CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Kuwait

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CIA WFB Seal.png Kuwait Flag of Kuwait (WFB 2004).gif
Kuwait-CIA WFB Map (2004).png
Introduction Kuwait
Background: Britain 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.
Geography Kuwait
Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 29 30 N, 45 45 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 17,820 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 17,820 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries: total: 462 km
border countries: Iraq 240 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km
Coastline: 499 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrain: flat to slightly undulating desert plain
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 306 m
Natural resources: petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land use: arable land: 0.73%
permanent crops: 0.11%
other: 99.16% (2001)
Irrigated land: 60 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: sudden 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 issues: limited natural fresh water resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping
Geography - note: strategic location at head of Persian Gulf
People Kuwait
Population: 2,257,549
note: includes 1,291,354 non-nationals (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.5% (male 316,237; female 304,671)
15-64 years: 69.8% (male 1,007,298; female 569,128)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 38,408; female 21,807) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 25.9 years
male: 28.2 years
female: 22 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.36%
note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 21.85 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 2.44 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: 14.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.77 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1.52 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 10.26 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 11.27 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.84 years
male: 75.86 years
female: 77.86 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.03 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.12% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Kuwaiti(s)
adjective: Kuwaiti
Ethnic groups: Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
Religions: Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shi'a 30%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.5%
male: 85.1%
female: 81.7% (2003 est.)
Government Kuwait
Country name: conventional long form: State of Kuwait
conventional short form: Kuwait
local short form: Al Kuwayt
local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt
Government type: nominal constitutional monarchy
Capital: Kuwait
Administrative divisions: 5 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Farwaniyah, Al 'Asimah, Al Jahra', Hawalli
Independence: 19 June 1961 (from UK)
National holiday: National Day, 25 February (1950)
Constitution: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962
Legal system: civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants at age 21
note: only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote; in 1996, naturalized citizens who do not meet the pre-1920 qualification but have been naturalized for 30 years were eligible to vote for the first time
Executive branch: chief of state: Amir JABIR al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 31 December 1977); Crown Prince SAAD al-Abdullah al-Salim Al Sabah
head of government: Prime Minister SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 13 July 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior NAWWAF al-Ahmad Al Sabah (since 2003); Deputy Prime Ministers JABIR MUBARAK al-Hamad Al Sabah (since 2001) and Muhammad Dayfallah al-SHARAR (since 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 6 July 2003 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - Islamists 21, government supporters 14, liberals 3, and independents 12; note - all cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly
Judicial branch: High Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders: none; formation of political parties is illegal
Political pressure groups and leaders: several political groups act as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists, and secular leftists and nationalists
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador SALIM al-Abdallah Jabir Al Sabah
FAX: [1] (202) 364-2868
telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702
chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Richard LEBARON
embassy: Bayan, 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] 539-5307, 5308
FAX: [965] 538-0282
Flag description: three 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 - overview: Kuwait is a small, rich, relatively open economy with proved crude oil reserves of about 98 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 80% of government income. Kuwait's 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.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $41.46 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.6% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $19,000 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 59.5%
services: 40% (2003)
Investment (gross fixed): 8% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line: NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.2% (2003 est.)
Labor force: 1.38 million
note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 80% of the labor force. (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA, industries NA, services NA
Unemployment rate: 2.1% (2003 est.)
Budget: revenues: $29.41 billion
expenditures: $17.57 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003)
Public debt: 29.5% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products: practically no crops; fish
Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate: -5% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production: 31.49 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 29.29 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production: 2.27 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption: 293,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: 1.97 million bbl/day (2003)
Oil - imports: NA (2003)
Oil - proved reserves: 97.68 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production: 8.7 billion cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 8.7 billion cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.548 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance: $8.652 billion (2003)
Exports: $22.29 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities: oil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports - partners: Japan 21.3%, South Korea 14.9%, US 11.5%, Singapore 9.8%, Taiwan 9.3% (2003)
Imports: $9.606 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing
Imports - partners: US 14.7%, Japan 10.3%, Germany 9.6%, China 6.6%, UK 6.1%, Saudi Arabia 5.5%, Italy 5%, France 4.2% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold: $7.685 billion (2003)
Debt - external: $12.18 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: NA (2001)
Currency: Kuwaiti dinar (KWD)
Currency code: KWD
Exchange rates: Kuwaiti dinars per US dollar - 0.298 (2003), 0.3039 (2002), 0.3067 (2001), 0.3068 (2000), 0.3044 (1999)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Communications Kuwait
Telephones - main lines in use: 486,900 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 1.42 million (2003)
Telephone system: general 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 stations: AM 6, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 1.175 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 13 (plus several satellite channels) (1997)
Televisions: 875,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .kw
Internet hosts: 3,437 (2001)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (2000)
Internet users: 567,000 (2003)
Transportation Kuwait
Highways: total: 4,450 km
paved: 3,587 km
unpaved: 863 km (1999 est.)
Pipelines: gas 169 km; oil 540 km; refined products 57 km (2004)
Ports and harbors: Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Kuwait, Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi, Mina' Su'ud
Merchant marine: total: 38 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 2,319,082 GRT/3,768,828 DWT
registered in other countries: 5 (2004 est.)
foreign-owned: India 1, Saudi Arabia 1
by type: bulk 1, container 6, liquefied gas 5, livestock carrier 4, petroleum tanker 21, roll on/roll off 1
Airports: 7 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
Heliports: 3 (2003 est.)
Military Kuwait
Military branches: Land Forces, Navy, Air Force (including Air Defense Force), National Guard
Military manpower - military age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2001)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 880,461 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 531,556 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 18,849 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $2,500.4 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 5.8% (2003)
This page was last updated on 1 January 2003

This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005