Country Governance

Tip: Enter a search term (word or phrase, as in Google) and press ENTER or click the search button

POGAR > Countries > Yemen In Brief

Basic Information

Country Flag:
Country Map: United Nations Maps: Yemen
Country Name: Republic of Yemen (Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah)
Name of Capital City: Sana’a
Date of Independence: The Republic of Yemen was established on May 22, 1990, with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sana’a) or North Yemen] and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen].
Previously, North Yemen became independent in November 1918 from the Ottoman Empire, and South Yemen became independent on November 30, 1967 from Britain.

Administrative Divisions

Regions, Provinces or Governorates: 21 governorates (muhafazat): Abyan, 'Adan, Al Bayda', Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, 'Amran, Dhamar, Hadhramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Sa'dah, San'a', Ta'izz, Al Daleh, Shabwah, Reemeh and the capital city of Sana'a.
Country Area (sq km): 527970
Population (million): 22.3 (2007)
Population, annual growth rate (%) 1975-2005: 3.6
Population, estimated growth rate (%) 2005-2015: 2.9

Political System

Type of State: Republic/unitary
Date of Constitution: The constitution was adopted on May 16, 1991 and was amended on September 29, 1994, and February 2001.

Head of State

Type: The head of state is the President.
Name of Current: Ali Abdallah Saleh has been President since May 22, 1990.

Executive Branch

About: The President appoints a Prime Minister, who is the head of the government. The Prime Minister, in consultation with the President, selects the cabinet, or Council of Ministers, to assist in the duties of the executive branch.
Name of Current: Ali Mohammad Majour (an economist) was appointed Prime Minister on March 31, 2007. He succeeded Abd Alqadir BaJamal, who headed three consecutive governments since April 4, 2001.

Legislative Branch

Type: Bicameral parliament
- House of Representatives [English][Arabic]
- Consultative Council [Arabic]


Suffrage: Suffrage is universal for all Yemeni nationals of at least 18 years of age.
- See Also: Yemen - Election Calendar and Results

Human Development Indicators

Human development index (HDI): 0.439 (2010)
HDI rank (worldwide): 133 (2010)
Adult literacy rate (% aged 15 and older): 58.9 (2007)
Female secondary gross enrollment (%): 29.9 (2005)
Gross enrollment, tertiary level education (%): 9.4 (2005)
Life expectancy at birth (years): 8.647 (2010)
Poverty index (HP1-1) value (%): 35.7 (2007)
GDP per capita (PPP US$): 2386.628 (2010)
GDP per capita (PPP US$) rank minus HDI rank: -9 (2010)
* See more human development indicators on Arab Statistics (external link)

Judiciary Branch

Legal system and codification: Islamic legal principles.
Administration: The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has administrative authority over the judiciary. The SJC reviews policies regarding the structure and functioning of the judiciary, and appoints, promotes, and transfers judges.
Supreme Court: The judicial system is composed of Courts of First Instance (Mahkama Ibtida’iyya), which hear civil, criminal, commercial, and family matters. Decisions may be appealed to the Courts of Appeal. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the Republic, located in Sana’a. It determines the constitutionality of laws and regulations, settles jurisdictional disputes between different courts, hears cases brought against high government officials, and serves as the final court of appeal for all lower court decisions.
Constitutional Court: The Supreme Court has eight separate divisions: constitutional (composed of seven judges including the Chief Justice), appeals’ scrutiny, criminal, military, civil, family, commercial, and administrative. Each division is composed of five judges.
Shari'a or Personal Status:

Membership in International Organizations

United Nations (UN): September 30, 1947
International Monetary Fund (IMF): May 22, 1990
World Trade Organization (WTO): Observer
Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC): Signed December 28, 2000, but not ratified.
World Bank – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD): October 3, 1969
World Bank – International Finance Corporation (IFC): May 2, 1970
World Bank – Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA): March 12, 1996
World Bank – International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID): Not a member

Ratification of International Conventions

- Human Rights Conventions
- International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions
- UN Conventions against Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime
- Environment Treaties