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Chad country facts

Republic of Chad Africa N'Djamena 11,412,107 inhabitants 1,284,000 sq km 8.89 inhabitants/sq km Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) population evolution



Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of civil warfare, as well as invasions by Libya, before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually drafted a democratic constitution and held flawed presidential elections in 1996 and 2001. In 1998, a rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which has sporadically flared up despite several peace agreements between the government and the insurgents. In 2005, new rebel groups emerged in western Sudan and made probing attacks into eastern Chad despite signing peace agreements in December 2006 and October 2007. In June 2005, President Idriss DEBY held a referendum successfully removing constitutional term limits and won another controversial election in 2006. Sporadic rebel campaigns continued throughout 2006 and 2007. The capital experienced a significant insurrection in early 2008, but has had no significant rebel threats since then, in part due to Chad's 2010 rapprochement with Sudan, which previously used Chadian rebels as proxies. DEBY in 2011 was reelected to his fourth term in an election that international observers described as proceeding without incident. Power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority. In January 2014, Chad began a two year rotation on the UN Security Council.



Central Africa, south of Libya

Geographic coordinates

15 00 N, 19 00 E

Area (sq km)

total: 1.284 million sq km
land: 1,259,200 sq km
water: 24,800 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly more than three times the size of California

Land boundaries (km)

total: 6,406 km
border countries: Cameroon 1,116 km, Central African Republic 1,556 km, Libya 1,050 km, Niger 1,196 km, Nigeria 85 km, Sudan 1,403 km

Coastline (km)

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


tropical in south, desert in north


broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Djourab 160 m
highest point: Emi Koussi 3,415 m

Natural resources

petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt

Land use (%)

arable land: 3.82%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 96.16% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

302.7 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

43 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 0.88 cu km/yr (12%/12%/76%)
per capita: 84.81 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues

Environment - current issues

inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping

Geography - note

note 1: Chad is largest of Africa's 16 landlocked countries
note 2: not long ago - geologically speaking - what is today the Sahara was green savanah teeming with wildlife; during the African Humid Period, roughly 11,000 to 5,000 years ago, a vibrant animal community, including elephants, giraffes, hippos, and antelope lived there; the last remnant of the "Green Sahara" exists in the Lakes of Ounianga (oo-nee-ahn-ga) in northern Chad, a series of 18 interconnected freshwater, saline, and hypersaline lakes now protected as a World Heritage site
note 3: Lake Chad, the most significant water body in the Sahel, is a remnant of a former inland sea, paleolake Mega-Chad; at its greatest extent, sometime before 5000 B.C., Lake Mega-Chad was the largest of four Saharan paleolakes that existed during the African Humid Period; it covered an area of about 400,000 sq km (150,000 sq mi), i.e., roughly the size of today's Caspian Sea

People and Society


noun: Chadian(s)
adjective: Chadian

Ethnic groups (%)

Sara 27.7%, Arab 12.3%, Mayo-Kebbi 11.5%, Kanem-Bornou 9%, Ouaddai 8.7%, Hadjarai 6.7%, Tandjile 6.5%, Gorane 6.3%, Fitri-Batha 4.7%, other 6.4%, unknown 0.3% (1993 census)

Languages (%)

French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects

Religions (%)

Muslim 53.1%, Catholic 20.1%, Protestant 14.2%, animist 7.3%, other 0.5%, unknown 1.7%, atheist 3.1% (1993 census)


11,412,107 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 44.7% (male 2,588,424/female 2,515,935)
15-24 years: 20.6% (male 1,143,812/female 1,211,136)
25-54 years: 27.8% (male 1,436,018/female 1,737,901)
55-64 years: 3.9% (male 193,173/female 247,584)
65 years and over: 3% (male 140,592/female 197,532) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Chad

Median age (years)

total: 17.2 years
male: 16.1 years
female: 18.2 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

1.92% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

37.29 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

14.56 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

-3.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 21.8% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

N'DJAMENA (capital) 1.079 million (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.83 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

1,100 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 90.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 95.92 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 84.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 49.44 years
male: 48.3 years
female: 50.63 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

4.68 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

4.3% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

0.04 physicians/1,000 population (2006)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

0.43 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 71.8% of population
rural: 44.8% of population
total: 50.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 28.2% of population
rural: 55.2% of population
total: 49.3% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 31.4% of population
rural: 6.5% of population
total: 11.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 68.6% of population
rural: 93.5% of population
total: 88.1% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

2.7% (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

213,100 (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

14,400 (2012 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

2.7% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

33.9% (2004)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

2.3% of GDP (2011)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic
total population: 35.4%
male: 45.6%
female: 25.4% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 7 years
male: 9 years
female: 6 years (2011)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Chad
conventional short form: Chad
local long form: Republique du Tchad/Jumhuriyat Tshad
local short form: Tchad/Tshad

Government type



name: N'Djamena
geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 15 02 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

23 regions (regions, singular - region); Barh el Gazel, Batha, Borkou, Chari-Baguirmi, Ennedi-Est, Ennedi-Quest, Guera, Hadjer-Lamis, Kanem, Lac, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul, Mayo-Kebbi Est, Mayo-Kebbi Ouest, Moyen-Chari, Ouaddai, Salamat, Sila, Tandjile, Tibesti, Ville de N'Djamena, Wadi Fira


11 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 11 August (1960)


several previous; latest passed by referendum 31 March 1996, entered into force 8 April 1996; amended 2005 (2010)

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Idriss DEBY Itno, Lt. Gen. (since 4 December 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Kalzeube Pahimi DEUBET (since 21 November 2013)
cabinet: Council of State; members are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; if no candidate receives at least 50% of the total vote, the two candidates receiving the most votes must stand for a second round of voting; last election held on 25 April 2011 (next to be held by 2016); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno reelected president; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY 83.6%, Albert Pahimi PADACKE 8.6%, Nadji MADOU 7.8%

Legislative branch

unicameral National Assembly (188 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: National Assembly - last held on 13 February 2011 (next to be held by 2015); note - legislative elections, originally scheduled for 2006, were first delayed by National Assembly action and subsequently by an accord, signed in August 2007, between government and opposition parties
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ART 133, UNDR 11, others 44

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 15 judges or councilors and divided into 3 chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 3 judges and 6 jurists)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice selected by the president; councilors - 8 designated by the president and 7 by the speaker of the National Assembly; chief justice and councilors appointed for life; Constitutional Council judges - 2 appointed by the president and 1 by the speaker of the National Assembly; jurists - 3 each by the president and by the speaker of the National Assembly; judges term NA
subordinate courts: High Court of Justice; Courts of Appeal; tribunals; justices of the peace

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for the Renaissance of Chad or ART, an alliance among the ruling MPS, RDP, and Viva-RNDP
Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarledjy YORONGAR]
National Rally for Development and Progress or Viva-RNDP [Dr. Nouradine Delwa Kassire COUMAKOYE]
National Union for Democracy and Renewal or UNDR [Saleh KEBZABO]
Party for Liberty and Development or PLD [Jean-Baptiste LAOKOLE]
Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [Mahamat Saleh AHMAT, chairman]
Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Lol Mahamat CHOUA]
Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Sande NGARYIMBE]

Political pressure groups and leaders

rebel groups

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Mahamat NASSER (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 2401 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-4009
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1937

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador James KNIGHT (since 13 March 2013)
embassy: Avenue Felix Eboue, N'Djamena
mailing address: B. P. 413, N'Djamena
telephone: [235] 2251-70-09
FAX: [235] 2251-56-54

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; the flag combines the blue and red French (former colonial) colors with the red and yellow of the Pan-African colors; blue symbolizes the sky, hope, and the south of the country, which is relatively well-watered; yellow represents the sun, as well as the desert in the north of the country; red stands for progress, unity, and sacrifice
note: similar to the flag of Romania; also similar to the flags of Andorra and Moldova, both of which have a national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; design was based on the flag of France

National symbol(s)

goat (north); lion (south)

National anthem

name: "La Tchadienne" (The Chadian)
lyrics/music: Louis GIDROL and his students/Paul VILLARD
note: adopted 1960


Economy - overview

Oil and agriculture drive Chad’s economy. At least 80% of Chad's population relies for its livelihood on subsistence farming and livestock raising and oil provides the bulk of export revenues. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings. Remittances have also been an important source of income and Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment. Oil production came on stream in late 2003 and Chad began to export oil in 2004. Economic growth has been positive in recent years due to high oil prices and strong local harvests, but Chad’s fiscal situation is repeatedly exposed to declining oil prices and drought . Recently, the economy has been strained by the costs of repatriating Chadians fleeing the violence in Sudan country facts" data-cl-code="SDS">South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Chad's investment climate remains challenging due to limited infrastructure, a lack of trained workers, extensive government bureaucracy, and corruption.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$28 billion (2013 est.)
$26.94 billion (2012 est.)
$24.74 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$13.59 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

3.9% (2013 est.)
8.9% (2012 est.)
0.1% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$2,500 (2013 est.)
$2,500 (2012 est.)
$2,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 46.3%
industry: 9.9%
services: 43.8% (2013 est.)

Labor force

4.293 million (2007)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)


Population below poverty line (%)

80% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 30.8% (2003)


revenues: $2.753 billion
expenditures: $3.557 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

20.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

-5.9% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

30.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
31.3% of GDP (2012 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

4.5% (2013 est.)
10.2% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

15.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
15.5% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$1.598 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.442 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$1.804 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.559 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$832.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
NA% (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares


Agriculture - products

cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), cattle, sheep, goats, camels


oil, cotton textiles, meatpacking, brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials

Industrial production growth rate (%)

10% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$827.1 million (2013 est.)
-$378.9 million (2012 est.)


$3.865 billion (2013 est.)
$4.126 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

oil, cattle, cotton, gum arabic

Exports - partners (%)

US 81.9%, China 6.7% (2012)


$2.701 billion (2013 est.)
$NA (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, foodstuffs, textiles

Imports - partners (%)

China 20.2%, Cameroon 18.2%, France 16.1%, Saudi Arabia 5.6%, US 4.2% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.304 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.174 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$1.828 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.794 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$4.5 billion (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad


Exchange rates

Currency converter
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
500.7 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
495.28 (2010 est.)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

98 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

91.14 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

31,000 kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

100% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

104,500 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

125,700 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

1.5 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

1,817 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

1,754 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

999.5 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

289,800 Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

29,900 (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

4.2 million (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: inadequate system of radiotelephone communication stations with high costs and low telephone density
domestic: fixed-line connections for less than 1 per 100 persons coupled with mobile-cellular subscribership base of only about 35 per 100 persons
international: country code - 235; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

1 state-owned TV station; state-owned radio network, Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne (RNT), operates national and regional stations; about 10 private radio stations; some stations rebroadcast programs from international broadcasters (2007)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

6 (2012)

Internet users

168,100 (2009)



59 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 9
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 50
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 11 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

oil 582 km (2013)

Roadways (km)

total: 40,000 km
note: consists of 25,000 km of national and regional roads and 15,000 km of local roads; 206 km of urban roads are paved (2011)

Waterways (km)

(Chari and Legone rivers are navigable only in wet season) (2012)


Military branches

Chadian National Army (Armee Nationale du Tchad, ANT): Ground Forces (l'Armee de Terre, AdT), Chadian Air Force (l'Armee de l'Air Tchadienne, AAT), National Gendarmerie, National and Nomadic Guard of Chad (GNNT) (2013)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

20 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service, with a 3-year service obligation; 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service; no minimum age restriction for volunteers with consent from a parent or guardian; women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age of 21 (2012)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 2,090,244
females age 16-49: 2,441,321 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 1,183,242
females age 16-49: 1,395,811 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 128,723
female: 128,244 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

NA% (2012)
2.28% of GDP (2011)
NA% (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

since 2003, ad hoc armed militia groups and the Sudanese military have driven hundreds of thousands of Darfur residents into Chad; Chad wishes to be a helpful mediator in resolving the Darfur conflict, and in 2010 established a joint border monitoring force with Sudan, which has helped to reduce cross-border banditry and violence; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 352,948 (Sudan); 110,000 (Central African Republic) (2014)
IDPs: 90,000 (majority are in the east) (2013)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the trafficking problem is mainly internal and frequently involves family members entrusting children to relatives or intermediaries in return for promises of education, apprenticeships, goods, or money; child trafficking victims are subjected to involuntary domestic servitude, forced cattle herding, forced begging, involuntary agricultural labor, or commercial sexual exploitation; some Chadian girls who travel to larger towns in search of work are forced into prostitution; in 2012, Chadian children were identified in some government military training centers and among rebel groups
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Chad does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has made a limited commitment to increased anti-trafficking law enforcement but continues to lack formal victim identification procedures; draft revisions to Chad's penal code that would prohibit child trafficking and provide protection for victims were not enacted for the third consecutive year; the government continues its nationwide campaign on human rights issues, including human trafficking, and high-ranking officials, such as the president and prime minister, are speaking out publicly against human trafficking (2013)

Largest cities of Chad

These are the 50 largest cities of Chad ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Moundou 135,167
2 Sarh 102,528
3 Abéché 74,188
4 Kélo 42,533
5 Koumra 36,263
6 Pala 35,466
7 Am Timan 28,885
8 Bongor 27,770
9 Mongo 27,763
10 Doba 24,336
11 Ati 24,074
12 Laï 19,382
13 Oum Hadjer 19,271
14 Bitkine 18,495
15 Mao 18,031
16 Massaguet 17,906
17 Dourbali 17,682
18 Kyabé 16,177
19 Bénoy 15,717
20 Massakory 15,406
21 Moussoro 15,190
22 Bokoro 14,723
23 Béré 14,666
24 Bousso 13,555
25 Fianga 13,441
26 Faya 13,400
27 Ngama 12,438
28 Adré 11,928
29 Guélengdeng 11,379
30 Moïssala 11,264
31 Biltine 11,000
32 Bol 10,551
33 Goundi 10,052
34 Beinamar 7,445
35 Melfi 5,784
36 Béboto 5,432