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Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan is an Arab state in the Nile Valley of North Africa, bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest. The Nile River divides the country into eastern and western halves. Its predominant religion is Islam.
Sudan is situated in northern Africa, with a 853 km coastline bordering the Red Sea. With an area of 1,886,068 km2, it is the third largest country on the continent and the sixteenth largest in the world.
The Blue and White Nile rivers meet in Khartoum to form the River Nile, which flows northwards through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. The Blue Nile's course through Sudan is nearly 800 km long and is joined by the Dinder and Rahad Rivers between Sennar and Khartoum. The White Nile within Sudan has no significant tributaries.
In Sudan's 2008 census, the population of Northern, Western and Eastern Sudan was recorded to be over 30 million. This puts present estimates of the population of Sudan after the secession of South Sudan at a little over 30 million people. This is a significant increase over the past two decades as the 1983 census put the total population of Sudan, including present-day South Sudan, at 21.6 million. The population of metropolitan Khartoum is growing rapidly and was recorded to be 5.2 million.
Sudanese Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the country. It is the variety of Arabic spoken throughout northern Sudan. It has much borrowed vocabulary from the indigenous languages. This has resulted in a variety of Arabic that is unique to Sudan, reflecting the way in which the country has been influenced by both African and Arab cultures. Few nomads in Sudan still have similar accents to the ones in Saudi Arabia. Other important languages include Beja along the Red Sea, with perhaps 2 million speakers; Fur in the west, with perhaps a million speakers; and the various Nubian languages, with over 6 million speakers along the Nile in the north. The most linguistically diverse region in the country are the Nuba Hills in Kordofan, inhabited by speakers of multiple language families, with Darfur and other border regions being second.