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Djibouti facts for kids

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Republic of Djibouti

  • République de Djibouti  (French)
  • جمهورية جيبوتي  (Arabic)
  • Jamhuuriyadda Jabuuti  (Somali)
  • Gabuutih Ummuuno  (Afar)
Emblem of Djibouti
Motto: اتحاد، مساواة، سلام (Arabic)
Unité, Égalité, Paix (French)
Inkittiino, Qeedala, Wagari (Afar)
Midnimo, Sinaan, Nabad (Somali)
Unity, Equality, Peace
Anthem: Djibouti
Location of  Djibouti  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)– in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Djibouti  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

Location of Djibouti
and largest city
11°36′N 43°10′E / 11.600°N 43.167°E / 11.600; 43.167
Official languages
Recognised national languages
Ethnic groups
  • Somalis 60%
  • Afar 35%
  • others 5% (primarily Arab)
Sunni Islam
Demonym(s) Djiboutians
Government Unitary dominant-party presidential republic
Ismaïl Omar Guelleh
• Prime Minister
Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed
Legislature National Assembly
• from France
27 June 1977
• Total
23,200 km2 (9,000 sq mi) (146th)
• Water (%)
0.09 (20 km² / 7.7 sq mi)
• 2020 estimate
• Density
37.2/km2 (96.3/sq mi) (168th)
GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate
• Total
$3.974 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate
• Total
$2.187 billion
• Per capita
Gini (2015) 40.0
HDI (2018) Increase 0.495
low · 171st
Currency Djiboutian franc (DJF)
Time zone UTC+3 (EAT)
Driving side right
Calling code +253
ISO 3166 code DJ
Internet TLD .dj

Djibouti (officially called the Republic of Djibouti) is a country on the eastern coast of Africa. The capital city is also called Djibouti.

Djibouti gained its independence from France on June 27, 1977. The country was created out of the French Somaliland (later called the French Territory of the Afars and Issas), which was created in the 1800s as a result of French colonialism in Africa.

In 2020, about 920,000 people lived there. It is one of the least populous countries in Africa. Two ethnic groups, the Somali and the Afar people, account for most of the people living in the country.

Djibouti joined the United Nations on September 20, 1977. It is also a member of the Arab League, as well as the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).


The history of Djibouti goes back thousands of years when it was part of the Sabean Empire (Ethiopia) to a time when Djiboutians traded hides and skins for the perfumes and spices of ancient Egypt, Pakistan, and China. Through close contacts with the Arabian peninsula for more than 1,000 years, the Somali and Afar tribes in this region became among the first on the African continent to accept Islam. Djibouti is a Muslim country which regularly takes part in Islamic as well as Arab meetings.

The country is close to a narrow part of the Red Sea so it is considered an important area from a military viewpoint.


Djibouti is near to the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Awdal of Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east.

In the Great Rift Valley the rift between the African Plate and the Somali Plate meet the Arabian Plate. This makes a geologic tripoint that is the lowest place in Africa.

Djibouti has eight mountain ranges with peaks of over 1,000 m (3,281 ft). The Mousa Ali range is the country's highest mountain range.

The Grand Bara desert covers parts of southern Djibouti.

Most species of wildlife are found in the northern part of the country, in the ecosystem of the Day Forest National Park. This forest area is the main habitat of the endangered and endemic Djibouti francolin (a bird).

Administrative divisions

The Regions of Djibouti
A map of Djibouti's regions.

Djibouti is divided into six administrative regions, with Djibouti city representing one of the official regions. It is further subdivided into twenty districts.

Regions of Djibouti
Region Area (km2) Population (2010) Capital
Ali Sabieh 2,200 71,640 Ali Sabieh
Arta 1,800 40,163 Arta
Dikhil 7,200 83,409 Dikhil
Djibouti 200 529,900 (2015 est.) Djibouti City
Obock 4,700 36,083 Obock
Tadjourah 7,100 84,041 Tadjoura


The people of Djibouti are mostly Muslim. Islam is observed by 94% of Djibouti's population (about 740,000) (2010 estimate). The remaining six percent follow Christianity.

Religion in Djibouti
religion percent

The Republic of Djibouti names Islam as the only state religion. The Constitution of 1992 provides for the equality of citizens of all faiths as well as the freedom to practise any religion.


Association football is the most popular sport in Djibouti. The country became a member of FIFA in 1994. They have only played in qualifying rounds for both the African Cup of Nations and FIFA World Cup.


The country is linked to Ethiopia by way of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway.


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