top of page

South Sudan

Sub-Saharan Africa


South Sudan is not included in the Gender Inequality Index. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


South Sudan has a Workplace Index score of 7.1, a Marketplace Index score of 5.7 and a Community and Environment Index score of 8.0 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, there is no accurate demographic data in South Sudan. The country, however, has a substantial diversity of peoples with more than 70 associated languages, though a number of these are extinct or dying. Western Nilotes – Anuak, Dinka, Murle, Nuer and Shilluk – are the largest linguistic group. They traditionally lived in the north and east areas of South Sudan, as well as parts of South Kordofan and White Nile in Sudan and the Gambella region of Ethiopia. Further south in Equatoria are groups such as the Azande, Bari, Latuka, Madi, Moru, Taposa and Turkana who are a mixture of Sudanic, Eastern Nilotes, and other groups. Dinka, followed by Nuer and their associated subgroup, Atuot, are the most numerous groups in South Sudan. A Nilotic people, Dinka – who according to some estimates make up more than a third (35.8 %) of the population – are seasonally migrating pastoralists, often forming livelihoods out of cattle-keeping, small-scale agriculture, fishing, trade and conflict-related activities, such as recruitment in an armed group. For both the Dinka and Nuer, cattle are fundamental to relationships and social structures. They are a profound measure of wealth, status and personal influence. Cattle are used to pay debts, fines and bride prices and are also central to religious and artistic culture. Nuer are often described as relatively homogeneous in language and culture but lacking in political centralization. The community, who according to some estimates make up 15.6 % of the population, are divided into several independent groups that are organized into clans, lineages and age groups. This is in contrast to the highly structured kingdoms of their fellow Western Nilotic peoples, Shilluk and Anuak.

Not all Western Nilotes are seasonally migrating. Some Shilluk and Anuak groups have long traditions of settled agriculture and amongst pastoralists in South Sudan, there are only a few groups, such as Ambororo living in the western areas of South Sudan, who are entirely nomadic. Most peoples in the Equatorias are agriculturalists, however there is a substantial minority of seasonally migrating pastoralist peoples.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

South Sudan ranks 4 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

bottom of page