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Introduction - Kuwait:
BackgroundBritain oversaw foreign relations and defense for the ruling Kuwaiti AL-SABAH dynasty from 1899 until independence in 1961. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led, UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since returning to power in 1991, and reestablished an elected legislature that in recent years has become increasingly assertive.
Location - Kuwait:
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates29 30 N, 45 45 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Areatotal: 17,820 sq km
land: 17,820 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparativeslightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundariestotal: 462 km
border countries: Iraq 240 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km
Coastline499 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
Climatedry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrainflat to slightly undulating desert plain
Elevation extremeslowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 306 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land usearable land: 0.84%
permanent crops: 0.17%
other: 98.99% (2005)
Irrigated land130 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardssudden cloudbursts are common from October to April and bring heavy rain, which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year, but are most common between March and August
Environment current issueslimited natural fresh water resources; some of worlds largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping
Geography notestrategic location at head of Persian Gulf
People - Kuwait:
note: includes 1,291,354 non-nationals (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 26.7% (male 340,814/female 328,663)
15-64 years: 70.5% (male 1,128,231/female 636,967)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 44,542/female 26,342) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 26 years
male: 27.9 years
female: 22.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate3.561%
note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates (2007 est.)
Birth rate21.95 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate2.39 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate16.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.037 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.771 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.691 male(s)/female
total population: 1.526 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 9.47 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 77.36 years
male: 76.25 years
female: 78.52 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate2.86 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.12% (2001 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA
Hiv aids deathsNA
Nationalitynoun: Kuwaiti(s)
adjective: Kuwaiti
Ethnic groupsKuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
ReligionsMuslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%
LanguagesArabic (official), English widely spoken
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.3%
male: 94.4%
female: 91% (2005 census)
Government - Kuwait:
Country nameconventional long form: State of Kuwait
conventional short form: Kuwait
local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt
local short form: Al Kuwayt
Government typeconstitutional emirate
Capitalname: Kuwait
geographic coordinates: 29 22 N, 47 58 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra, Hawalli, Mubarak Al Kabir
Independence19 June 1961 (from UK)
National holidayNational Day, 25 February (1950)
Constitutionapproved and promulgated 11 November 1962
Legal systemcivil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
SuffrageNA years of age; universal (adult); note - males in the military or police are not allowed to vote; adult females were allowed to vote as of 16 May 2005; all voters must have been citizens for 20 years
Executive branchchief of state: Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); Crown Prince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah
head of government: Prime Minister NASIR MUHAMMAD al-Ahmad al-Sabah (since 3 April 2007); First Deputy Prime Minister JABIR Mubarak al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers MUHAMMAD al-Sabah al-Salim al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006) and Faysal al-HAJJI (since 5 April 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the amir
elections: none; the amir is hereditary; the amir appoints the prime minister and deputy prime ministers
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; all cabinet ministers are also ex officio voting members of the National Assembly)
elections: last held 29 June 2006 (next election to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by bloc - NA; seats by bloc - Islamic Bloc (Sunni) 17, Popular Bloc 9, National Action Bloc (liberals) 8, independents 16
Judicial branchHigh Court of Appeal
Political parties and leadersnone; formation of political parties is in practice illegal, but is not forbidden by law
Political pressure groups and leadersa number of political groups act as de facto parties; several legislative blocs operate in the National Assembly: tribal groups, merchants, Shia activists, Islamists, secular liberals and pro-government deputies; in mid-2006, a coalition of Islamists, liberals, and Shia campaigned successfully for electoral reform to reduce corruption
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador SALIM Abdallah al-Jabir al-Sabah
chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702
FAX: [1] (202) 966-0517
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Richard LEBARON
embassy: Bayan 36302, Area 14, Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Street (near the Bayan palace), Kuwait City
mailing address: P. O. Box 77 Safat 13001 Kuwait; or PSC 1280 APO AE 09880-9000
telephone: [965] 259-1001
FAX: [965] 538-0282
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side; design, which dates to 1961, based on the Arab revolt flag of World War I
Economy - Kuwait:
Economy overviewKuwait is a small, rich, relatively open economy with self-reported crude oil reserves of about 96 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 80% of government income. Kuwaits climate limits agricultural development. Consequently, with the exception of fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable water must be distilled or imported. Kuwait continues its discussions with foreign oil companies to develop fields in the northern part of the country. High oil prices in recent years have helped build Kuwaits budget and trade surpluses and foreign reserves. As a result of this positive fiscal situation, the need for economic reforms is less urgent and the government has not earnestly pushed through new initiatives.
Gdp purchasing power parity $55.91 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $60.72 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate12.6% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $23,100 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 0.4%
industry: 48.3%
services: 51.3% (2006 est.)
Labor force1.136 million
note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 80% of the labor force (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate2.2% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate consumer prices 3% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 26.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $59.58 billion
expenditures: $33.62 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt8.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productspractically no crops; fish
Industriespetroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate13.1% (2005 est.)
Electricity production40.37 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption37.54 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production2.418 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil consumption335,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exports2.2 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves96.5 billion bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas production9.7 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption9.7 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves1.572 trillion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance$40.75 billion (2006 est.)
Exports$56.06 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiesoil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports partnersJapan 20.2%, South Korea 16%, Taiwan 11.5%, Singapore 9.6%, US 8.9%, Netherlands 5.1%, China 4.1% (2006)
Imports$19.12 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesfood, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing
Imports partnersUS 14.1%, Japan 7.8%, Germany 7.7%, Saudi Arabia 6.8%, China 5.7%, UK 5.4%, Italy 4.6% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$11.08 billion (2006 est.)
Debt external$19.7 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$NA
Currency code Kuwaiti dinar (KD)
Exchange ratesKuwaiti dinars per US dollar - 0.29 (2006), 0.292 (2005), 0.2947 (2004), 0.298 (2003), 0.3039 (2002)
Communications - Kuwait:
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
Telephones main lines in use510,300 (2005)
Telephones mobile cellular2.536 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: the quality of service is excellent
domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and open-wire and fiber-optic cable; a cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait, and the country is well supplied with pay telephones
international: country code - 965; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 2 Arabsat
Radio broadcast stationsAM 6, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations13 (plus several satellite channels) (1997)
Internet country code.kw
Internet hosts2,310 (2006)
Internet users816,700 (2006)
Transportation - Kuwait:
Airports7 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2006)
Heliports5 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 269 km; oil 540 km; refined products 57 km (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 5,749 km
paved: 4,887 km
unpaved: 862 km (2004)
Merchant marinetotal: 38 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,424,983 GRT/3,996,755 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 1, container 6, liquefied gas 5, livestock carrier 3, petroleum tanker 21
registered in other countries: 28 (Bahrain 3, Comoros 1, Liberia 1, Libya 1, Panama 2, Qatar 7, Saudi Arabia 5, UAE 8) (2006)
Ports and terminalsAsh Shuaybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Az Zawr (Mina Saud), Mina Abd Allah, Mina al Ahmadi
Military - Kuwait:
Military branchesLand Forces, Kuwaiti Navy, Kuwaiti Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya), National Guard (2007)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; reserve obligation to age 40 with 1 month annual training; women have served in police forces since 1999 (2006)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 864,745
females age 18-49: 467,120 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 737,292
females age 18-49: 405,207 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 18,743
females age 18-49: 20,065 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp5.3% (2006)
Disputes internationalKuwait and Saudi Arabia continue negotiating a joint maritime boundary with Iran; no maritime boundary exists with Iraq in the Persian Gulf
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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