Poverty is widespread in Djibouti, where the
social conditions of the vast majority of residents are
difficult. A minority of the population has access to
basic health care. According to the UN, every fourth
Djibouti is dependent on some form of foreign aid.
The civil war in the 1990s and a number of years of
severe drought subsequently deteriorated the living
conditions of the Djibouti. The income from the foreign
military bases (see Economic overview) has only a small
elite share. Many leave the countryside in search of
work in the cities. There, unemployment is already high
and many end up in the slums of cities instead.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Djibouti, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
During the second half of the 2010, over half of the
Djibouti in rural areas suffered from food shortages,
just over one in three rural residents lacked clean
water and nearly a quarter lived in extreme poverty,
according to UN agency Ocha. The IMF estimates that the
proportion of extremely poor Djibouti is even greater:
41 percent in 2018.
Life expectancy is low, only 53 in 2019. Infant
mortality is high, mainly due to widespread
malnutrition. Every fifth child dies before it is five
years old. Every third child under five is hampered by
the plant due to a poor diet. Diarrheal diseases,
tuberculosis, malaria and measles contribute to the high
Many women die during childbirth. Female genital
mutilation is a widespread and serious health problem.
There is a larger hospital in the capital Djibouti
and smaller health care facilities in other parts of the
country. Medicines must be imported and are often
The abuse of the narcotic plant qat (khat) is
extensive. Many analysts believe that the abuse of qat
contributes greatly to the poverty in Djibouti, as
households spend a large part of their income on qat.
Previously, it was almost only men who chewed qat, but
nowadays it is becoming more common even among women and
young people of both sexes. According to the UN
Children's Fund Unicef, 13 percent of children aged 13
to 19 chew qat.
Family life and clans
A household in the Djibouti countryside often
consists of several families. When a woman marries, she
moves into the man's family, which usually consists of
several generations and generations. A man can marry up
to four women. Since nomads rarely manage to build
strong relationships with their neighbors, the family is
all the more important. The older generation is treated
with respect. In the cities, many live in nuclear
Like most nomadic people, the clan is an important
part of the Afar and Issa people's social lives. The
children in the countryside are raised both by their
family and by the clan members. In issa, education is
somewhat freer than in aphas where discipline is
Afar is divided into two classes. The higher class is
called asaimara (red man). The lower class,
adoimara (white man), owns neither livestock,
housing nor land.
The situation for women, children and LGBTQ people
Women are generally better off in Djibouti than in
many neighboring countries, but gender discrimination
occurs in, for example, education and inheritance law.
Women are often subjected to violence and almost all
girls are sexually abused despite being prohibited by
A quarter of the seats in the National Assembly are
reserved for women. In 2008, the government legislated
that women should hold at least 20 percent of the
executive positions in the public sector.
Prostitution is forbidden, but still occurs, partly
because there are so many foreign soldiers in the
Child labor and child labor are prohibited, but are
Homosexuality is prohibited under Sharia law.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
50 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
1.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.6 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.4 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
76.9 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
63.6 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
4.4 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 70 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
26 percent (2018)
Support for action against Somalia
Djibouti supports Ethiopia's invasion of Somalia and allows the US to use
military bases in Djibouti to bomb targets in Somalia.
Human rights activist arrested
Jean Paul Noël Abdi, head of a Djiboutian human rights organization and
Amnesty International's representative in the country, is arrested for
criticizing the government.