South Sudan facts on every entity in the world

Egypt attempted to colonize the region of southern Sudan by establishing the province of Equatoria in the 1870s. Islamic Mahdist revolutionaries overran the region in 1885, but in 1898 a British force was able to overthrow the Mahdist regime. An Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was established the following year with Equatoria being the southernmost of its eight provinces. The isolated region was largely left to itself over the following decades, but Christian missionaries converted much of the population and facilitated the spread of English. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the understanding that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the political system. When the Arab Khartoum government reneged on its promises, a mutiny began that led to two prolonged periods of conflict (1955-1972 and 1983-2005) in which perhaps 2.5 million people died - mostly civilians - due to starvation and drought. Ongoing peace talks finally resulted in a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in January 2005. As part of this agreement, the south was granted a six-year period of autonomy to be followed by a referendum on final status. The result of this referendum, held in January 2011, was a vote of 98% in favor of secession. Since independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has struggled with good governance and nation building and has attempted to control rebel militia groups operating in its territory. Economic conditions have deteriorated since January 2012 when the government decided to shut down oil production following bilateral disagreements with Sudan.



East-Central Africa; south of Sudan, north of Uganda and Kenya, west of Ethiopia

Geographic coordinates

8.00° N, 30.00° E

Area 42/257

total: 644,329 sq km

land: NA

water: NA

Area - comparative

more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries

total: 6,018 km

border countries (6): Central African Republic 1,055 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 714 km, Ethiopia 1,299 km, Kenya 317 km, Sudan 2,158 km, Uganda 475 km

note: South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment; final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


hot with seasonal rainfall influenced by the annual shift of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone; rainfall heaviest in upland areas of the south and diminishes to the north


plains in the north and center rise to southern highlands along the border with Uganda and Kenya; the White Nile, flowing north out of the uplands of Central Africa, is the major geographic feature of the country; The Sudd (a name derived from floating vegetation that hinders navigation) is a large swampy area of more than 100,000 sq km fed by the waters of the White Nile that dominates the center of the country


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

Lowest point: NA

highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m

Natural resources

hydropower, fertile agricultural land, gold, diamonds, petroleum, hardwoods, limestone, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver

Geography - note

The Sudd is a vast swamp in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile, comprising more than 15% of the total area; it is one of the world's largest wetlands

People and Society


noun: South Sudanese (singular and plural)

adjective: South Sudanese

Ethnic groups

Dinka 35.8%, Nuer 15.6%, Shilluk, Azande, Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, Acholi (2011 est.)


English (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants), regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk


animist, Christian

Population 75/238

12,042,910 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 45.34% (male 2,783,904/female 2,676,370)

15-24 years: 20.08% (male 1,274,328/female 1,144,181)

25-54 years: 29.25% (male 1,701,044/female 1,821,277)

55-64 years: 3.23% (male 210,231/female 179,076)

65 years and over: 2.1% (male 140,993/female 111,506) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 83.7%

youth dependency ratio: 77.3%

elderly dependency ratio: 6.4%

potential support ratio: 15.7% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 17 years

male: 16.8 years

female: 17.1 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 1/233

4.02% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 15/224

36.91 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 91/225

8.18 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 9/222

11.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 18.8% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 5.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

JUBA (capital) 321,000 (2015)

Maternal mortality rate 1/184

789 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 16/224

total: 66.39 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 71.05 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 61.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 11/224

5.31 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

4% (2010)

Health expenditures 186/191

2.2% of GDP (2013)

Drinking water source


urban: 66.7% of population

rural: 56.9% of population

total: 58.7% of population


urban: 33.3% of population

rural: 43.1% of population

total: 41.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 16.4% of population

rural: 4.5% of population

total: 6.7% of population


urban: 83.6% of population

rural: 95.5% of population

total: 93.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

2.71% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

193,400 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

12,700 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

6.6% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 10/138

27.6% (2010)

Education expenditures

0.7% of GDP (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 18.5%

male: 20%

female: 17% (2008 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of South Sudan

conventional short form: South Sudan

Government type



name: Juba

geographic coordinates: 04 51 N 31 37 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

10 states; Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria


9 July 2011 (from Sudan)

National holiday

Independence Day, 9 July (2011)


previous 2005 (preindependence); latest signed 7 July 2011, effective 9 July 2011 (Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011); amended 2015 (2015)


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of South Sudan

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Salva KIIR Mayardit (since 9 July 2011); First Vice President Riek MACHAR (since 11 February 2016) and Second Vice President James Wani IGGA (since 12 February 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Salva KIIR Mayardit (since 9 July 2011); Vice President James Wani IGGA (since 23 August 2013)

cabinet: National Council of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by National Legislative Assembly

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11-15 April 2010 (the next election has been postponed from 2015 to 2018 due to instability and violence)

election results: Salva KIIR Mayardit elected president; percent of vote - Salva KIIR Mayardit (SPLM) 93%, Lam AKOL (SPLM-DC) 7%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Legislature consists of the Council of States (50 seats; the Council of States, established by presidential decree in August 2011, includes 50 members - 20 former members of the Council of States and 30 appointed representatives ) and the National Legislative Assembly (332 seats; the National Assembly, also established by presidential decree in August 2011, includes 170 members elected in April 2010, 96 members of the former National Assembly, and 66 newly appointed members)

elections: National Legislative Assembly - last held 11-15 April 2010 but did not take office until July 2011; because of political instability, current parliamentary term extended until next election on 9 July 2018); Council of States - established and members appointed 1 August 2011

election results: National Legislative Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SPLM 251, SPLM-DC 6, NCP 3, independent 6, unknown 66; Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SPLM 20, unknown 30

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of South Sudan (consists of 7 justices including the court president and deputy president and organized into panels of 3 justices except when sitting as a Constitutional panel of all 7 justices)

judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president upon proposal of the Judicial Service Council, a 9-member judicial and administrative body; judge tenure NA

subordinate courts: national level - Courts of Appeal; High Courts; County Courts; state level - High Courts; County Courts; customary courts; other specialized courts and tribunals

Political parties and leaders

National Congress Party of NCP [Omar al-BASHIR]

Sudan People's Liberation Movement or SPLM [Salva KIIR Mayardit]

Sudan People's Liberation Movement for Democratic Change or SPLM-DC [Lam AKOL]

International organization participation


Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green; the red band is edged in white; a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side contains a gold, five-pointed star; black represents the people of South Sudan, red the blood shed in the struggle for freedom, green the verdant land, and blue the waters of the Nile; the gold star represents the unity of the states making up South Sudan

note: resembles the flag of Kenya; one of only two national flags to display six colors as part of its primary design, the other is South Africa's

National symbol(s)

African fish eagle; national colors: red, green, blue, yellow, black, white

National anthem

name: South Sudan Oyee! (Hooray!)

lyrics/music: collective of 49 poets/Juba University students and teachers

note: adopted 2011; anthem selected in a national contest


Economy - overview

Following several decades of civil war with Sudan, industry and infrastructure in landlocked South Sudan are severely underdeveloped and poverty is widespread. Subsistence agriculture provides a living for the vast majority of the population. Property rights are insecure and price signals are weak, because markets are not well organized. After independence, South Sudan's central bank issued a new currency, the South Sudanese Pound, allowing a short grace period for turning in the old currency.

South Sudan has little infrastructure - approximately 250 kilometers of paved roads. Electricity is produced mostly by costly diesel generators, and indoor plumbing and potable water are scarce. South Sudan depends largely on imports of goods, services, and capital - mainly from Uganda, Kenya and Sudan.

Nevertheless, South Sudan does have abundant natural resources. At independence in 2011, South Sudan produced nearly three-fourths of former Sudan's total oil output of nearly a half million barrels per day. The government of South Sudan derives nearly 98% of its budget revenues from oil. Oil is exported through two pipelines that run to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The economy of South Sudan will remain linked to Sudan for some time, given the long lead time and great expense required to build another pipeline, should the government decide to do so. In January 2012, South Sudan suspended production of oil because of its dispute with Sudan over transshipment fees. This suspension lasted 15 months and had a devastating impact on GDP, which declined by 48% in 2012. With the resumption of oil flows the economy rebounded strongly during the second half of calendar year 2013. This occurred in spite of the fact that oil production, at an average level of 222,000 barrels per day, was 40% lower compared with 2011, prior to the shutdown. GDP grew by about 25% in 2014. However, the outbreak of conflict on 15 December 2013 combined with a further reduction of oil exports, meant that GDP growth fell significantly in 2014 and poverty and food insecurity rose. South Sudan holds one of the richest agricultural areas in Africa with fertile soils and abundant water supplies. Currently the region supports 10-20 million head of cattle.

South Sudan is currently burdened by considerable debt, accrued largely in 2012, because of rapidly accumulating arrears and increased military spending. South Sudan has received more than $4 billion in foreign aid since 2005, largely from the UK, the US, Norway, and the Netherlands. Annual inflation peaked at 79.5% in May 2012 but declined rapidly thereafter, to 1.7% in 2014, before jumping back to 41.1% in 2015, following the December 2013 outbreak of violence. Long-term challenges include diversifying the formal economy, alleviating poverty, maintaining macroeconomic stability, improving tax collection and financial management and improving the business environment.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 140/230

$22.46 billion (2015 est.)

$23.73 billion (2014 est.)

$23.05 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$12.88 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 214/225

-5.3% (2015 est.)

2.9% (2014 est.)

29.3% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 203/230

$2,000 (2015 est.)

$2,100 (2014 est.)

$2,000 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 154/179

9% of GDP (2015 est.)

15.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

11.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 34.9%

government consumption: 17.1%

investment in fixed capital: 10.4%

exports of goods and services: 64.9%

imports of goods and services: -27.2%

(2011 est.)

Agriculture - products

sorghum, maize, rice, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, mangoes, papayas, bananas, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, cotton, sesame seeds, cassava (manioc, tapioca), beans, peanuts; cattle, sheep

Population below poverty line

50.6% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 36/144

46 (2010 est.)


revenues: $437 million

expenditures: $2.259 billion (FY 2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 217/219

3.4% of GDP (FY 2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 213/220

-14.1% of GDP (FY 2013 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 224/226

41.1% (2015 est.)

1.7% (2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 129/192

$1.873 billion (31 December 2013)

$2.032 billion (31 December 2012)

Stock of broad money 150/193

$2.194 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

$2.23 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Current account balance 104/197

-$623 million (2015 est.)

$380 million (2014 est.) (2014 est.)

Exchange rates

South Sudanese pounds (SSP) per US dollar -

0.89 (2015 est.)

0.75 (2014 est.)

0.76 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.72 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 154/220

881.3 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 165/219

694.1 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 182/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 187/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 155/214

255,200 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 181/214

30.7% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 161/214

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 32/214

66.3% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 70/212

3% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production 38/214

220,000 bbl/day (Second half, 2013 est.)

Crude oil - exports 26/214

291,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports 112/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 28/215

3.75 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 129/213

13,050 bbl/day

Natural gas - production 116/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 184/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 161/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 117/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 59/212

63.71 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 149/212

2.016 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - mobile cellular 141/217

total: 2.9 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 25 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

international: country code - 211

Broadcast media

TV is controlled by the government; several private FM stations are operational in South Sudan; some foreign radio broadcasts are available

Internet country code



Airports 64/236

85 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 82

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12

914 to 1,523 m: 35

under 914 m: 34 (2013)


1 (2013)

Railways 126/136

total: 248 km

note: a narrow guage, single-track railroad between Babonosa (Sudan) and Wau, the only existing rail system, was repaired in 2010 with $250 million in UN funds (2014)

Roadways 145/223

total: 7,000 km

note: most of the road network is unpaved and much of it is in disrepair; a 192-km paved road between the capital, Juba, and Nimule on the Ugandan border was constructed with USAID funds in 2012 (2012)


see entry for Sudan

Military and Security

Military branches

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)

Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service; the Government of South Sudan signed a revised action plan with the UN in March 2012 to demobilize all child soldiers within the SPLA; UNICEF reported 250 confirmed cases of the SPLA's association with children at the end of 2012 (2012)

Military expenditures 1/132

10.32% of GDP (2012)

5.8% of GDP (2011)

10.32% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan; periodic violent skirmishes with South Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic; the boundary that separates Kenya and South Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 241,002 (Sudan); 15,916 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2015)

IDPs: 1,696,962 (alleged coup attempt and ethnic conflict beginning in December 2013; information is lacking on those displaced in earlier years by: fighting in Abyei between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in May 2011; clashes between the SPLA and dissident militia groups in South Sudan; inter-ethnic conflicts over resources and cattle; attacks from the Lord's Resistance Army; floods and drought) (2015)