Yemen Economy

Yemen Population, History and Economy


Yemen (Arab. اليمن – al-Jaman ), the long form of the Republic of Yemen (Arab. الجمهورية اليمنية – al-Jumhurija al-Jamanija ), is a state located on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. The republic has a population of over 27 million (2016 estimate) and is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west and the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the south, and Oman to the east. See for other countries starting with Y.

The total area of ​​mainland Yemen is less than 530,000 km². Its territories include more than 200 islands. The largest island is Socotra, which lies 415 km south of the mainland off the coast of Somalia. Yemen is the only country on the Arabian Peninsula that has a purely republican form of government. The capital of Yemen is Sana’a.

Economically, Yemen belongs to the poor countries of the Middle East.


  • Religions: Shia Muslim 55%, Sunni Muslim 42%, Christian, Hindu, Jewish 3%
  • Ethnic composition: Arabs95%, Afro -Arabs 3%, Indians, Somalis, Europeans 2%


Between 2200 Ave. us to the 6th century, ancient Yemen was part of the kingdoms of Saaba, Aswan, Main, Qataban, Hadramout, Himyar, and others that controlled the lucrative spice trade. In ancient Rome, Yemen was known as Arabia Felix (” Happy Arabia “) due to its valuable spice business. The Roman emperor Augustus tried to annex the region, but the plans failed.

For the first time in the III century and a second time in the 7th century. many Sabaeans and Himyarians migrated from Yemen to North Africa and the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula, after the destruction of the Marib Dam (sadd Ma’rib ).

7th century the Islamic Caliphate began to control the land more, Islam and the Arabic language spread in the country. As the last dynasty , the Abbasids, weakened, local Islamic dynasties established themselves in Yemen.

From the 9th century Muslim Yemen has always been divided into two historical parts: the mountainous Upper Yemen and the fertile Lower Yemen, bordering the sea. The theocratic state of the Zaidi Imamate, ruled by the Rasid dynasty of imams, established itself in Upper Yemen. The Imamate ruled from the fortress of Sadah.

At the same time, Lower Yemen was ruled by various local and foreign (mostly Egyptian ) dynasties belonging to the Sunni or Ismaili branches: Najahids, Sulayhids , Ayyubids, Rasulids, Tahirids, etc. 16th century the Ottomans established themselves, who tried to subordinate the Imamate, but in the 16th century at the end they were expelled from the country. XVII-XVIII centuries. almost all of Yemen was controlled by the Kasimid dynasty of imams.

As the Imamate weakened, in 1839 Britain occupied Aden and declared it a colony in September of the same year. The British also occupied the territories around Aden, which were administered as the Aden Protectorate. At the same time, the Ottomans renewed their expansion in Yemen and during the 19th century. conquered the northern part of Yemen. Thus, Yemen was divided into Southern and Northern parts.

in 1918 North Yemen became independent from the Ottoman Empire as the Kingdom of Yemen, and in 1962 became the Yemen Arab Republic. The monarchy and the authority of imams have been abolished in the country. in 1967 the British withdrew from South Yemen : the independent People’s Republic of South Yemen was established there.

in 1990 May 22 The 2 countries merged to form the Republic of Yemen. The new state supported Iraq in the Persian Gulf War and was punished: Saudi Arabia and Kuwait expelled many Yemeni workers. The country’s economy was hit, unemployment was more than 30%. in 1994 A civil war broke out in Yemen between Yemen and the breakaway Democratic Republic of Yemen.

in 2012 during the revolution, the long-time president of the country, Ali Abdula Saleh, resigned from his position. He handed over the post to Abdrab Mansur Hadji, whose efforts to introduce social and economic reforms met with strong opposition. The Houthis rebelled together with Saleh’s supporters in 2014. occupied Sana’a, a civil war broke out, which is still ongoing in 2022.

in 2015 An international coalition led by Saudi Arabia has intervened in the conflict on the side of President Hadi, who has accused Iran of providing support to the Houthis. Due to the war, the blockade of the ports, a humanitarian crisis arose in the country. According to the UN, in 2017 in the middle more than 10 million people (out of a population of more than 27 million in Yemen) needed emergency assistance.


The northern part of Yemen grows grain crops, fruits, vegetables, cotton, coffee, cattle, but is dependent on imports. Mocha is one of the best types of coffee, exported from Yemen for 1200 years. The southern part of Yemen is one of the poorest in the Arabian Peninsula. The climate is dry, so only a small part of the country’s land is cultivated.

Food processing, manufacturing of leather, aluminum items, cement increased, but it still generated little income.

Today, the main export product is oil. It was discovered in Yemen only in the 20th century. in the nineties.

Yemen Economy