Djibouti has a population of 900,000 (2015), growing at 1.3%, with a density of 38 inhabitants per square kilometer.[1] The majority of the population is urban, with 77% of the total population living in urban areas in 2015.[2] 

The population below the age of 30 in Djibouti made up 82.6% of the total population in 2015 with a fertility rate of 3.1 children per woman for the same year.[1]

Life expectancy reached 62.3 years in 2015 much below the Arab regional average of 70.6 years.[1] Similarly, the maternal mortality of 229 per 100,000 live births in 2015 is worse than the regional average of 156 per 100,000 live births.[3]

According to the most recent survey data that is publicly available, and which dates back to 2006, 26.9% of the population were estimated as multi-dimensionally poor, while an additional 16.0% lived near multidimensional poverty.[4] In 2015, 42% of the population were living in absolute poverty with 74% living below USD 3 per day, based on the most recent WFP figures.[5]

Djibouti’s adult literacy rate leveled at 49.5% in 2012[7], which is considered low compared to a regional average of 80.5% in 2015.[7] However, Djibouti has made significant strides in its enrollment rates. The primary gross enrollment rate doubled between 2000 and 2015, increasing from 31.1% in 2000 to 66.3% 2015, with an increase in the Gender Parity Index (GPI) from 0.7 to 0.9 for the same years. At the same time, the tertiary enrollment rate rose from 0.3% in 2000 to 5.0% in 2011, while the GPI decreased from 0.9 to 0.7 between 2000 and 2011.[3]

Djibouti is a lower-middle-income country [8] with an estimated GDP (Purchasing Power Parity, constant 2011 prices) of Int$ 2.7 billion in 2014.[3] GDP growth rate (constant 2005 prices), driven by large investment projects,[4] continued its rapid pace in 2015, with a steady increase from 3.5% in 2000 to 6.5% in 2015.[10] Given the country’s geostrategic position, the economy is mainly concentrated on transport, storage and communication with a gross value added share at 25.5% of GDP in 2014.[11] Djibouti registered consecutive cash deficits since 2009, reaching 0.4% of GDP in 2015, with grants constituting around 16% of the Government revenues.[12] In 2015, Djibouti had a gross public debt of 55.5% of GDP.[10]

Trade accounts for a significant part of the economy in Djibouti. The international trade-to-GDP ratio is high reaching 134 in 2007, with trade in services amounted to 37% of GDP in 2014. Djibouti recorded a current account deficit of 308 million US Dollar.[3]

The country’s main exports are wood charcoal and livestock, while the main imports consist of fuel, food and machinery. Since 995, Djibouti has become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The labor force participation rate in Djibouti increased from 48.9% in 2000 to 52.3% in 2015. Women labor force participation rate witnessed a higher increase, where it increased from 31.4% in 2000 to 36.5% in 2015, compared to an increase from 66.4% in 2000 to 68.1 % in 2015 for men.[3] Djibouti has the highest level of unemployment in the Arab region standing at 53.9% in 2015.[13] 

Djibouti is dependent on the imports of petroleum products to meet its needs, in2013, total petroleum products imports accounted for 95,972 ton.[6]


This overview has been drafted by the ADP team based on most available data as of 30 September 2016.


  1. World Population Prospects, Population Division, United Nations
  2. World Urbanization Prospects, Population Division, United Nations
  3. World Development Indicators, The World Bank
  4. UNDP Human Development Report 2015
  5. World Food Programme (WFP), 01 July – 30 September 2015. Djibouti Brief
  6. Department of Statistics and Demographic Studies (DISED)
  7. UNESCO Institute for Statistics
  8. The World Bank
  9. International Monetary Fund (IMF), December 2015
  10. World Economic Outlook, Adjusting to Lower Commodity Prices, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  11. ADP team computations based on figures extracted from the Central Bank of Djibouti
  12. ADP team computations based on figures extracted DISED 
  13. KILM – International Labour Organization (ILO)

Djibouti Statistical Snapshot 2016
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Data Highlighted

  • The majority of the population in Djibouti is urban, with 77% of the total population living in urban areas in 2015.

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