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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 / Peoples
Map of YemenFlag of YemenYemen /

Ethnic groups
Figures in 1000.
Arabs 22,100 93.0%
Himyarites N/A N/A
Tihamis N/A N/A
Akhdamis N/A N/A
Somalis 1,000 4.2%
Mahra 130 0.5%
Shahara 40 0.2%
Indians and Pakistanis 400 1.7%
Africans 50 0.2%
Other 80 0.3%

In all matters of demography in Yemen, statistics are very limited, and estimates vary immensely. In many cases are the estimates on people groups close to mere guesswork. Only two groups emerge as correctly dimensioned from the list to the right, Arabs in general and Mahras.
With the great influx of Negroids in Saudi Arabia, Yemen can claim to be one of the nations closest to the "original" Arabs. This is a doubtful claim, Yemen has, as the other countries on the Arabian peninsula, been a region of much trade and it has seen many waves of migrations, often of peoples with visual characteristics close to that of "original" Arabs. Moreover, Yemenis are largely South Arabians that have adopted Arabic language, more than Arabs. Yemen even has some ethnic influence of Europeans, contrary to other Arab countries; Yemen was for centuries an important post along international trade routes between Asia and Europe.
In modern times, Yemen is not an attractive country for foreign workers, but it is an easy port for refugees of various sorts from Africa. Although few if any has Yemen has their real goal, many lack funds to travel further.

Yemenis have a distinct Arab identity today. Yemeni Arabs belong to one of three groups: Himyarites; Tihama; and Akhdami. There are no estimates to their number.
Himyarites Arabs are also labelled Joktanic, reflecting their claim to be descendants of Joktan (of the Biblical book Genesis). There is a major element of South Arabian ethnicity to this group.
Tihama Arabs is that group which has most influence of Negroids. There appears to have been mixing with mainly Somalis and Ethiopians.
Akhdami Arabs also have major influence of Negroids. They represent the smaller of the three Arab peoples of Yemen, and is historically a lower class in society.

South Arabians
Mahra and Shahara are true natives of Yemen, upholding a South Arabian identity, culture and language (see South Arabian languages). They are the least affected by Arabization on the peninsula. They inhabit the easternmost regions of the country, with communities divided by the formal state border between Yemen and Oman. Some reports state that there is a Mahra community on the island of Socotra.

Judaism has deep roots in Yemen, predating Islam. It is not clear how and when Judaism established itself in the region, and there is no consensus over whether they represented an ethnic group by themselves, or where South Arabians like most other Yemenis.
Over a short period in the 20th century, Jews of Yemen left their homelands for Israel, motivated by both hardship in Yemen and the call of Zionism.

Somalis and Asians
The coastal regions around Aden and eastwards have major communities with Indian, Indonesian and Pakistani origins. In the case of these peoples, a most have deep roots in Yemen, and cannot be considered immigrants.
Somalis in Yemen are a mixture of historical migrations and modern refugee waves. Somalis wil long roots in Yemen are citizens, refugees are not. The distribution between the two groups is uncertain.

By Tore Kjeilen