Sudan Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Sudan: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, an estimated 43.5 million people currently live in Sudan. Unfortunately, the information about the population figures often contradict each other.

Around 39% of Sudanese live in the country’s cities, most of them of course in the metropolitan area of Khartoum. Almost 40% of the residents are younger than 15 years.

And the average age of 18.3 years also clearly shows how young the Sudanese population is.

The population growth in Sudan is around 2.1%; life expectancy for men at 57.7 and for women at 60.2 years. The low life expectancy is due, among other things, to the fact that Sudan is one of the poorest developing countries in Africa and does not have social security or adequate medical care.

Sudan is one of the most ethnically and linguistically mixed countries on earth. About 570 ethnic groups speak with each other in more than 900 languages and dialects. It is therefore not surprising that many Sudanese speak several languages.

Ethnic composition

The population of Sudan is predominantly made up of Arabs and Arabized ethnic groups.

About 9% belong to the so-called Kushitic peoples – especially the Bedscha – and 3% to foreigners or other affiliations.

There are more than 570 different African ethnic groups throughout Sudan, mostly Nilotic peoples.


Sunni Islam is the state religion in Sudan. The majority of the people in the country are committed to him.

The non-Muslims are about 25% animists and about 5% Christians. These last two groups live mainly in the south of the country and in the capital Khartoum.

Both Islam and Christianity in Sudan are not free from influences from African religions. This also explains the diverse ways of living and interpreting faith.

There are numerous Sufi orders called Tariqa among the Muslims. These include the Qadiriyya, the brotherhood of the Sammaniya and the brotherhood of the Khatmiyya. The popular Islamic tsar cult is also widespread.

Most of the country’s Christians are Catholics. In recent years, however, more and more American evangelical groups have been gaining ground among them.

In the north, on the other hand, one encounters a minority of Coptic Christians whose roots lie in Egypt.

National language

The official language of the country is Sudanese Arabic, which is spoken by around 50% of the population. 42% of them have it as their mother tongue.

These Arabic-speaking Sudanese live mostly in the north of the country.

English is the language of education and the second official language in the country.

The other Sudanese speak African languages.

Nuer-Dinka (12% Dinka and 6% Nuer) is mainly spoken in South Sudan.

Nubian (9%) is spoken in the middle of the Nile, Bedscha (8%) in the north-east of Sudan, Azande (5%) mainly in the south-west and Bari (3%) especially in the south-east.

Capital and other cities


The capital of Sudan is Khartoum, a Moloch in the state of al-Chartum, in which about 8 million people live. The city is located at the confluence of the White and Blue Nile and, together with Omdurman and Al-Chartum Bahri, forms a tri-city with 8,364,000 residents. According to Abbreviation Finder, SDN stands for Sudan in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

The city is the seat of such important educational institutions as the University of Khartoum and the University of Sudan for Science and Technology and has numerous imposing mosques, a Roman Catholic cathedral, the national museum and a botanical garden.

Al-Chartum Bahri

Al-Chartum Bahri forms a tri-city with Khartoum and Omdurman. All three places are separated by the confluence of the White and Blue Nile. Al-Chartum Bahri is subdivided by a railway line that runs from north to south.

The little worth seeing city offers as one of its few attractions a large cemetery, which spreads in the Hilat Khogali Maghabat Khogali district. Sheikh Khogali bin Abdar-Rahman (died 1743), a Sufi scholar of the Schadhiliyya order, is buried there.

Bur Sudan

The capital of the state of al-Bahr al-ahmar is also called Port Sudan because it has the country’s only seaport. The ferry to the Saudi Arabian Jeddah, which is mainly used by Mecca pilgrims and migrant workers, also leaves from there. The city extends right on the Red Sea and has a business center dominated by banks and administrative institutions that goes back to the British. Right next to it is the colonial part of the city with its arcades, round arches and two-story buildings.


In the western part of Sudan, Nyala, the largest city in Sudan, lies outside the capital region. About 570,000 people live there. Quite a few fled Darfur to Nyala in connection with the war atrocities, where refugee camps have formed on the outskirts of the city.


With almost 2.5 million residents, the largest city in Sudan by far is located in the state of al-Chartum and, together with Khartoum and Al-Chartum Bahri, forms a tri-city separated by the Nile.

If the economy is flourishing in Khartoum, Omdurman is mainly used as a place of residence. Omdurman is something like the religious center of Sudan, because here is taught at the Islamic University and here the various Sufi brotherhoods are active.

In addition, numerous mosques shape the image of the city, the center of which is Suq Omdurman, the largest market in Sudan. The main mosque is also located there. Other important buildings worth seeing are the white Nilein Mosque, the Coptic Church and the two-tower Khalifa Mosque with its silver dome. The city is surrounded by slum-like residential areas.

Sudan: geography, map

The Sudan is located in northeastern Africa on the Red Sea and was up to the secession of South Sudan, the largest country in Africa. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Sudan.

The two areas in the north-east of Sudan are interesting:

– The Hala`ib triangle with an area of 20,580 km², which is claimed by both Sudan and Egypt.

– The neighboring Bir Tawil with an area of 2,000 km² is strange because it is not claimed by either Sudan or Egypt and is a kind of no man’s land.

Area and boundaries

Sudan covers a total area of 1,886,068 km². Thereof:

  • ForestAround 18% of the country are forest and scrubland.
  • Meadow, pasture landAround 22% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Fields and fieldsAround 5% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing cotton, as well as wheat, millet, peanuts, sesame, sorghum and sugar cane.

Sudan shares a border with the following ten countries, which together is 6,764 km long.

  • Egypt with a length of 1,273 km
  • Ethiopia with a length of 723 km
  • Eritrea with a length of 605 km
  • Kenya with a length of 232 km
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo with a length of 628 km
  • Libya with a length of 383 km
  • South Sudan with a length of 1,937 km
  • Chad with a length of 1,360 km
  • Uganda with a length of 435 km
  • Central Africa with a length of 483 km

Sudan also has a coast to the Red Sea with a length of around 855 km.

Longitude and latitude

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

Δφ = from around 9.5 ° to 23 ° north latitude Δλ = from around 22 ° to 38 ° east longitude

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

Legal time

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

Δt (CET) = + 1 h

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

Highest sun level in Khartoum

Khartoum lies at a northern latitude of around φ = 15.5 °.

If the declination δ of the sun has a value of 15.5 ° 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 1 month before June 21st and 1 month after June 21st.


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination is north of the latitude of Khartoum, 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 Sudan is the Marra (Arabic: Jabal Marra) with a height of 3,042 m. The volcano belongs to the Marra Plateau and rises in the west of Sudan and is surrounded by a stone desert (= Hammada).

Jebel Lotuke

The second highest mountain is the Jebel Lotuke with a height of 2,963 m.



The longest river in the country is the Nile with a length of about 6,690 km. The White and Blue Nile converge near the capital Khartoum.

Other rivers

Other rivers in the country are the Ghazal and Atbara.


Khazzân ar-Rusayris

A larger lake is the Khazzân ar-Rusayris with an area of approx. 450 km².

Red Sea

Sudan borders the Red Sea in the north-east of the country with a length of around 855 km.

Sudan Population