Broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south
Tropical in south, desert in north
Population: 11,412,107 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects
Muslim 53.1%, Catholic 20.1%, Protestant 14.2%, animist 7.3%, other 0.5%, unknown 1.7%, atheist 3.1% (1993 census)
Oil and agriculture drive Chad’s economy. At least 80% of Chad's population relies for its livelihood on subsistence farming and livestock raising and oil provides the bulk of export revenues. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings. Oil production came on stream in late 2003 and Chad began to export oil in 2004.
Living conditions are very harsh in most rural areas of the country. In 1995, life expectancy in Chad was forty-seven years. In towns in the semi-desert region, the Sahel, homes are built inside walled compounds. Mud bricks held together with straw and camel dung are used to make the walls and the roofs. Houses consist of one or two rooms. The interior is dark, because the houses typically have only one or two small windows.
US Military Presence/Support