Chad Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Chad: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, approximately 16.5 million people live in Chad, although the country can be culturally divided into the predominantly Arab-Islamic north and the Christian-black-African-animist south. The semi-nomads of the north, who farm cattle, are opposed to the arable people in the south.

Civil war and prolonged periods of drought made the country one of the poorest on earth. According to realistic estimates, 80% of people live in absolute poverty. In the urban regions around 55% are affected by absolute poverty, in the countryside it is 87%. According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Chad is ranked 166th out of 167 states. People can only survive through subsistence farming. The high infant mortality rate of 11.7% contrasts with the very high infant mortality rate of 20%.

Ethnic groups

The population of Chad is made up of around 200 different ethnic groups. The approximately 15% Arabs and Arabized tribal groups such as the Toubou, Kanembou, Boulala, Hadjerai, Dadjo and Wadai, as well as Fulani and Haussa are mainly located in the north of the country. Another 30% are Sara and live in the south, as do Massa and Moundang. 20% of the population are Chadian groups and 2% Tibbu-Daza groups. 9% of the people are Arabs.


About 56% of the population of Chad are Muslim (especially Sunni). About 22% profess Christianity (especially Roman Catholic). Furthermore, around 22% of animists, i.e. followers of natural religions, live in Chad.

While the Muslims live mainly in the north and in the center of Chad, the Christians and the animists have settled in the south of the country.

National languages

Of the 100 languages and dialects spoken in Chad, (Sudan) Arabic and French are the two most important. If French is the official language, it is only spoken by an educated minority. Arabic, on the other hand, is cited as a mother tongue or second language by at least 26% of people. Sudan languages are spoken by around 60% of the population. These include Sara (20%), Bagirmi and Kraish (5%). While Arabic is spoken mainly in the north of Chad, Sara is found mainly in the south. Chadian languages like Kotoko are found in 14% of people. In addition there are 6.5% Saharan languages (e.g. Dazaga, Tedaga and Zaghawa) and 1.6% M’óum. Finally there are languages such as Maba (Wadai), Mbum, Wabumba and Matuszi.

Capital and other cities


N’Djamena, the capital and largest city of Chad, known as Fort Lamy until 1973, with around 1.5 million residents, extends in the southwest at the confluence of the Shari and Logone rivers. N’Djamena is connected to Kousseri on the Cameroonian side by a bridge. According to Abbreviation Finder, TCD stands for Chad in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Apart from numerous mosques, the presidential palace and a cathedral, the city is very poor in terms of sights, but has been proud of the Université de N’Djamena since 1970.


The capital of the Wadai (also Ouaddai) region in eastern Chad, with around 85,000 residents, spreads out on the border with the Sudanese region of Darfur. Abéché is traditionally one of the most important trade hubs in Sahel Africa. Much of the trans-Saharan trade still goes through the city, which has the second university in Chad with its Adam Barka University. In addition to other secondary schools, Abéché has a Roman Catholic church consecrated to St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, a hospital and the only existing post office in the entire region. Abéché is also the largest garrison town of the Armée National du Tchad in the east of the country.


In the south of Chad lies Moundou, the capital of the Logone Occidental region. The 140,000 residents make the Moundou, which extends along the Logone River, the second largest city in the country.

Since 1959 the city has been the most important industrial center of Chad. It has an international airport and is the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of the same name.

Sarh (formerly Fort Archambault)

The largest city in the south and third largest city of Chad spreads out on the Chari River and functions as the capital of the former Moyen-Chari prefecture.

About 115,000 people live in Sarh, the center of the cotton industry and today a major hub for goods from all over Chad. The city is also known for its lively nightlife and the Sarh National Museum.

Chad: geography, map

Chad is located in northern Africa in the middle of the continent and covers an area of 1,284,000 km². Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Chad. Thereof:


  • ForestAround 10% of the country is forested.
  • Meadow and pasture landAround 35% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Dry savannah and desertAround 47% of the country consists of dry savannah and desert (Sahara).
  • Fields and fieldsAround 3% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing cotton, millet, sorghum (sweet millet) and peanuts

National borders

Chad shares a border with the following six countries:

  • Cameroon with a length of 1,094 km
  • Libya with a length of 1,055 km
  • Niger with a length of 1,175 km
  • Nigeria with a length of 87 km
  • Sudan with a length of 1,360 km
  • Central Africa with a length of 1,197 km.

Longitude and latitude

Chad extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 07 ° 30 ‘to 24 ° north latitude Δλ = from around 014 ° to 024 ° east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Time in Chad

For Chad, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time), for example in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δ t (CET) = 0 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest sun in N’Djamena

N’Djamena lies at a northern latitude of around φ = 12 °.

If the declination δ of the sun has the value of 12 ° north and the image point of the sun is therefore exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular there. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 45 days before June 21st and 45 days after June 21st.


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination δ is north of the latitude of N’Djamena, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north.

In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.


Emi Koussi

The highest mountain in the country is the Emi Koussi with a height of 3,415 m. Other high mountains are:

  • Tarsu Musa with a height of 3,376 m
  • Tarso Taro with a height of 3,325 m
  • Pic Tousside with a height of 3,265 m.



The longest river in the country is the Chari with a length of around 1,200 km. Other rivers in the country are the Logone with a length of around 1,000 km and the Bahr Salamat, both of which have often dried up.


Lake Chad

The country includes several smaller and larger lakes.

The largest lake is Lake Chad, the area of which cannot be specified precisely because it varies with the seasons and, when viewed over a longer period of time, it increasingly shrinks. Lake Chad is extremely shallow (only 3 m in the south, 7 m in the north), and its size has therefore always been subject to extreme fluctuations. Scientists assume that about 30,000 years ago Lake Chad still had an area of 370,000 km² and was therefore the largest lake on earth at the time. Since then, it has been steadily silting up. At the last high point, in 1963, the lake had an area of 12,700 km². In the meantime, among other things, irrigation projects on the rivers that supply water have led to a reduction in the area to 1,350 km².

Another larger lake is the Fitri lake with an area of around 300 km² and Lac Yoa.

Chad Population