What is the population of Yemen?

Years of conflict and displacement makes this hard to know.
Population in Yemen

A new paper "Reconstructing subdistrict-level population denominators in Yemen after six years of armed conflict and forced displacement" published in the Journal of Migration and Health and written by HHCC members, Professor Francesco Checchi and Emilie Sabine Koum Besson, looks at population evolution in Yemen and its importance for humanitarian response.

The authors used WorldPop gridded estimates, displacement data from the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) project and modelled the evolution of displaced groups before and after assessment points. They also complemented the main analysis with sensitivity scenarios.

They estimated that Yemen's population rose from about 26.3 million to 31.1 million during the seven-year analysis period (June 2014 and September 2021), with considerable pattern differences at sub-national level.

They found that some 10 to 14 million Yemenis may have been internally displaced in 2015 and 2016, about five times United Nations estimates. By contrast, they estimated that the internally displaced population had declined to 1 to two million by September 2021.

Humanitarian response and service planning are unlikely to be appropriate if population denominators are unclear. Inefficiency at best, and avertable mortality at worst, are the likely consequences. 

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