Somalia Facts: 50 Interesting Facts About Somalia

Last updated on March 20th, 2020

37. During the Battle of Mogadishu, an American pilot named Michael Durant was captured. He was freed on October 14, 1993.

38. Due to unsanitary water, hundreds of Somalians were killed during a cholera outbreak. This lead to a severe drought in Somalia.

39. In 2001, The United Nations was forced to pull staff and aid workers from the country due to the dangerous fighting and kidnappings, due to arguments about religion, government, education, and health.

40. On August 8, 2011, United States President Barack Obama announced $105 million would be given for emergency funding in the country.

5 Facts about poverty in Somalia

41. Over 73 percent of Somalis live on less than $2 U.S. Dollars per day.

42. The 2011 famine in Southern Somalia was the first in that region in over 30 years.

43. About one in 8 children in Somalia is acutely malnourished.

44. Today, over one million people in the country are in desperate need of emergency food assistance.

45. Due to the two decades of conflict, 1.1 million Somalis are displaced in their own country.

5 Facts about Somalia pirates

46. On April 8, 2009, Somali pirates hijacked the U.S. Maersk Alabama. The captain, Richard Phillips, offered himself as a hostage to protect his crew.

47. The U.S. Navy SEALs fatally shot three of the pirates and the fourth was taken into custody.

48. A book was written and a movie was made about the Captain’s ordeal.

49. The pirate who survived was taken to the United States, where he was sentenced to over 33 years in a U.S. federal prison.

50. The surviving pirate agreed to plead guilty, and the charge of piracy and possession of a machine gun were dropped. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping and hostage-taking.

Somalia – country at a glance

IndependenceJuly 1, 1960
Capital CityMogadishu
2°2′N 45°21′E
Largest CityMogadishu
2°2′N 45°21′E
Areatotal: 637,657 sq km

land: 627,337 sq km

water: 10,320 sq km
Population12,386,248 (2022 est.)
Official LanguageSomali and Arabic
National AnthemQolobaa Calankeed
National symbolleopard
National colorsblue, white
Government typeFederal parliamentary republic
PresidentHassan Sheikh Mohamud
Prime MinisterHamza Abdi Barre
BordersEthiopia, Djibouti and Kenya
CurrencySomali shilling (SOS)
Life expectancy at birth55.72 Years (2022)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climate principally desert; northeast monsoon (December to February), moderate temperatures in north and hot in south; southwest monsoon (May to October), torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons
Terrainmostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north
Mean elevation410 m
Lowest pointIndian Ocean 0 m
Highest pointShimbiris 2,416 m
Natural resourcesuranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves
Agricultural land70.3%
Birth rate37.98 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate11.62 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Sex ratio1.01 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
Industrieslight industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication
Exports$819 million (2014 est.)
livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal
Imports$94.43 billion (2018 est.)
manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat
Time ZoneEAT (UTC+3)
Internet country
Calling Code+252
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedJuly 25, 2022