Somalia Country Profile – Geography

From Cia Factbook (Page last updated on October 09, 2020)

Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia


  • total: 637,657 sq km
  • land: 627,337 sq km
  • water: 10,320 sq km

Land boundaries:

  • total: 2,385 km
  • border countries (3): Djibouti 61 km, Ethiopia 1640 km, Kenya 684 km

Coastline: 3,025 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm

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

Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north


  • mean elevation: 410 m
  • lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
  • highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m

Natural resources: uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves

Land use:

  • agricultural land: 70.3% (2011 est.) – arable land: 1.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 68.5% (2011 est.)
  • forest: 10.6% (2011 est.)
  • other: 19.1% (2011 est.)
  • irrigated land: 2,000 sq km (2012)

Population distribution: distribution varies greatly throughout the country; least densely populated areas are in the northeast and central regions, as well as areas along the Kenyan border; most populated areas are in and around the cities of Mogadishu, Marka, Boorama, Hargeysa, and Baidoa as shown on this population distribution map

Natural hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during the rainy season

Environment – current issues: water scarcity; contaminated water contributes to human health problems; improper waste disposal; deforestation; land degradation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

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