Modern states /
The Yemeni Republic
Arabic: (SHORT:) 'al-yaman
Independent republic with 23.8 million inhabitants (2009 estimate), divided into 19 governorates (muhafaza(t)). The capital is San'a, which is also the country's largest city.
Days of independence: North Yemen (San'a) November 1918, South Yemen (Aden) November 30, 1967. National holiday is the Unification Day, May 22, 1990.
Head of state is President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Prime minister is Abdulqadir Bajammal. The government is made up of 29 ministers, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs also is Deputy Prime Minister.
The National Assembly is called House of Representatives, and has 301 members. All the seats are out on general elections.
It's the mountains that makes Yemen habitable. The climate in the Yemeni mountains is the most pleasant on the entire Arabian peninsula, and fertile. The climate along the coast is humid and terribly hot. Just inside the coast starts the desert, that covers everything that is not mountains.
Yemen has the highest population density on the Arabian peninsula, but is by far also the poorest country in the region, due to very small oil resources.
Yemen performs badly on the Human Development Index where it comes in as no.140 of 182 countries in the world, and no. 19 of 22 MENA countries. Yemen comes far behind its Arab neighbours, but is better than its African neighbours.
Yemen is sensationally ill-manged country, the poorest country on the Arabian peninsula, and scores miserably on all economic factors. The GDP per capita is only $2,500, which is 76% below world average. Unemployment is at a staggering 35%, and almost half the population is below poverty line.
Even more than what is real for economy, Yemen is a country of poor health conditions, and a health care system that comes out among the last in the MENA region.
Things are always connected, and Yemeni education system scores poorly at all levels. Still, serious efforts are put into the process of changing this.
As is the case with many other countries of poor economy and underdeveloped health structures, Yemen has a significant population growth.
Although clearly an Arab country, Yemen has some fascinating aspects about its population, being the home of a few of the original non-Arab peoples of the Arabian peninsula.
Arabic is all in all the dominating language, but some the other peoples living here have preserved their native languages.
Yemen, here on the corner of the Arabian peninsula, has one of the "forgotten" branches of Islam as its main religious group. Several other faiths are represented in the country as well.
Yemen remains completely out of control with its population growth. Yemen has enormous challenges with an extremely high fertility rate in a very young population. There seems to be few changes in these trends, and Yemen is projected to have a 2050 population more than 3 times that of today.
Yemen has really never been right in the middle of history, yet the country's history is rich and fascinating, with deep roots in Antiquity.