By:Kristin Coady

Facts about Somalia

Location: East Africa

Capital: Mogadishu

Population: 10 million

Size: Slightly smaller than Texas

Language: Somali

Ethnic Groups: Somali: 85% Bantu and other: 15%

Religion: Sunni Muslim

Life Expectancy: 51 years old

Child Mortality Rate: 104 deaths per 1,000 births

Access To Clean Water: 29%

Literacy Rate: Male: 50% Female: 26%

Primary School Enrollment: Boys: 13% Girls: 7%

Population Living On Less Than $2: 73%

Civil War

In 1991, a civil war broke out in Somalia against different ethnic groups for control of the government. 14 years after the civil war, Somali clans decided on a transitional parliament and held elections in 2005. A year later, another civil war broke out in Somalia. About 1.4 million people have been displaced from their homes due to years of conflict and instability. Thousands of people left in 2011, when a serious famine struck. Because of this, many services were destroyed including schools, roads, bridges, water sources, markets, and health facilities. As of today, Somalia is one of the poorest countries and still doesn't have a stable government.

Did you know?

  • The people of Somalia have the same religion, language, and culture, but they are all divided into their own clans and sub-clans.
  • The Laas Geel cave paintings, which are located in Somalia date back to 9,000 B.C.E. are some of the earliest known examples of art in Africa.
  • Camels are a source of wealth in Somalia which are used for transportation, meat, and milk.
  • Somalia is home to elephants, gazelles, lions, and cheetahs.
  • Somalia is one of the 3 countries in the world who hasn't ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a child.