Sudan Country Facts

By | April 21, 2024
Jumhūrīyat al Sūdān
Capital city Khartoum
Surface 1,886,068 km²
Population 44,909,000
Road network length 7,200 km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Right
License plate code SUD

Sudan (Arabic: السودان‎, as-Sūdān), formally the Republic of the Sudan (Arabic: جمهورية السودان, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a large country in Africa. With an area of ​​1,886,000 km², Sudan is the third largest country in Africa. The capital is Khartoum, the largest city is nearby Omdurman. The country has approximately 45 million inhabitants.


Sudan is located on the transition from North Africa to Central Africa, with a coastline on the Red Sea. The country borders Egypt, Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The country measures a maximum of 1400 kilometers from north to south and 1550 kilometers from west to east. The capital Khartoum is centrally located in the country.

The country is on the transition from the Sahara to the Sahel, with more savanna influences in the south. In the northwest lies the Libyan desert, in the northeast the Nubian desert. Large parts of Sudan are quite flat, large parts of the country are 400 to 600 meters above sea level, with isolated mountain ranges to the southwest and east. The 3042 meter high Deriba is the highest point in Sudan. The country’s main river is the Nile, which arises from the Blue and White Nile at Khartoum and flows north into Egypt. Lake Nasser, formed by an Egyptian dam, extends into Sudan.

Sudan largely has a dry desert climate. To the south the precipitation increases, here there is a warm savanna climate. The capital, Khartoum, is one of the hottest capitals in the world, with average maximum temperatures ranging from 31°C in winter to 42°C in summer. There is only 120 mm of precipitation per year, mostly from July to September.


In 1950 the country had 2.7 million inhabitants, which had grown to 27.2 million in 2000 and 45 million today. The largest city is Omdurman, which is a suburb of Khartoum. Together with nearby Khartoum North, the agglomeration of Khartoum has approximately 6 million inhabitants, making it one of the largest cities in Africa. The exact population numbers of the cities in Sudan are unclear.

Other cities are considerably smaller, there are 7 other cities with 200,000 to 500,000 inhabitants. Many cities have extensive informal residential areas, where makeshift houses stretch for great distances. The largest city of Omdurman is divided into a grid with unpaved streets that in turn have plots where people have their homes. Omdurman therefore measures more than 40 kilometers from north to south and has a relatively low building density outside the old city. Khartoum is divided into a similar grid, but has a slightly higher population density.

Sudan is home to nearly 600 populations who speak more than 400 different languages. The largest group are Sudanese Arabs, who make up about 70% of the population. 70 languages ​​are spoken on a somewhat larger scale, the most widely spoken language is the Sudanese variant of Arabic. Since 2005, English has also been an official language, but it is only spoken to a limited extent by the population.


Sudan is a fast-growing economy, but that is mainly a result of the fast-growing population, the country is one of the poorest countries in the world. Per capita income is very low. Traditionally, oil has been the main source of income, but most oil wells are now located in South Sudan, which has slowed the growth of the Sudanese economy. About 80% of the population works in agriculture, largely for their own food supply. Internal conflict and drought make this sector very vulnerable. Sudan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The country has almost no industrial assets. The main export product is gold, followed by oil and a number of agricultural products.


Sudan had kingdoms since ancient times. 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, from 1955 to 1972 the first Sudanese civil war raged, followed by a second war from 1983 to 2005. Six years after the end of the civil war, South Sudan becameindependent of the rest of Sudan. Sudan was originally the largest country in Africa by area, but the split made Sudan the third largest country in Africa ever since. President al-Bashir was impeached in 2019.


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