudan while in Egypt more governance was left to the local population. In 1956 Sudan became independent from the United Kingdom. Since independence, Sudan has been governed by a series of unstable military governments. In 1989, Omar al-Bashir seized power in Sudan and would rule the country for nearly 30 years. Sudan was characterized by internal conflict, with the first Sudanese civil war raging from 1955 to 1972, followed by a second war from 1983 to 2005. Six years after the end of the civil war, South Sudan became independent from the rest of Sudan in 2011. However, in 2013, civil war broke out between the two largest population groups.

Road Network

The only bridge over the Nile in Juba.

South Sudan has a virtually non-existent road network. There are virtually no paved roads in the country, partly because of the swampy soil and climate, conflict and poverty. In the capital Juba there are only a handful of tarmac roads. Of those roads, only one goes outside the city, namely the 192 kilometer long road from Juba to Nimule on the border with Uganda.. That road was inaugurated on September 12, 2012. Almost all main roads are dirt roads, which are sometimes passable, but often not in the rainy season. There is only one makeshift bridge over the Nile in all of South Sudan, in Juba. Along many roads there are still minefields from old conflicts. In Wau, South Sudan’s second largest city, only one street is paved. The Nile River is essential for transportation in South Sudan. Juba is the southernmost city that can be reached from the Nile by larger ships.

Road numbering

In South Sudan, the road numbering system of Sudan is still used.


Signage is non-existent in South Sudan.


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