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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
11. Cities and Towns

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Index / Languages
Map of YemenFlag of YemenYemen /

Figures in 1000.
Semitic 22,350 94.0%
Arabic 22,180 93.0%
Sanaani 11,500 48.0%
Ta'izzi-Adeni 10,200 43.0%
Hadrami 450 1.9%
Egyptian 15 0.1%
Gulf 15 0.1%
Mehri 90 0.4%
Socotri 85 0.4%
Afro-Asiatic 1,000 4.2%
Somali 1,000 4.2%
Other 450 1.9%
Hindi 350 1.5%
Other 105 0.4%

Estimates for 2009.

In all matters of demography in Yemen, statistics are very limited, and estimates vary immensely. However, research into languages is better than for people groups and religions.
Yemen is among the countries with lowest percentage speaking English or French as foreign language.

Arabic is spoken across all of Yemen, represented by three major categories or dialects, which are identified by the three major geographical zones of the country. Sanaani corresponds to the regions of the capital San'a; Ta'izzi-Adeni to the regions of Aden, the former capital of South Yemen; Hadrami of Hadramawt, the regions in the inner parts of the country.
Two smaller dialects, Gulf Arabic and Egyptian Arabic have arrived in Yemen with modern migrations.

South Arabian languages
Yemen is together with Oman, the home region of South Arabian languages; there are 6 such languages still alive tday.
In Yemen there are two major South Arabian languages: Mehri; and Socotri. The third language of some size, Shehri, is not listed among spoken languages in Yemen. Mehri is spoken by the Mahra people. Socotri is the language of Socotra, but the natives to Socotra are not distinguished as a separate native group. A third language of this family, Bathari, are spoken by a few hundred only.

Sources like Ethnologue lists Somali as a sizeable language of Yemen, spoken by between 600,000 and 700,000 (undated). Somalis have migated to Yemen over several centuries, and among these many may well have adopted Arabic language, but this is not attested.

By Tore Kjeilen