Society

Biggest Cities In Somalia

Mogadishu along the coast of the Indian Ocean is the Somalian capital, and houses around one-fifth of its people.

Mogadishu along the coast of the Indian Ocean is the Somalian capital, and houses around one-fifth of its people. Somali has a population of over 10 million, 60% of whom are estimated to live in the rural areas. The rest of the residents live in the country’s cities and towns.

Biggest Cities In Somalia

Mogadishu

Mogadishu is home to 2,265,000 inhabitants, 85% of whom are Somali by ethnicity while the rest are Bantu, Arabs, and immigrants. Mogadishu started off as a trade center when it was established in the 10th century by the Arabs. Strategically located on the India Ocean’s shoreline, Mogadishu became a chief port in the region and grew wealthy due to trade in ivory, gold, slaves among other commodities. The lucrative trade attracted invaders keen to capture the port such as the Portuguese in the 16th century. Mogadishu became the capital of Italian Somaliland in 1905 after the Italians purchased it from the Sultan of Zanzibar. Somali became an independent state in 1960, with the capital being Mogadishu. Mogadishu, due to its white beaches and popularity as a tourist destination, gained the nickname white pearl. However, the civil war which broke out in 1990 has devastated the city and reduced its global popularity. Although the city has been rebuilding, it still lacks necessary amenities such as health, education, and housing facilities. The informal sector employs most of its inhabitants, 43% of whom are estimated living in conditions of extreme poverty. A positive trend in the last few years has been the return of refugees and migrants to the city, most of whom have skilled labor in various fields.

Bosaso

Bosaso City, situated in Puntland, northeastern Somalia, is home to 1,240,800 inhabitants. Bosaso was founded by Arab traders in the 14th century. The settlement was known as Bandar Kassim, after the first Arab settler. The town had natural harbors which facilitated maritime trade with the Arabs, Indians, and Persians. In modern day, Bosaso boasts a link to the Middle East via the Red Sea and its seaport has facilitated international trade. Its peace and stability have further promoted a diverse economy in retail, textiles, education, health care, tourism and banking services, technology, and industries. The city’s population is primarily comprised of the Darod Clan. The rest of the population is made up of Meheri Arabs and other Somalis from across the country as well as immigrants from neighboring countries. Bosaso is a tourist hub, with white sandy beaches, hotels, and natural surroundings complete with wildlife.

Hargeisa

1,200,000 residents live in Hargeisa City located in northwestern Somalia. Historically, Hargeisa served as a water source of nomadic herders. The history of the modern city began with the reign of the great Sultan Deria. Hargeisa became the capital of British Somaliland until the country gained independence. The modern city of Hargeisa is an economic hub, with businesses ranging from export and import, food processing, retail, and money transfer firms. Hargeisa has had its fair share of devastation due to the civil war and conflicts, but it has been gradually rebuilding. The city’s inhabitants are mainly from the Isaaq Somali Clan.

Garoowe

Garoowe city is home to 867,200 residents, and it is situated in northeastern Somalia. The city serves as the capital of Nugaal Region. The city was governed by the Majeerteen Sultanate before being integrated with Italian Somaliland. The city is a political and administrative center, being home to the region parliament, Presidential residence and the seat of ministers of the Nugaal Province. The city is populated by Somalis from the Darod Clan. In recent times, the city has developed rapidly and has experienced a boom in modern constructions.

Other Cities In Somali

The rest of Somali’s cities and their respective populations are Burao (850,300); Kismayo (700,000); Baidoa (657,500); Galkayo (546,667); Borama (415,616), and Las Anod (120,000). Although devastated by the civil war, Somali’s cities have been undergoing reconstruction to become economic, tourist, and cultural hubs in the country as well as in East Africa.

Rank Biggest Cities in Somalia Estimated Population
1 Mogadishu 2,265,000
2 Bosaso 1,240,800
3 Hargeisa 1,200,000
4 Garoowe 867,200
5 Burao 850,300
6 Kismayo 700,000
7 Baidoa 657,500
8 Galkayo 546,667
9 Borama 415,616
10 Las Anod 120,000

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