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The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. Hassan Gouled APTIDON installed an authoritarian one-party state and proceeded to serve as president until 1999. Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 following the conclusion of a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Djibouti's first multi-party presidential elections resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH; he was re-elected to a second term in 2005. Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the mouth of the Red Sea and serves as an important transshipment location for goods entering and leaving the east African highlands. The present leadership favors close ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the... See More



 Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia

Geographic Coordinates:

 11 30 N, 43 00 E


 Total: 23,200 sq km
Land: 23,180 sq km
Water: 20 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 516 km
Border countries: Eritrea 109 km, Ethiopia 349 km, Somalia 58 km


 314 km (Rank: 132)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


 Desert; torrid, dry


 Coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Lac Assal -155 m
Highest point: Moussa Ali 2,028 m

Natural Resources:

 Potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum

Land Use:

 Arable land: 0.04%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 99.96% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 10 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 0.3 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 0.02 cu km/yr (84%/0%/16%)
Per capita: 25 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Earthquakes; droughts; occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods

Volcanism: Djibouti experiences limited volcanic activity; Ardoukoba (elev. 298 m) last erupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border, is also historically active

Environment - Current Issues:

 Inadequate supplies of potable water; limited arable land; desertification; endangered species

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Strategic location near world's busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields; terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia; mostly wasteland; Lac Assal (Lake Assal) is the lowest point in Africa

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 Noun: Djiboutian(s)
Adjective: Djiboutian

Ethnic Groups:

 Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (includes French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian)


 French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar


 Muslim 94%, Christian 6%


 757,074 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 35% (male 132,592/female 132,114)
15-64 years: 61.7% (male 206,323/female 260,772)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 11,349/female 13,924) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 21.8 years
Male: 20.2 years
Female: 23.1 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.237% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 25.27 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 8.23 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 5.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 76% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 DJIBOUTI (capital) 567,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 300 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 54.94 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 62.63 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 47.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 61.14 years
Male: 58.69 years
Female: 63.66 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.71 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 6.4% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.229 physicians/1,000 population (2006)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 98% of population
Rural: 52% of population
Total: 92% of population
Urban: 2% of population
Rural: 48% of population
Total: 8% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 63% of population
Rural: 10% of population
Total: 56% of population
Urban: 37% of population
Rural: 90% of population
Total: 44% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 2.5% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 14,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 1,000 (2009 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases:

 Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: malaria

Note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 29.6% (2006)

Education Expenditures:

 8.4% of GDP (2007)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 67.9%
Male: 78%
Female: 58.4% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 5 years
Male: 6 years
Female: 5 years (2009)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Republic of Djibouti
Conventional short form: Djibouti
Local long form: Republique de Djibouti/Jumhuriyat Jibuti
Local short form: Djibouti/Jibuti
Former: French Territory of the Afars and Issas, French Somaliland

Government Type:



 Name: Djibouti
Geographic coordinates: 11 35 N, 43 09 E
Time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 6 districts (cercles, singular - cercle); Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Djibouti, Obock, Tadjourah


 27 June 1977 (from France)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 27 June (1977)


 Approved by referendum 4 September 1992; note - constitution allows for multiparties

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system based primarily on the French civil code (as it existed in 1997) and Islamic religious law (in matters of family law and successions), and customary law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Ismail Omar GUELLEH (since 8 May 1999)

Head of government: Prime Minister Mohamed Dileita DILEITA (since 4 March 2001)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers responsible to the president

Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; president is eligible to hold office until age 75; election last held on 8 April 2011 (next to be held by 2016); prime minister appointed by the president

Election results: Ismail Omar GUELLEH reelected president; percent of vote - Ismail Omar GUELLEH 80.6%, Mohamed Warsama RAGUEH 19.4%

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (65 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - constitutional amendments in 2010 provided for the establishment of a senate

Elections: last held on 8 February 2008 (next to be held in 2013)

Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP (coalition of parties associated with President Ismail Omar GUELLAH) 65

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Democratic National Party or PND [ADEN Robleh Awaleh]; Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Abdillahi HAMARITEH]; Djibouti Development Party or PDD [Mohamed Daoud CHEHEM]; Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite Democratique or FRUD [Ali Mohamed DAOUD]; People's Progress Assembly or RPP [Ismail Omar GUELLEH] (governing party); Peoples Social Democratic Party or PPSD [Moumin Bahdon FARAH]; Republican Alliance for Democracy or ARD [Ahmed YOUSSOUF]; Union for a Presidential Majority or UMP [Mohamed Dileita DILEITA] (a coalition of parties including RPP, FRUD, PND, and PPSD); Union for Democracy and Justice or UDJ

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Roble OLHAYE Oudine
Chancery: Suite 515, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: [1] (202) 331-0270
FAX: [1] (202) 331-0302

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador James C. SWAN
Embassy: Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti
Mailing address: B. P. 185, Djibouti
Telephone: [253] 35 39 95
FAX: [253] 35 39 40

Flag Description:

 Two equal horizontal bands of light blue (top) and light green with a white isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bearing a red five-pointed star in the center; blue stands for sea and sky and the Issa Somali people; green symbolizes earth and the Afar people; white represents peace; the red star recalls the struggle for independence and stands for unity

National Anthem:

 Name: "Jabuuti" (Djibouti)
Lyrics/music: Aden ELMI/Abdi ROBLEH

Note: adopted 1977

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Economy - Overview:

 The economy is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location and status as a free trade zone in the Horn of Africa. Two-thirds of Djibouti's inhabitants live in the capital city; the remainder are mostly nomadic herders. Scanty rainfall limits crop production to fruits and vegetables, and most food must be imported. Djibouti provides services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refueling center. Imports and exports from landlocked neighbor Ethiopia represent 70% of port activity at Djibouti's container terminal. Djibouti has few natural resources and little industry. The nation is, therefore, heavily dependent on foreign assistance to help support its balance of payments and to finance development projects. An unemployment rate of nearly 60% in urban areas continues to be a major problem. While inflation is not a concern, due to the fixed tie of the Djiboutian franc to the US dollar, the artificially high value of the Djiboutian franc adversely affects Djibouti's balance of payments. Per capita consumption dropped an estimated 35% between 1999 and 2006 because of recession, civil war, and a high population growth rate (including immigrants and refugees). Djibouti has experienced relatively minimal impact from the global economic downturn, but its reliance on diesel-generated electricity and imported food leave average consumers vulnerable to global price shocks.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $2.105 billion (2010 est.)
$2.014 billion (2009 est.)
$1.918 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $1.14 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 4.5% (2010 est.)
5% (2009 est.)
5.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $2,800 (2010 est.)
$2,800 (2009 est.)
$2,700 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 3.5%
Industry: 16.5%
Services: 80% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 351,700 (2007)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Unemployment Rate:

 59% (2007 est.)

Note: data are for urban areas, 83% in rural areas

Population Below Poverty Line:

 42% (2007 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 2.4%
Highest 10%: 30.9% (2002)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 8,642 (Somalia) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 40.7% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $497.4 million
Expenditures: $506.4 million (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 43.6% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -0.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 4% (2010 est.)
1.7% (2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 10.3% (31 December 2010 est.)
11.1% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $462.7 million (31 December 2008)
$380 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $338 million (31 December 2008)
$284.1 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $716.2 million (31 December 2009)
$577.7 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $1.056 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
$940.8 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $406.4 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$339 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels, animal hides


 Construction, agricultural processing

Electricity - Production:

 280 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 260.4 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 12,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 19 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 11,230 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$55.9 million (2010 est.)
-$71.1 million (2009 est.)


 $71.2 million (2010 est.)
$77.4 million (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Reexports, hides and skins, coffee (in transit)

Exports - Partners:

 Somalia 80.4%, Yemen 4.1%, Egypt 4.1%, UAE 4% (2010)


 $416.9 million (2010 est.)
$450.7 million (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products

Imports - Partners:

 China 18%, Saudi Arabia 17.7%, India 12.9%, Malaysia 7.5%, US 5%, Pakistan 4.7% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $230.6 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$219.6 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $428 million (2006)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Dijibouti Franc to Any Currency

Djiboutian francs (DJF) per US dollar -
177.71 (2007)
174.75 (2006)
177.72 (2005)
177.72 (2004)
177.72 (2003)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 18,500 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 165,600 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: telephone facilities in the city of Djibouti are adequate, as are the microwave radio relay connections to outlying areas of the country

Domestic: Djibouti Telecom is the sole provider of telecommunications services and utilizes mostly a microwave radio relay network; fiber-optic cable is installed in the capital; rural areas connected via wireless local loop radio systems; mobile cellular coverage is primarily limited to the area in and around Djibouti city

International: country code - 253; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean and 1 Arabsat); Medarabtel regional microwave radio relay telephone network (2009)

Broadcast Media:

 Maintains restrictions on the licensing and operation of broadcast media; state-owned Radiodiffusion-Television de Djibouti (RTD) operates the sole terrestrial TV station as well as the only 2 domestic radio networks; no private TV or radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2001)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 1 (2001)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 195 (2010)

Internet Users:

 25,900 (2009)

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 13 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 3
Over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
Under 914 m: 2 (2010)


 Total: 100 km (Djibouti segment of the 781 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway)
Narrow gauge: 100 km 1.000-m gauge

Note: railway is under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia but is largely inoperable (2010)


 Total: 3,065 km
Paved: 1,226 km
Unpaved: 1,839 km (2000)

Ports and Terminals:


Transportation - Note:

 The International Maritime Bureau reports offshore waters in the Gulf of Aden are high risk for piracy; numerous vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crew, passengers, and cargo are held for ransom; the presence of several naval task forces in the Gulf of Aden and additional anti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators reduced the incidence of piracy in that body of water by more than half in 2010

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Military Branches:

 Djibouti Armed Forces (Forces Armees Djiboutiennes, FAD): Djibouti National Army (includes Coastal Navy, Djiboutian Air Force (Force Aerienne Djiboutienne, FAD), National Gendarmerie (GN)) (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 16-25 years of age for voluntary military training; no conscription (2008)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 170,386
Females age 16-49: 221,411 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 114,557
Females age 16-49: 154,173 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 8,360
Female: 8,602 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 3.8% of GDP (2006)

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Disputes - International:

 Djibouti maintains economic ties and border accords with "Somaliland" leadership while maintaining some political ties to various factions in Somalia; Kuwait is chief investor in the 2008 restoration and upgrade of the Ethiopian-Djibouti rail link; in 2008, Eritrean troops move across the border on Ras Doumera peninsula and occupy Doumera Island with undefined sovereignty in the Red Sea

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Last Updated: December 2011

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