South Sudan - Statistics & Facts

Published by H. Plecher, May 16, 2018
South Sudan is located in East- Central Africa, and it borders a total of six countries. It has a population of about 13 million inhabitants, which is expected to increase by roughly 3.5 million until 2022. Juba, the capital of the country, is the most populated city in South Sudan, and is home to approximately 320,000 people. Although the country is among the ones suffering from the worst living conditions in terms of medical and educational systems - one result is a high birth rate - the fertility rate here is one of the highest worldwide. In 2016, it amounted to 5.19 children per woman.

Another result of the substandard living conditions, which also include poor access to drinking water or water supply in general, is a low life expectancy. In 2015, life expectancy at birth in South Sudan was only 56.1 years, which leaves the country amid the top 20 countries with the lowest life expectancy worldwide. In addition, the high number of AIDS-related deaths and the relatively high prevalence of HIV among its population contributes to South Sudan having one of the worst health indicators worldwide. Additionally, this contributes to its low rankings in various socioeconomic sectors.

Until 2011, South Sudan was part of what is nowadays simply known as Sudan. After decades of war between the two of them, the Republic of South Sudan held a referendum on the status of their independence, with 98 percent of the voters being in favor of secession. South Sudan was declared an independent state in July 2011. The official languages spoken in the country are English and Arabic.

In December 2013, due to the conflicts between the government and opposition forces, a humanitarian crisis arose and led to shortages of food and other supplies. This is mirrored in the state’s GDP growth rate, which shows extremely unstable growth, fluctuating between 29 and approximately -52 percent in the course of 2 years alone. Consequently, socioeconomic conflicts, high corruption levels, and the high number of deaths from terrorist attacks, make South Sudan one of the least peaceful countries in the world, which in turn worsens the state’s economic situation even more. The considerably increased national debt of the country, which accounted for 65.66 percent of the GDP in 2015, is another factor that contributed to the state's unreliable fiscal situation.

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