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North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border. Fighting in the northwest between the government and Huthi rebels, a group seeking a return to traditional Zaydi Islam, began in 2004 and has since resulted in six rounds of fighting - the last ended in early 2010 with a ceasefire that continues to hold. The southern secessionist movement was revitalized in 2008 when a popular socioeconomic protest movement initiated the prior year took on political goals including secession. Public rallies in Sana'a against President SALIH - inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt - slowly built momentum starting in late January 2011 fueled by complaints over high unemployment, poor economic conditions, and corruption. By the following month, some protests had resulted in violence, and the demonstrations had spread to other major cities. By March the opposition had hardened its demands and was unifying behind calls for SALIH's immediate ouster. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in late April 2011, in an attempt to mediate the crisis in Yemen, proposed an agreement in which the president would step down in exchange for immunity from prosecution. SALIH's refusal to sign an agreement led to heavy street fighting and his injury in an explosion in June 2011. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2014 in October 2011 calling on both sides to end the violence and complete a power transfer deal. In late November 2011, President SALIH signed the GCC-brokered agreement to step down and to transfer some of his powers to Vice President Abd al-Rabuh Mansur HADI. Following elections in February 2012, won by HADI, SALIH formally transferred his powers.


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Economy - overview
Yemen is a low income country that is highly dependent on declining oil resources for revenue. Petroleum accounts for roughly 25% of GDP and 70% of government revenue. Yemen has tried to counter the effects of its declining oil resources by diversifying its economy through an economic reform program initiated in 2006 that is designed to bolster non-oil sectors of the economy and foreign investment. In October 2009, Yemen exported its first liquefied natural gas as part of this diversification effort. In January 2010, the international community established the Friends of Yemen group that aims to support Yemen's efforts toward economic and political reform, and in August 2010 the IMF approved a three-year $370 million program to further this effort. Despite these ambitious endeavors, Yemen continues to face difficult long term challenges, including declining water resources and a high population growth rate.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 88
$58.71 billion (2011 est.)
$65.58 billion (2010 est.)
$60.89 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$33.68 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 216
-10.5% (2011 est.)
7.7% (2010 est.)
3.9% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 185
$2,300 (2011 est.)
$2,700 (2010 est.)
$2,600 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 7.9%
Industry 42.2%
Services 49.9% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 63
7.03 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Most people are employed in agriculture and herding; services, construction, industry, and commerce account for less than one-fourth of the labor force

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 182
35% (2003 est.)

Population below poverty line
45.2% (2003)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2.9%
Highest 10% 30.8% (2005)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 73
37.7 (2005)
33.4 (1998)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 123
17.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Revenues $7.304 billion
Expenditures $10.62 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 148
21.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 197
-9.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 82
39.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
36% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 217
20% (2011 est.)
11.2% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 8
25% (31 December 2011 est.)
25% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 102
$4.645 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.679 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 105
$10.17 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$10.13 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 108
$6.637 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$6.183 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Agriculture - products
Grain, fruits, vegetables, pulses, qat, coffee, cotton; dairy products, livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, camels), poultry; fish

Crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; small aluminum products factory; cement; commercial ship repair; natural gas production

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 18
9% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 109
6.153 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 116
4.646 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 38
258,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 63
157,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 54
207,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 80
64,610 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 30
3 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 70
520 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 105
100 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 42
420 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 77
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 30
478.5 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 139
-$1.708 billion (2011 est.)
-$1.468 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 104
$7.588 billion (2011 est.)
$7.718 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish, liquefied natural gas

Exports - partners
China 27.3%, Thailand 12.4%, India 10.9%, South Korea 9.8%, Japan 5.6%, US 5.4%, South Africa 4.5%, UAE 4.3% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 103
$8.262 billion (2011 est.)
$8.701 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Imports - partners
UAE 18.5%, China 11.6%, Saudi Arabia 8.7%, Kuwait 6.5%, India 6.4%, France 4.6%, US 4.1% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 93
$4.37 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$5.942 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 105
$6.613 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$6.578 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

Exchange rates
Yemeni rials (YER) per US dollar -
213.8 (2011 est.)
219.59 (2010 est.)
202.85 (2009)
199.76 (2008)
199.14 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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Yemen (Sanaa):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Yemen (Sanaa)

square Ahl Ahmad Muhafazat Lahij

square Wadi Qaydun Muhafazat Hadramawt

square Jabal Radfar Muhafazat Lahij

square Jabal Anwa` Dhamar

square Dijishub Muhafazat Dhamar

square Jabal Yuwan Muhafazat Hadramawt

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