When the country first gained independence from its northern neighbor, it was a backwater state with only a few miles of paved road. Excluding Darfur, Northern Sudan was much more stable with better living standards and infrastructure.
A similar case was after the korean war. North Korea had better living standards than the south which was mostly backwater until 1972. NK didn't begin its decline until after the collapse of the soviet union in 1991. Sudan held a very similar case: South Sudan was backwater (and even had a civil war lasting for 3 years) while Sudan had better living standards. This was until Ethiopia and China helped finance infrastructure. In later decades, oil would go down and Sudan would sink into poverty.
Juba became a bustling metropolis while Khartoum was but a shadow of Sudan's former glory. The country got much more pavement and its economy grew much like South Korea's.
South Sudan also gained South kordofan and the Blue Nile provinces of Sudan after they seceded from the latter.
South Sudan's economy is very diverse compared to what it once was when it first gained independence from North Sudan. When it first gained independence in 2011, 98% of the exports were oil; but as time went on, the economy diversified away from oil. The country became one of the breadbaskets of Africa. Mining is also a big industry in South Sudan, though not to the extent of the DRC or even the Central African Republic.
Most South Sudanese use the automobile as a method of transport. However, there are 2 railways going to Uganda and Kenya, both of which were completed in 2020. A vactrain connecting Juba with Addis Abbaba is underway.
Education has largely improved since independence. Back in 2011, 80% of the population was illiterate, fewer than 1% of girls completed elementary, and as for universities, 75% of the professors were from Sudan. Fortunately, these problems have largely subsided due to the efforts of the AU.
Although the country has been largely westernized, it still retains a traditional african culture.
Back in 2012, Christianity was a majority at 60.5%, Islam was at 6.2%, and african folk religions took up 32.9%, leaving only 0.4% of the population irreligious. Times have changed however and with the increase in muslim immigrants from sudan (thanks to the lack of demand for oil), 20.6% of the population follows the teachings of Muhammed. African folk religions have been largely on the decline, making up only 2% of the population. Christianity has increased to 66.9% due to the decline of the traditional tribal religions. The increase of agnosticism and atheism was astronomical, now at 10.5%
The official language is english and other indigenous languages have been on the decline, only being used to communicate among family members.
South Sudan is a federal presidential republic.
The country has made massive improvements on its human rights record over the last 90 years.
South Sudan is part of the AU and the eastern african community.