Fast Facts

Population:
793,000
Capital:
Djibouti; 502,000
Area:
23,200 square kilometers (8,958 square miles)
Language:
French, Arabic, Somali, Afar
Religion:
Muslim, Christian
Currency:
Djiboutian franc
Life Expectancy:
43
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $1,300
Literacy Percent:
68
Flag: Djibouti
Map: Djibouti

Gateway for Red Sea shipping, Djibouti lies in northeast Africa. A French territory until 1977, France's naval base and garrison generate about half of the country's income. The capital of this resource-poor nation profits as a regional banking center with a free port and modern air facilities. Terminus of the railway from Addis Ababa, it handles much of Ethiopia's trade. A civil war in the early 1990s ended with a power-sharing agreement between the two main ethnic groups, the Issa of Somali origin and the Afar of Ethiopian origin.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Construction, agricultural processing
  • Agriculture: Fruits, vegetables; goats
  • Exports: Re-exports, hides and skins, coffee (in transit)

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

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