Overview of Somalia

Overview of Somalia Last updated on Sunday 25th April 2010

Overview Somalia


Somalia, also called the Somali Democratic Republic, is located on the Horn of Africa, the easternmost part of the African continent. The total area is 637,657 sq. km, and the capital is Mogadishu.


The 1995 estimated population was 8.9 million, though 13 million is an estimated average which includes Somalis living outside Somalia. About 70% of all Somalis are nomads who travel with their herds through Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Somalia joined the Arab League in 1974.


Mogadishu (750,000 people)

Other main cities

Berbera, Merca, Kismayu Hargeisa and Boroma.


The official language of Somalia is Somali, which, despite attempts to introduce Arabic script, uses the Roman alphabet. Arabic and English are also used widely.


The official religion is Islam. About 99% of Somalis are Sunni Muslims.


637,657 sq. km

Date of independence

1 July 1960

Head of state

President Ali Mahdi Mohamed

Political structure

Since the overthrow of Siad Barre and the wars between factions, interim presidents and a fervent political climate have meant that no party has ever really gained full control of the government.


Somali shilling = 100 cents

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