Demographics of Yemen
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Yemen, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
- 1 Population
- 2 Vital statistics
- 3 Ethnic groups and languages
- 4 Religions
- 5 Literacy
- 6 Diaspora
- 7 Demographic statistics from the CIA World Factbook
- 8 References
The U.S. government has estimated a population of 23.4 million persons as of July 2010, and the International Monetary Fund estimated almost 21 million persons in 2005. Yemen’s latest census, conducted in December 2004, reported a population of 19.72 million persons, reflecting an average annual population growth rate of more than 3 percent. Yemen’s population has more than doubled since 1975 and has grown approximately 35 percent since the 1994 census, making Yemen the second most populous country on the Arabian Peninsula. Adding to the growth of the native population is the influx of Somali refugees into Yemen—tens of thousands every year. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, there were almost 96,000 African refugees in Yemen in 2006, including more than 91,000 Somalis. The Yemen government estimated 300,000 Somalis in Yemen in 2007. According to the United Nations, Yemen’s population in 2005 was 27.3 percent urban and 72.7 percent rural; population density was 40 persons per square kilometer.
Yemen’s population is predominantly young. According to U.S. government and United Nations estimates, in 2007 about 46 percent of the population was under age 15; slightly more than half the population, 15–64; and less than 3 percent, 65 and older. The population was almost equally divided between males and females.
In 2007 the birthrate and death rate were estimated to be 42.7 per 1,000 and 8.1 per 1,000, respectively (CIA est.). The infant mortality rate was almost 58 deaths per 1,000 live births. The rate was estimated to be higher for males than for females—more than 62 male deaths per 1,000 live births, as compared with about 53 female deaths per 1,000 live births. Despite an increase of 14 years in the last decade, life expectancy at birth in Yemen has remained low compared with other developing countries— 60.6 years for males and 64.5 years for females, or 62.5 years overall. The country’s fertility rate was almost 6.5 children per woman in 2007 free.
|Period||Live births per year||Deaths per year||Natural change per year||CBR1||CDR1||NC1||TFR1||IMR1|
|1950-1955||214 000||131 000||84 000||47.6||29.0||18.6||7.27||215.1|
|1955-1960||234 000||133 000||101 000||47.8||27.1||20.7||7.28||204.2|
|1960-1965||261 000||138 000||123 000||48.6||25.6||22.9||7.34||194.0|
|1965-1970||296 000||144 000||152 000||50.3||24.5||25.8||7.52||184.4|
|1970-1975||329 000||149 000||180 000||51.2||23.2||28.0||7.67||174.4|
|1975-1980||410 000||144 000||266 000||56.0||19.7||36.3||8.58||143.2|
|1980-1985||512 000||140 000||373 000||57.9||15.8||42.1||9.23||113.5|
|1985-1990||585 000||137 000||448 000||53.9||12.6||41.3||8.93||94.0|
|1990-1995||665 000||155 000||510 000||49.1||11.4||37.6||8.24||86.2|
|1995-2000||702 000||167 000||535 000||42.7||10.2||32.6||6.98||78.6|
|2000-2005||765 000||159 000||605 000||39.9||8.3||31.5||6.10||64.8|
|2005-2010||864 000||156 000||708 000||38.6||7.0||31.7||5.48||53.3|
|1 CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births|
Ethnic groups and languages
Yemen's population is predominantly Arab. Ethnic groups: Arab 92.8%, Somali 3.7%, black 1.1%, Indo-Pakistani 1%, other 1.4% (2000). Arabic is the official language; English is also used in official and business circles. In the Mahra area (the extreme east), several non-Arabic languages (including Mehri) are spoken. When the former states of north and south Yemen were established, most resident minority groups departed.
Virtually all citizens of Yemen are Muslims, either belonging to the Zaydi order of Shi'a Islam (50%) or to the Shafa'i order of Sunni Islam (50%). Zaydis are generally found in the north and northwest and Shafa'is in the south and southeast. There are also approximately 3,000 Christians, 400 Jews, and 40 Hindus. 
According to composite data compiled by the World Bank, the adult literacy rate for Yemen in 2005 was 35 percent for females and 73 percent for males. The overall literacy rate for the population age 15 and older was 54 percent. By comparison, low-income countries in the aggregate average an adult literacy rate of almost 62 percent.
In 2006 only 75 percent of Yemen’s school-age population was enrolled in primary school; enrollment was even lower for the female population—only 65 percent. In that same year, only 37 percent of the school-age population was enrolled in secondary school, including only 26 percent of eligible females.
The Yemeni diaspora is largely concentrated in the United Kingdom, where between 70,000 and 80,000 Yemenis live. Over 20,000 Yemenis reside in the United States, and an additional 2,812 live in Italy. Other Yemenis also reside in the Gulf states (especially Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain), as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and the former USSR. A smaller amount of modern day Pakistanis are of Yemeni descent, their original ancestors having left Yemen for the Indian subcontinent and South-east Asia over four centuries ago.  Tens of thousands of Yemenite Jews live in Israel.
Demographic statistics from the CIA World Factbook
Source: CIA Factbooks 2000–2010.
|Year||Birth rate (est.):
|Death rate (est.):
|Net migration rate (est.):
estimates for 2010:
- 0–14 years: 43.5% (male 5,199,954/female 5,013,165)
- 15–64 years: 53.9% (male 6,438,569/female 6,233,708)
- 65 years and over: 2.6% (male 291,319/female 318,646)
Population growth rate
- 2.713% (2010 est.)
- at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
- under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
- 15–64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
- total population: 1.03 male(s)/female
- Urban population: 31% of total population (2008)
- Rate of urbanization: 4.9% annual rate of change (2005–2010 est.)
AIDS adult prevalence rate
- 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS
- 12,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths
Life expectancy at birth
- total population: 63.36 years
- male: 61.35 years
- female: 65.47 years
Major infectious diseases
- degree of risk: cows
- food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
- vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
- water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
- noun: Yemeni(s)
- adjective: Yemeni
- World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
- Country profile: Yemen. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (August 2008). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
- Background note: Yemen. US Department of State (December 2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Yemenis in the UK
- The World Factbook - Yemen