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Flag of South Sudan

South Sudan country facts

Republic of South Sudan Africa Juba 11,562,695 inhabitants 644,329 sq km 17.95 inhabitants/sq km South Sudanese pounds (SSP) population evolution



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. Independence was attained on 9 July 2011. Since independence 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 (sq km)

total: 644,329 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries (km)

total: 5,413 km
border countries: Central African Republic 989 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 639 km, Ethiopia 934 km, Kenya 232 km, Sudan 2,184 km, Uganda 435 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

Coastline (km)

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


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


the terrain gradually rises from plains in the north and center 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 supporting agriculture and extensive wild animal populations; 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

Elevation extremes (m)

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.)

Languages (%)

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

Religions (%)

animist, Christian


11,562,695 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 45.8% (male 2,699,556/female 2,593,241)
15-24 years: 19.9% (male 1,210,962/female 1,084,810)
25-54 years: 29.1% (male 1,622,776/female 1,742,842)
55-64 years: 3.2% (male 198,106/female 166,664)
65 years and over: 2.1% (male 136,932/female 106,806) (2014 est.)

Age structure in South Sudan

Median age (years)

total: 16.8 years
male: 16.6 years
female: 17 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

4.12% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

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

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

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

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

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

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 18% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 4.23% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

JUBA (capital) 269,000 (2011)

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

2,054 deaths/100,000 live births (2006)

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

total: 68.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 72.92 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 63.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

5.43 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Drinking water source (% of population)

63.4% of population
55% of population
56.5% of population
36.6% of population
45% of population
43.5% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 15.7% of population
rural: 7.3% of population
total: 8.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 84.3% of population
rural: 92.7% of population
total: 91.1% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

2.7% (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

153,800 (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

12,900 (2012 est.)

Major infectious diseases

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

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

32.5% (2006)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 27%
male: 40%
female: 16% (2009)


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 (Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011); note - in January 2013, the mandate of the South Sudan National Constitutional Review Commission to address additional constitutional amendments was extended (2013)


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Salva KIIR Mayardit (since 9 July 2011); Vice President James Wani IGGA (since 23 August 2013); 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 and approved by a resolution from the Legislative Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held on 11-15 April 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
election results: Salva KIIR Mayardit elected president; percent of vote - Salva KIIR Mayardit 93%, Lam AKOL 7%

Legislative branch

bicameral National Legislature consists of the National Legislative Assembly (332 seats) and the Council of States (50 seats); members serve four-year terms
elections: National Legislative Assembly - last held 11-15 April 2010 (next to be held in 2015); 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 - seats by party - SPLM 20, unknown 30
note: a presidential decree of 1 August 2011 reconstituted the National Legislative Assembly, as permitted under Article 94 of the Transitional Constitution, to include the 170 members elected 11-15 April 2010, 96 former members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Sudan, and 66 newly appointed members for a total of 332; a presidential decree also established a Council of States, initially with 50 members - the 20 former members of the Council of States of the Republic of Sudan plus an additional 30 appointed representatives

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of South Sudan (consists 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

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


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
chancery: 1233 20th St. NW, Suite 602, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 293-7940
FAX: [1] (202) 293-7941

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Susan D. PAGE (since 18 October 2011)
embassy: located on Kololo Road adjacent to the EU's compound, Juba
telephone: [211] (0) 912-105-188

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 anthem

name: South Sudan Oyee! (Hooray!)
lyrics/music: collective of 49 poets/Juba University students and teachers
note: adopted 2011; the anthem was 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. South Sudan has little infrastructure - approximately 250 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 fifteen 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 is estimated to have grown by about 25% in 2013. However, the outbreak of conflict on December 15, 2013 combined with a further reduction of oil exports, means that GDP growth forecasts for 2014 are being revised downwards again, and poverty and food insecurity are rising. 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, based on 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. Following 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. Annual inflation peaked at 79.5% in May 2012 but declined rapidly thereafter, to an average of 1.7% in 2013. Following the December 2013 outbreak of violence, inflation is on the rise again. 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)

$14.71 billion (2013 est.)
$11.79 billion (2012 est.)
$22.49 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$11.77 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

24.7% (2013 est.)
-47.6% (2012 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$1,400 (2013 est.)
$1,100 (2012 est.)
$2,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Population below poverty line (%)

50.6% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

46 (2010 est.)


revenues: $437 million
expenditures: $2.259 billion (FY 2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

3.7% of GDP (FY 2013 est.)

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

-15.5% of GDP (FY 2013 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

1.7% (2013 est.)
79% (May 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$1.873 billion (31 December 2013)
$2.032 billion (31 December 2012)

Stock of broad money

$2.194 billion (31 December 2013)
$2.23 billion (31 December 2012)

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

Exchange rates

Currency converter
South Sudanese pounds (SSP) per US dollar -
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)


Electricity - production (kWh)

881.3 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

694.1 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

255,200 kW (2010 est.)

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

30.7% 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)

66.3% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

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

3% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

220,000 bbl/day (Second half of 20)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

291,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

3.75 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

13,050 bbl/day

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)

63.71 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

2.016 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

2,200 (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

2 million (2012)

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




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 (km)

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 United Nations funds (2014)

Roadways (km)

7,000 km; note - little of the road network is paved 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)

Waterways (km)

see entry for Sudan


Military branches

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

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 (% of GDP)

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): 218,534 (Sudan); 14,303 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 5,317 (Ethiopia) (2014)
IDPs: 1,095,100 1.5 million (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) (2014)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: South Sudan is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; South Sudanese women and girls, particularly those who are internally displaced or from rural areas, are vulnerable to forced labor and sexual exploitation in urban centers; the rising number of street children and child laborers are also exploited for forced labor and prostitution; women and girls from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo are trafficked to South Sudan with promises of legitimate jobs and are forced into the sex trade; inter-ethnic abductions continue in some communities in South Sudan
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - South Sudan 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 progress in implementing its UN-backed action plan to eliminate the use of child soldiers in its armed forces, but it has not demonstrated evidence of increasing efforts to address other forms of trafficking; the government has not taken steps to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and has not deployed a system to transfer victims to organizations to receive care; the government continues to indiscriminately arrest individuals in prostitution, including child sex trafficking victims, and sentence them to prison (2013)

Largest cities of South Sudan

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

# City Population