Djibouti Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Djibouti: population, cities



According to Countryaah website, around 920,000 people live in Djibouti.

Ethnic composition

The population of Djibouti consists of around 60% Issa (Northern Somali) and 40% Danakil (Afar), the latter mainly living in the north and west of the country.

There is also a minority of Europeans (especially French) and Arabs (especially Yemenis). There are also immigrants from Ethiopia and Somalia.


About 94% of the country’s residents are Sunni Muslims and about 6% are Christians.

National languages

The country’s official languages are Arabic and French. The Cushitic languages Afar and Issa are used as colloquial languages.

Capital and other cities

The capital of Djibouti is the same Djibouti with about 600,000 residents. According to Abbreviation Finder, DJU stands for Djibouti in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Other big cities are:

  • Ali Sabieh with around 40,000 residents
  • Tadjoura with around 22,000 residents
  • Obock with around 18,000 residents
  • Dikhil with around 12,000 residents

Djibouti: geography, map

Djibouti is a small country on the east coast of Africa in the Horn of Africa. Its coast stretches with a length of about 315 km from the Red Sea in the north to the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean. The territory consists predominantly of the Danakil and Afar desert plains, in which there are several salt basins, some of which are deep below sea level. The Danakil Mountains in the north of the country reach heights of up to 2,000 m. There are a number of volcanoes in the interior of Djibouti. The lowest place in the country – and also in the whole of Africa – is the salty Lake Assal in the center of the country. Its surface is about 155 m below sea level. Other deep depressions with salt lakes run parallel to the Red Sea. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Djibouti.

Area, boundaries, length of coast

Djibouti covers an area of 23,200 km². Thereof:

  • Meadow and pasture landAround 9% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Fields and fieldsAround 0.04% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing coffee.
  • DesertAlmost 91% of the country is occupied by the Danakil desert.

Djibouti borders three states:

Eritrea with a length of 109 km,

Ethiopia with a length of 349 km and

Somalia with a length of 58 km.

Djibouti has a coast to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden with a total length of 315 km.

Longitude and latitude

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

Δφ = from 10 ° 54 ‘to 12 ° 42’ north latitude Δλ = from 041 ° 48 ‘to 043 ° 26’ east longitude

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


For Djibouti, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET). A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δt (CET) = + 2 h

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

Highest level of the sun in Djibouti

The capital of the same name Djibouti is located at a northern latitude of around φ = 12 ° and thus in the tropics (see position of the sun).

If the declination of the sun has the value of δ = 12 N, and the image point of the sun is thus above the city, the sun is perpendicular there. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 46 days after March 21st and 46 days before September 21st.


If the image point of the sun and thus its declination δ is north of the latitude of Djibouti, 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.


The highest mountain in Djibouti is the Musa Ali on the border with Ethiopia with a height of 2,063 m. Another high mountain is Mt. Goudah Abaida with a height of 1,784 m.


Djibouti has the Essalou, Ouâhayyi and Sadaï rivers, but none of them have water all year round.


Lac Abbé

The Lac Abbé or Abbé Lake is a salt lake and with an area of around 340 km² on the border with Ethiopia, the largest lake in the country and the center of the Afar Depression. Around 110 km² of the lake belong to Djibouti. The lake is considered to be extremely inaccessible and downright unreal. The shores of the lake are littered with hundreds of limestone cones up to 50 m high, which have formed from the deposits of hot thermal springs underwater. It gets its water from the approx. 1,200 km long Awash River.

The lake has no natural runoff and is known for its numerous ibises, pelicans – and especially flamingos.

Assal-See, Gamari-See

Other lakes are the approximately 54 km² large Assal-See as well as the Gamari-See. Both are salt lakes. Lake Gamari, like Lake Abbé, is fed by the Awash River. The Assal Lake, with a salt content of approx. 34.8%, is even salty than the Dead Sea. Lake Assal is only a few kilometers from the Gulf of Tadjoura – a bulge in the Gulf of Aden. It receives its water from the Gulf via subterranean tributaries. It does not have a drain, it loses its water through evaporation. Lake Assal is about 155 m below sea level, making it the lowest place in the country – and in all of Africa.

Lake Assal is part of a chain of six interconnected lakes. From north to south these are the Gargori, Laitali, Gummare, Bario and Afambo.


In the Gulf of Tadjoura is the small island of Moucha.

Red Sea, Gulf of Aden

Djibouti is located on the Red Sea and at the beginning of the Gulf of Aden – on the African side.

Red Sea

The Red Sea is a strait between northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It is around 2,190 km long and around 378 km wide near Asmara – but otherwise almost everywhere more than around 200 km. At Bab al-Mandab, in the strait at the transition to the Gulf of Aden, it is only a little more than 13 miles wide. Its area covers around 270,000 km². In the north it is connected to the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal and in the south via the Gulf of Aden to the Indian Ocean. Its greatest depth is at 2,605 m. The salt content of the water is quite high at 4.2% and leads to good visibility under water (divers) due to reduced algae growth. The Red Sea borders Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Yemen, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. A detailed description of the Red Sea can be found at Gorumahere >>>

Gulf of Aden

The Gulf of Aden is a tube-like bay that separates Africa from Asia. In addition to Djibouti, the Gulf is bordered by Yemen on the Asian side and Somalia on the African side. The gulf is the connection between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and is located on the border of the African and Arabian plates. It begins at the end of the Red Sea at the approximately 25 km wide Bab al-Mandab strait and merges into the Indian Ocean at an imaginary line between Cape Guardafui in Somalia and Cape Fartak in Yemen. It is worth mentioning that a smaller part of its water flows via inter-terrestrial tributaries in a westerly direction into Lake Assal in Djibouti, only a few kilometers away. The gulf is about 900 km long and has a maximum width of about 370 km. It has its greatest depth in its middle with around 3,480 m.

Djibouti Population