At over 200,000 square miles, the Republic of Yemen is the second biggest Arab nation that claims the southernmost region of the Arabian Peninsula. Its territory claims over two hundred smaller islands scattered among the Gulf of Aden to the south and the Red Sea to the east, with neighboring African countries lying on the other side of both.
With land borders shared by neighboring nation-states Saudi Arabia and Oman, along with coastal borders neighboring the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Guardafui Channel, Yemen is a robustly diverse geographical terrain informed by a rich history coupled with unique surroundings. Though its topography is generally varied, one feature that is mostly absent on the mainland is the inclusion of any water -- though surrounded by different water masses, the nation bears a stark lack of any major rivers, lakes or water masses of any kind.
Yemen featured four primary geographical regions consisting mostly of highlands and coastal plains. The majority of Yemen can be considered arid territory, but as the coastal plain is bespeckled with lagoon regions the land bears myriad marshes and dune regions, a stark dichotomy that makes way for beneficial developments like agriculture, but also for less exemplary features like dangerously high mosquito populations.
The majority of Yemen’s precipitation occurs in the highlands to the west, an area that bears the majority of the responsibility for food generation within the country. The western highland area features sweltering days but surprisingly cold nights, giving way to the higher central area of highlands that feature a much drier landscape.
Among the many islands included in the nation of Yemen, many are volcanic islands, with eruptions occurring even in recent years.
Given its intricate and precarious political environment, Yemen claims a population made up almost entirely of Arabic denizens at over 92 percent, with the remainder of the community comprised of much smaller Arabic and African ethnic groups. The country’s official language is Arabic, and much like many of the neighboring Middle Eastern nations, its official religion is Islam.
True to its large physical size, the population of Yemen sits at an official count of nearly twenty million citizens, though the most recent estimate places that figure closer to thirty million. Although the population and physical size of the country is very low, Yemen is one of the poorest nations in the world and is certainly the poorest among the nations within the Middle East. In more recent years Yemen has faced the reality of public outcry as denizens seek relief from the realities of severe poverty.