Fast Facts

N'Djamena; 797,000
1,284,000 square kilometers (495,755 square miles)
French, Arabic, Sara, Sango, more than 120 different languages and dialects
Muslim, Christian, animist
CFA franc
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $1,000
Literacy Percent:
Flag: Chad
Map: Chad

A landlocked nation in north central Africa, Chad consists of fertile lowlands in the south but is arid in the center and largely desert in the north. Since independence from France in 1960, Chad has suffered instability stemming mostly from tension between the African-Christian south and the Arab-Muslim north and east. A border dispute with Libya over the Aozou Strip went to the United Nation's International Court of Justice for arbitration; in 1994 the court ruled in favor of Chad. One of Africa's poorest countries, the start of large-scale oil production in 2004 helps the economy.


  • Industry: Oil, cotton textiles, meatpacking, beer brewing, natron (sodium carbonate)
  • Agriculture: Cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts; cattle
  • Exports: Cotton, cattle, gum arabic

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Related Features

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

2015 Traveler Photo Contest

  • Picture of a tree under night stars in Deadvlei, Namibia

    See the Winners

    Explore the top photos, share your favorites, and browse all entries.