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   Chapter 5 No.5

The 2010 CIA World Factbook By United States. Central Intelligence Agency. Characters: 11115891

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


Labor force

This entry contains the total labor force figure.

Labor force - by occupation

This entry lists the percentage distribution of the labor force by occupation. The distribution will total less than 100 percent if the data are incomplete and may range from 99-101 percent due to rounding.

Land boundaries

This entry contains the total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries. When available, official lengths published by national statistical agencies are used. Because surveying methods may differ, country border lengths reported by contiguous countries may differ.

Land use

This entry contains the percentage shares of total land area for three different types of land use: arable land - land cultivated for crops like wheat, maize, and rice that are replanted after each harvest; permanent crops - land cultivated for crops like citrus, coffee, and rubber that are not replanted after each harvest; includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, but excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber; other - any land not arable or under permanent crops; includes permanent meadows and pastures, forests and woodlands, built-on areas, roads, barren land, etc.

Languages

This entry provides a rank ordering of languages starting with the largest and sometimes includes the percent of total population speaking that language.

Legal system

This entry provides the description of a country's legal system; it also includes information on acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction. The legal systems of nearly all countries are generally modeled upon elements of five main types: civil law (including French law, the Napoleonic Code, Roman law, Roman-Dutch law, and Spanish law); common law (including United State law); customary law; mixed or pluralistic law; and religious law (including Islamic law). An additional type of legal system - international law, which governs the conduct of independent nations in their relationships with one another - is also addressed below. The following list describes these legal systems, the countries or world regions where these systems are enforced, and a brief statement on the origins and major features of each. Civil Law - The most widespread type of legal system in the world, applied in various forms in approximately 150 countries. Also referred to as European continental law, the civil law system is derived mainly from the Roman Corpus Juris Civilus, (Body of Civil Law), a collection of laws and legal interpretations compiled under the East Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian I between A.D. 528 and 565. The major feature of civil law systems is that the laws are organized into systematic written codes. In civil law the sources recognized as authoritative are principally legislation - especially codifications in constitutions or statutes enacted by governments - and secondarily, custom. The civil law systems in some countries are based on more than one code. Common Law - A type of legal system, often synonymous with "English common law," which is the system of England and Wales in the UK, and is also in force in approximately 80 countries formerly part of or influenced by the former British Empire. English common law reflects Biblical influences as well as remnants of law systems imposed by early conquerors including the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans. Some legal scholars attribute the formation of the English common law system to King Henry II (r.1154-1189). Until the time of his reign, laws customary among England's various manorial and ecclesiastical (church) jurisdictions were administered locally. Henry II established the king's court and designated that laws were "common" to the entire English realm. The foundation of English common law is "legal precedent" - referred to as stare decisis, meaning "to stand by things decided." In the English common law system, court judges are bound in their decisions in large part by the rules and other doctrines developed - and supplemented over time - by the judges of earlier English courts. Customary Law - A type of legal system that serves as the basis of, or has influenced, the present-day laws in approximately 40 countries - mostly in Africa, but some in the Pacific islands, Europe, and the Near East. Customary law is also referred to as "primitive law," "unwritten law," "indigenous law," and "folk law." There is no single history of customary law such as that found in Roman civil law, English common law, Islamic law, or the Napoleonic Civil Code. The earliest systems of law in human society were customary, and usually developed in small agrarian and hunter-gatherer communities. As the term implies, customary law is based upon the customs of a community. Common attributes of customary legal systems are that they are seldom written down, they embody an organized set of rules regulating social relations, and they are agreed upon by members of the community. Although such law systems include sanctions for law infractions, resolution tends to be reconciliatory rather than punitive. A number of African states practiced customary law many centuries prior to colonial influences. Following colonization, such laws were written down and incorporated to varying extents into the legal systems imposed by their colonial powers. European Union Law - A sub-discipline of international law known as "supranational law" in which the rights of sovereign nations are limited in relation to one another. Also referred to as the Law of the European Union or Community Law, it is the unique and complex legal system that operates in tandem with the laws of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU). Similar to federal states, the EU legal system ensures compliance from the member states because of the Union's decentralized political nature. The European Court of Justice (ECJ), established in 1952 by the Treaty of Paris, has been largely responsible for the development of EU law. Fundamental principles of European Union law include: subsidiarity - the notion that issues be handled by the smallest, lowest, or least centralized competent authority; proportionality - the EU may only act to the extent needed to achieve its objectives; conferral - the EU is a union of member states, and all its authorities are voluntarily granted by its members; legal certainty - requires that legal rules be clear and precise; and precautionary principle - a moral and political principle stating that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action. French Law - A type of civil law that is the legal system of France. The French system also serves as the basis for, or is mixed with, other legal systems in approximately 50 countries, notably in North Africa, the Near East, and the French territories and dependencies. French law is primarily codified or systematic written civil law. Prior to the French Revolution (1789-1799), France had no single national legal system. Laws in the northern areas of present-day France were mostly local customs based on privileges and exemptions granted by kings and feudal lords, while in the southern areas Roman law predominated. The introduction of the Napoleonic Civil Code during the reign of Napoleon I in the first decade of the 19th century brought major reforms to the French legal system, many of which remain part of France's current legal structure, though all have been extensively amended or redrafted to address a modern nation. French law distinguishes between "public law" and "private law." Public law relates to government, the French Constitution, public administration, and criminal law. Private law covers issues between private citizens or corporations. The most recent changes to the French legal system - introduced in the 1980s - were the decentralization laws, which transferred authority from centrally appointed government representatives to locally elected representatives of the people. International Law - The law of the international community, or the body of customary rules and treaty rules accepted as legally binding by states in their relations with each other. International law differs from other legal systems in that it primarily concerns sovereign political entities. There are three separate disciplines of international law: public international law, which governs the relationship between provinces and international entities and includes treaty law, law of the sea, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law; private international law, which addresses legal jurisdiction; and supranational law - a legal framework wherein countries are bound by regional agreements in which the laws of the member countries are held inapplicable when in conflict with supranational laws. At present the European Union is the only entity under a supranational legal system. The term "international law" was coined by Jeremy Bentham in 1780 in his Principles of Morals and Legislation, though laws governing relations between states have been recognized from very early times (many centuries B.C.). Modern international law developed alongside the emergence and growth of the European nation-states beginning in the early 16th century. Other factors that influenced the development of international law included the revival of legal studies, the growth of international trade, and the practice of exchanging emissaries and establishing legations. The sources of International law are set out in Article 38-1 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice within the UN Charter. Islamic Law - The most widespread type of religious law, it is the legal system enforced in over 30 countries, particularly in the Near East, but also in Central and South Asia, Africa, and Indonesia. In many countries Islamic law operates in tandem with a civil law system. Islamic law is embodied in the sharia, an Arabic word meaning "the right path." Sharia covers all aspects of public and private life and organizes them into five categories: obligatory, recommended, permitted, disliked, and forbidden. The primary sources of sharia law are the Qur'an, believed by Muslims to be the word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel, and the Sunnah, the teachings of the Prophet and his works. In addition to these two primary sources, traditional Sunni Muslims recognize the consensus of Muhammad's companions and Islamic jurists on certain issues, called ijmas, and various forms of reasoning, including analogy by legal scholars, referred to as qiyas. Shia Muslims reject ijmas and qiyas as sources of sharia law. Mixed Law - Also referred to as pluralistic law, mixed law consists of elements of some or all of the other main types of legal systems - civil, common, customary, and religious. The mixed legal systems of a number of countries came about when colonial powers overlaid their own legal systems upon colonized regions but retained elements of the colonies' existing legal systems. Napoleonic Civil Code - A type of civil law, referred to as the Civil Code or Code Civil des Francais, forms part of the legal system of France, and underpins the legal systems of Bolivia, Egypt, Lebanon, Poland, and the US state of Louisiana. The Civil Code was established under Napoleon I, enacted in 1804, and officially designated the Code Napoleon in 1807. This legal system combined the Teutonic civil law tradition of the northern provinces of France with the Roman law tradition of the southern and eastern regions of the country. The Civil Code bears similarities in its arrangement to the Roman Body of Civil Law (see Civil Law above). As enacted in 1804, the Code addressed personal status, property, and the acquisition of property. Codes added over the following six years included civil procedures, commercial law, criminal law and procedures, and a penal code. Religious Law - A legal system which stems from the sacred texts of religious traditions and in most cases professes to cover all aspects of life as a seamless part of devotional obligations to a transcendent, imminent, or deep philosophical reality. Implied as the basis of religious law is the concept of unalterability, because the word of God cannot be amended or legislated against by judges or governments. However, a detailed legal system generally requires human elaboration. The main types of religious law are sharia in Islam, halakha in Judaism, and canon law in some Christian groups. Sharia is the most widespread religious legal system (see Islamic Law), and is the sole system of law for countries including Iran, the Maldives, and Saudi Arabia. No country is fully governed by halakha, but Jewish people may decide to settle disputes through Jewish courts and be bound by their rulings. Canon law is not a divine law as such because it is not found in revelation. It is viewed instead as human law inspired by the word of God and applying the demands of that revelation to the actual situation of the church. Canon law regulates the internal ordering of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. Roman Law - A type of civil law developed in ancient Rome and practiced from the time of the city's founding (traditionally 753 B.C.) until the fall of the Western Empire in the 5th century A.D. Roman law remained the legal system of the Byzantine (Eastern Empire) until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Preserved fragments of the first legal text, known as the Law of the Twelve Tables, dating from the 5th century B.C., contained specific provisions designed to change the prevailing customary law. Early Roman law was drawn from custom and statutes; later, during the time of the empire, emperors asserted their authority as the ultimate source of law. The basis for Roman laws was the idea that the exact form - not the intention - of words or of actions produced legal consequences. It was only in the late 6th century A.D. that a comprehensive Roman code of laws was published (see Civil Law above). Roman law served as the basis of law systems developed in a number of continental European countries. Roman-Dutch Law - A type of civil law based on Roman law as applied in the Netherlands. Roman-Dutch law serves as the basis for legal systems in seven African countries, as well as Guyana, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. This law system, which originated in the province of Holland and expanded throughout the Netherlands (to be replaced by the French Civil Code in 1809), was instituted in a number of sub-Saharan African countries during the Dutch colonial period. The Dutch jurist/philosopher Hugo Grotius was the first to attempt to reduce Roman-Dutch civil law into a system in his Jurisprudence of Holland (written 1619-20, commentary published 1621). The Dutch historian/lawyer Simon van Leeuwen coined the term "Roman-Dutch law" in 1652. Spanish Law - A type of civil law, often referred to as the Spanish Civil Code, it is the present legal system of Spain and is the basis of legal systems in 12 countries mostly in Central and South America, but also in southwestern Europe, northern and western Africa, and southeastern Asia. The Spanish Civil Code reflects a complex mixture of customary, Roman, Napoleonic, local, and modern codified law. The laws of the Visigoth invaders of Spain in the 5th to 7th centuries had the earliest major influence on Spanish legal system development. The Christian Reconquest of Spain in the 11th through 15th centuries witnessed the development of customary law, which combined canon (religious) and Roman law. During several centuries of Hapsburg and Bourbon rule, systematic recompilations of the existing national legal system were attempted, but these often conflicted with local and regional customary civil laws. Legal system development for most of the 19th century concentrated on formulating a national civil law system, which was finally enacted in 1889 as the Spanish Civil Code. Several sections of the code have been revised, the most recent of which are the penal code in 1989 and the judiciary code in 2001. The Spanish Civil Code separates public and private law. Public law includes constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, process law, financial and tax law, and international public law. Private law includes civil law, commercial law, labor law, and international private law. United States Law - A type of common law, which is the basis of the legal system of the United States and that of its island possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific. This legal system has several layers, more possibly than in most other countries, and is due in part to the division between federal and state law. The United States was founded not as one nation but as a union of 13 colonies, each claiming independence from the British Crown. The US Constitution, implemented in 1789, began shifting power away from the states and toward the federal government, though the states today retain substantial legal authority. US law draws its authority from four sources: constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, and case law. Constitutional law is based on the US Constitution and serves as the supreme federal law. Taken together with those of the state constitutions, these documents outline the general structure of the federal and state governments and provide the rules and limits of power. US statutory law is legislation enacted by the US Congress and is codified in the United States Code. The 50 state legislatures have similar authority to enact state statutes. Administrative law is the authority delegated to federal and state executive agencies. Case law, also referred to as common law, covers areas where constitutional or statutory law is lacking. Case law is a collection of judicial decisions, customs, and general principles that began in England centuries ago, that were adopted in America at the time of the Revolution, and that continue to develop today.

Legislative branch

This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of the election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.

Life expectancy at birth

This entry contains the average number of years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year, if mortality at each age remains constant in the future. The entry includes total population as well as the male and female components. Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages. It can also be thought of as indicating the potential return on investment in human capital and is necessary for the calculation of various actuarial measures.

Literacy

This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census Bureau percentages for the total population, males, and females. There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition - the ability to read and write at a specified age. Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read and write is beyond the scope of the Factbook. Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the most easily available and valid for international comparisons. Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.

Location

This entry identifies the country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water.

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Major infectious diseases

This entry lists major infectious diseases likely to be encountered in countries where the risk of such diseases is assessed to be very high as compared to the United States. These infectious diseases represent risks to US government personnel traveling to the specified country for a period of less than three years. The degree of risk is assessed by considering the foreign nature of these infectious diseases, their severity, and the probability of being affected by the diseases present. The diseases listed do not necessarily represent the total disease burden experienced by the local population. The risk to an individual traveler varies considerably by the specific location, visit duration, type of activities, type of accommodations, time of year, and other factors. Consultation with a travel medicine physician is needed to evaluate individual risk and recommend appropriate preventive measures such as vaccines. Diseases are organized into the following six exposure categories shown in italics and listed in typical descending order of risk. Note: The sequence of exposure categories listed in individual country entries may vary according to local conditions. food or waterborne diseases acquired through eating or drinking on the local economy: Hepatitis A - viral disease that interferes with the functioning of the liver; spread through consumption of food or water contaminated with fecal matter, principally in areas of poor sanitation; victims exhibit fever, jaundice, and diarrhea; 15% of victims will experience prolonged symptoms over 6-9 months; vaccine available. Hepatitis E - water-borne viral disease that interferes with the functioning of the liver; most commonly spread through fecal contamination of drinking water; victims exhibit jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, and dark colored urine. Typhoid fever - bacterial disease spread through contact with food or water contaminated by fecal matter or sewage; victims exhibit sustained high fevers; left untreated, mortality rates can reach 20%. vectorborne diseases acquired through the bite of an infected arthropod: Malaria - caused by single-cell parasitic protozoa Plasmodium; transmitted to humans via the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito; parasites multiply in the liver attacking red blood cells resulting in cycles of fever, chills, and sweats accompanied by anemia; death due to damage to vital organs and interruption of blood supply to the brain; endemic in 100, mostly tropical, countries with 90% of cases and the majority of 1.5-2.5 million estimated annual deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Dengue fever - mosquito-borne (Aedes aegypti) viral disease associated with urban environments; manifests as sudden onset of fever and severe headache; occasionally produces shock and hemorrhage leading to death in 5% of cases. Yellow fever - mosquito-borne viral disease; severity ranges from influenza-like symptoms to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever; occurs only in tropical South America and sub-Saharan Africa, where most cases are reported; fatality rate is less than 20%. Japanese Encephalitis - mosquito-borne (Culex tritaeniorhynchus) viral disease associated with rural areas in Asia; acute encephalitis can progress to paralysis, coma, and death; fatality rates 30%. African Trypanosomiasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma; transmitted to humans via the bite of bloodsucking Tsetse flies; infection leads to malaise and irregular fevers and, in advanced cases when the parasites invade the central nervous system, coma and death; endemic in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa; cattle and wild animals act as reservoir hosts for the parasites. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa leishmania; transmitted to humans via the bite of sandflies; results in skin lesions that may become chronic; endemic in 88 countries; 90% of cases occur in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Peru; wild and domesticated animals as well as humans can act as reservoirs of infection. Plague - bacterial disease transmitted by fleas normally associated with rats; person-to-person airborne transmission also possible; recent plague epidemics occurred in areas of Asia, Africa, and South America associated with rural areas or small towns and villages; manifests as fever, headache, and painfully swollen lymph nodes; disease progresses rapidly and without antibiotic treatment leads to pneumonic form with a death rate in excess of 50%. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever - tick-borne viral disease; infection may also result from exposure to infected animal blood or tissue; geographic distribution includes Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe; sudden onset of fever, headache, and muscle aches followed by hemorrhaging in the bowels, urine, nose, and gums; mortality rate is approximately 30%. Rift Valley fever - viral disease affecting domesticated animals and humans; transmission is by mosquito and other biting insects; infection may also occur through handling of infected meat or contact with blood; geographic distribution includes eastern and southern Africa where cattle and sheep are raised; symptoms are generally mild with fever and some liver abnormalities, but the disease may progress to hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, or ocular disease; fatality rates are low at about 1% of cases. Chikungunya - mosquito-borne (Aedes aegypti) viral disease associated with urban environments, similar to Dengue Fever; characterized by sudden onset of fever, rash, and severe joint pain usually lasting 3-7 days, some cases result in persistent arthritis. water contact diseases acquired through swimming or wading in freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers: Leptospirosis - bacterial disease that affects animals and humans; infection occurs through contact with water, food, or soil contaminated by animal urine; symptoms include high fever, severe headache, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea; untreated, the disease can result in kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, or respiratory distress; fatality rates are low but left untreated recovery can take months. Schistosomiasis - caused by parasitic trematode flatworm Schistosoma; fresh water snails act as intermediate host and release larval form of parasite that penetrates the skin of people exposed to contaminated water; worms mature and reproduce in the blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and intestines releasing eggs, which become trapped in tissues triggering an immune response; may manifest as either urinary or intestinal disease resulting in decreased work or learning capacity; mortality, while generally low, may occur in advanced cases usually due to bladder cancer; endemic in 74 developing countries with 80% of infected people living in sub-Saharan Africa; humans act as the reservoir for this parasite. aerosolized dust or soil contact disease acquired through inhalation of aerosols contaminated with rodent urine: Lassa fever - viral disease carried by rats of the genus Mastomys; endemic in portions of West Africa; infection occurs through direct contact with or consumption of food contaminated by rodent urine or fecal matter containing virus particles; fatality rate can reach 50% in epidemic outbreaks. respiratory disease acquired through close contact with an infectious person: Meningococcal meningitis - bacterial disease causing an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord; one of the most important bacterial pathogens is Neisseria meningitidis because of its potential to cause epidemics; symptoms include stiff neck, high fever, headaches, and vomiting; bacteria are transmitted from person to person by respiratory droplets and facilitated by close and prolonged contact resulting from crowded living conditions, often with a seasonal distribution; death occurs in 5-15% of cases, typically within 24-48 hours of onset of symptoms; highest burden of meningococcal disease occurs in the hyperendemic region of sub-Saharan Africa known as the "Meningitis Belt" which stretches from Senegal east to Ethiopia. animal contact disease acquired through direct contact with local animals: Rabies - viral disease of mammals usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, most commonly dogs; virus affects the central nervous system causing brain alteration and death; symptoms initially are non-specific fever and headache progressing to neurological symptoms; death occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.

Manpower available for military service

This entry gives the number of males and females falling in the military age range for a country (defined as being ages 16-49) and assumes that every individual is fit to serve.

Manpower fit for military service

This entry gives the number of males and females falling in the military age range for a country (defined as being ages 16-49) and who are not otherwise disqualified for health reasons; accounts for the health situation in the country and provides a more realistic estimate of the actual number fit to serve.

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

This entry gives the number of males and females entering the military manpower pool (i.e., reaching age 16) in any given year and is a measure of the availability of military-age young adults.

Map references

This entry includes the name of the Factbook reference map on which a country may be found. Note that boundary representations on these maps are not necessarily authoritative. The entry on Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries.

Maritime claims

This entry includes the following claims, the definitions of which are excerpted from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which alone contains the full and definitive descriptions: territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS (Part II); this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying seabed and subsoil; every state has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles; the normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the mean low-water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal state; the UNCLOS describes specific rules for archipelagic states. contiguous zone - according to the UNCLOS (Article 33), this is a zone contiguous to a coastal state's territorial sea, over which it may exercise the control necessary to: prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea; punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea; the contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured (e.g. the US has claimed a 12-nautical mile contiguous zone in addition to its 12-nautical mile territorial sea). exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - the UNCLOS (Part V) defines the EEZ as a zone beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which a coastal state has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents, and winds; jurisdiction with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures; marine scientific research; the protection and preservation of the marine environment; the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone shall not exceed 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. continental shelf - the UNCLOS (Article 76) defines the continental shelf of a coastal state as comprising the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance; the continental margin comprises the submerged prolongation of the landmass of the coastal state, and consists of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise; wherever the continental margin extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baseline, coastal states may extend their claim to a distance not to exceed 350 nautical miles from the baseline or 100 nautical miles from the 2500 meter isobath; it does not include the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof. exclusive fishing zone - while this term is not used in the UNCLOS, some states (e.g., the United Kingdom) have chosen not to claim an EEZ, but rather to claim jurisdiction over the living resources off their coast; in such cases, the term exclusive fishing zone is often used; the breadth of this zone is normally the same as the EEZ or 200 nautical miles.

Market value of publicly traded shares

This entry gives the value of shares issued by publicly traded companies at a price determined in the national stock markets on the final day of the period indicated. It is simply the latest price per share multiplied by the total number of outstanding shares, cumulated over all companies listed on the particular exchange.

Median age

This entry is the age that divides a population into two numerically equal groups; that is, half the people are younger than this age and half are older. It is a single index that summarizes the age distribution of a population. Currently, the median age ranges from a low of about 15 in Uganda and Gaza Strip to 40 or more in several European countries and Japan. See the entry for "Age structure" for the importance of a young versus an older age structure and, by implication, a low versus a higher median age.

Merchant marine

Merchant marine may be defined as all ships engaged in the carriage of goods; or all commercial vessels (as opposed to all nonmilitary ships), which excludes tugs, fishing vessels, offshore oil rigs, etc. This entry contains information in four fields - total, ships by type, foreign-owned, and registered in other countries. Total includes the number of ships (1,000 GRT or over), total DWT for those ships, and total GRT for those ships. DWT or dead weight tonnage is the total weight of cargo, plus bunkers, stores, etc., that a ship can carry when immersed to the appropriate load line. GRT or gross register tonnage is a figure obtained by measuring the entire sheltered volume of a ship available for cargo and passengers and converting it to tons on the basis of 100 cubic feet per ton; there is no stable relationship between GRT and DWT. Ships by type includes a listing of barge carriers, bulk cargo ships, cargo ships, chemical tankers, combination bulk carriers, combination ore/oil carriers, container ships, liquefied gas tankers, livestock carriers, multifunctional large-load carriers, petroleum tankers, passenger ships, passenger/cargo ships, railcar carriers, refrigerated cargo ships, roll-on/roll-off cargo ships, short-sea passenger ships, specialized tankers, and vehicle carriers. Foreign-owned are ships that fly the flag of one country but belong to owners in another. Registered in other countries are ships that belong to owners in one country but fly the flag of another.

Military

This category includes the entries dealing with a country's military structure, manpower, and expenditures.

Military - note

This entry includes miscellaneous military information of significance not included elsewhere.

Military branches

This entry lists the service branches subordinate to defense ministries or the equivalent (typically ground, naval, air, and marine forces).

Military expenditures

This entry gives spending on defense programs for the most recent year available as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP); the GDP is calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).

Military service age and obligation

This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of service obligation.

Money figures

All money figures are expressed in contemporaneous US dollars unless otherwise indicated.

N

National anthem

A generally patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

National holiday

This entry gives the primary national day of celebration - usually independence day.

Nationality

This entry provides the identifying terms for citizens - noun and adjective.

Natural gas - consumption

This entry is the total natural gas consumed in cubic meters (cu m). The discrepancy between the amount of natural gas produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes and other complicating factors.

Natural gas - exports

This entry is the total natural gas exported in cubic meters (cu m).

Natural gas - imports

This entry is the total natural gas imported in cubic meters (cu m).

Natural gas - production

This entry is the total natural gas produced in cubic meters (cu m). The discrepancy between the amount of natural gas produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes and other complicating factors.

Natural gas - proved reserves

This entry is the stock of proved reserves of natural gas in cubic meters (cu m). Proved reserves are those quantities of natural gas, which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated with a high degree of confidence to be commercially recoverable from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions.

Natural hazards

This entry lists potential natural disasters. For countries where volcanic activity is common, a volcanism subfield highlights historically active volcanoes.

Natural resources

This entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance, such as rare earth elements (REEs).

Net migration rate

This entry includes the figure for the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g., 3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the overall level of population change. The net migration rate does not distinguish between economic migrants, refugees, and other types of migrants nor does it distinguish between lawful migrants and undocumented migrants.

O

Oil - consumption

This entry is the total oil consumed in barrels per day (bbl/day). The discrepancy between the amount of oil produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating factors.

Oil - exports

This entry is the total oil exported in barrels per day (bbl/day), including both crude oil and oil products.

Oil - imports

This entry is the total oil imported in barrels per day (bbl/day), including both crude oil and oil products.

Oil - production

This entry is the total oil produced in barrels per day (bbl/day). The discrepancy between the amount of oil produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating factors.

Oil - proved reserves

This entry is the stock of proved reserves of crude oil in barrels (bbl). Proved reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated with a high degree of confidence to be commercially recoverable from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions.

P

People

This category includes the entries dealing with the characteristics of the people and their society.

People - note

This entry includes miscellaneous demographic information of significance not included elsewhere.

Personal Names - Capitalization

The Factbook capitalizes the surname or family name of individuals for the convenience of our users who are faced with a world of different cultures and naming conventions. The need for capitalization, bold type, underlining, italics, or some other indicator of the individual's surname is apparent in the following examples: MAO Zedong, Fidel CASTRO Ruz, George W. BUSH, and TUNKU SALAHUDDIN Abdul Aziz Shah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Hisammuddin Alam Shah. By knowing the surname, a short form without all capital letters can be used with confidence as in President Castro, Chairman Mao, President Bush, or Sultan Tunku Salahuddin. The same system of capitalization is extended to the names of leaders with surnames that are not commonly used such as Queen ELIZABETH II. For Vietnamese names, the given name is capitalized because officials are referred to by their given name rather than by their surname. For example, the president of Vietnam is Tran Duc LUONG. His surname is Tran, but he is referred to by his given name - President LUONG.

Personal Names - Spelling

The romanization of personal names in the Factbook normally follows the same transliteration system used by the US Board on Geographic Names for spelling place names. At times, however, a foreign leader expressly indicates a preference for, or the media or official documents regularly use, a romanized spelling that differs from the transliteration derived from the US Government standard. In such cases, the Factbook uses the alternative spelling.

Personal Names - Titles

The Factbook capitalizes any valid title (or short form of it) immediately preceding a person's name. A title standing alone is not capitalized. Examples: President PUTIN and President BUSH are chiefs of state. In Russia, the president is chief of state and the premier is the head of the government, while in the US, the president is both chief of state and head of government.

Petroleum

See entries under Oil.

Petroleum products

See entries under Oil.

Pipelines

This entry gives the lengths and types of pipelines for transporting products like natural gas, crude oil, or petroleum products.

Piracy

Piracy is defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as any illegal act of violence, detention, or depredation directed against a ship, aircraft, persons, or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State. Such criminal acts committed in the territorial waters of a littoral state are generally considered to be armed robbery against ships. Information on piracy may be found, where applicable, in the Transportation - note.

Political parties and leaders

This entry includes a listing of significant political organizations and their leaders.

Political pressure groups and leaders

This entry includes a listing of a country's political, social, labor, or religious organizations that are involved in politics, or that exert political pressure, but whose leaders do not stand for legislative election. International movements or organizations are generally not listed.

Population

This entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. The total population presents one overall measure of the potential impact of the country on the world and within its region. Note: Starting with the 1993 Factbook, demographic estimates for some countries (mostly African) have explicitly taken into account the effects of the growing impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These countries are currently: The Bahamas, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Population below poverty line

National estimates of the percentage of the population falling below the poverty line are based on surveys of sub-groups, with the results weighted by the number of people in each group. Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations.

Population growth rate

The average annual percent change in the population, resulting from a surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a country. The rate may be positive or negative. The growth rate is a factor in determining how great a burden would be imposed on a country by the changing needs of its people for infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing, roads), resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. Rapid population growth can be seen as threatening by neighboring countries.

Ports and terminals

This entry lists major ports and terminals primarily on the basis of the amount of cargo tonnage shipped through the facilities on an annual basis. In some instances, the number of containers handled or ship visits were also considered.

Public debt

This entry records the cumulative total of all government borrowings less repayments that are denominated in a country's home currency. Public debt should not be confused with external debt, which reflects the foreign currency liabilities of both the private and public sector and must be financed out of foreign exchange earnings.

R

Railways

This entry states the total route length of the railway network and of its component parts by gauge: broad, standard, narrow, and dual. Other gauges are listed under note.

Rare earth elements

Rare earth elements or REEs are 17 chemical elements that are critical in many of today's high-tech industries. They include lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, scandium, and yttrium. Typical applications for REEs include batteries in hybrid cars, fiber optic cables, flat panel displays, and permanent magnets, as well as some defense and medical products.

Reference maps

This section includes world and regional maps.

Refugees and internally displaced persons

This entry includes those persons residing in a country as refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs). The definition of a refugee according to a United Nations Convention is "a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution." The UN established the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1950 to handle refugee matters worldwide. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has a different operational definition for a Palestinian refugee: "a person whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict." However, UNHCR also assists some 400,000 Palestinian refugees not covered under the UNRWA definition. The term "internally displaced person" is not specifically covered in the UN Convention; it is used to describe people who have fled their homes for reasons similar to refugees, but who remain within their own national territory and are subject to the laws of that state.

Religions

This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population. The core characteristics and beliefs of the world's major religions are described below. Baha'i - Founded by Mirza Husayn-Ali (known as Baha'u'llah) in Iran in 1852, Baha'i faith emphasizes monotheism and believes in one eternal transcendent God. Its guiding focus is to encourage the unity of all peoples on the earth so that justice and peace may be achieved on earth. Baha'i revelation contends the prophets of major world religions reflect some truth or element of the divine, believes all were manifestations of God given to specific communities in specific times, and that Baha'u'llah is an additional prophet meant to call all humankind. Bahais are an open community, located worldwide, with the greatest concentration of believers in South Asia. Buddhism - Religion or philosophy inspired by the 5th century B.C. teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (also known as Gautama Buddha "the enlightened one"). Buddhism focuses on the goal of spiritual enlightenment centered on an understanding of Gautama Buddha's Four Noble Truths on the nature of suffering, and on the Eightfold Path of spiritual and moral practice, to break the cycle of suffering of which we are a part. Buddhism ascribes to a karmic system of rebirth. Several schools and sects of Buddhism exist, differing often on the nature of the Buddha, the extent to which enlightenment can be achieved - for one or for all, and by whom - religious orders or laity. Basic Groupings Theravada Buddhism: The oldest Buddhist school, Theravada is practiced mostly in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Thailand, with minority representation elsewhere in Asia and the West. Theravadans follow the Pali Canon of Buddha's teachings, and believe that one may escape the cycle of rebirth, worldly attachment, and suffering for oneself; this process may take one or several lifetimes. Mahayana Buddhism, including subsets Zen and Tibetan Buddhism: Forms of Mahayana Buddhism are common in East Asia and Tibet, and parts of the West. Mahayanas have additional scriptures beyond the Pali Canon and believe the Buddha is eternal and still teaching. Unlike Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana schools maintain the Buddha-nature is present in all beings and all will ultimately achieve enlightenment. Christianity - Descending from Judaism, Christianity's central belief maintains Jesus of Nazareth is the promised messiah of the Hebrew Scriptures, and that his life, death, and resurrection are salvific for the world. Christianity is one of the three monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, along with Islam and Judaism, which traces its spiritual lineage to Abraham of the Hebrew Scriptures. Its sacred texts include the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament (or the Christian Gospels). Basic Groupings Catholicism (or Roman Catholicism): This is the oldest established western Christian church and the world's largest single religious body. It is supranational, and recognizes a hierarchical structure with the Pope, or Bishop of Rome, as its head, located at the Vatican. Catholics believe the Pope is the divinely ordered head of the Church from a direct spiritual legacy of Jesus' apostle Peter. Catholicism is comprised of 23 particular Churches, or Rites - one Western (Roman or Latin-Rite) and 22 Eastern. The Latin Rite is by far the largest, making up about 98% of Catholic membership. Eastern-Rite Churches, such as the Maronite Church and the Ukrainian Catholic Church, are in communion with Rome although they preserve their own worship traditions and their immediate hierarchy consists of clergy within their own rite. The Catholic Church has a comprehensive theological and moral doctrine specified for believers in its catechism, which makes it unique among most forms of Christianity. Mormonism (including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints): Originating in 1830 in the United States under Joseph Smith, Mormonism is not characterized as a form of Protestant Christianity because it claims additional revealed Christian scriptures after the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The Book of Mormon maintains there was an appearance of Jesus in the New World following the Christian account of his resurrection, and that the Americas are uniquely blessed continents. Mormonism believes earlier Christian traditions, such as the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant reform faiths, are apostasies and that Joseph Smith's revelation of the Book of Mormon is a restoration of true Christianity. Mormons have a hierarchical religious leadership structure, and actively proselytize their faith; they are located primarily in the Americas and in a number of other Western countries. Orthodox Christianity: The oldest established eastern form of Christianity, the Holy Orthodox Church, has a ceremonial head in the Bishop of Constantinople (Istanbul), also known as a Patriarch, but its various regional forms (e.g., Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox) are autocephalous (independent of Constantinople's authority, and have their own Patriarchs). Orthodox churches are highly nationalist and ethnic. The Orthodox Christian faith shares many theological tenets with the Roman Catholic Church, but diverges on some key premises and does not recognize the governing authority of the Pope. Protestant Christianity: Protestant Christianity originated in the 16th century as an attempt to reform Roman Catholicism's practices, dogma, and theology. It encompasses several forms or denominations which are extremely varied in structure, beliefs, relationship to state, clergy, and governance. Many protestant theologies emphasize the primary role of scripture in their faith, advocating individual interpretation of Christian texts without the mediation of a final religious authority such as the Roman Pope. The oldest Protestant Christianities include Lutheranism, Calvinism (Presbyterians), and Anglican Christianity (Episcopalians), which have established liturgies, governing structure, and formal clergy. Other variants on Protestant Christianity, including Pentecostal movements and independent churches, may lack one or more of these elements, and their leadership and beliefs are individualized and dynamic. Hinduism - Originating in the Vedic civilization of India (second and first millennium B.C.), Hinduism is an extremely diverse set of beliefs and practices with no single founder or religious authority. Hinduism has many scriptures; the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita are among some of the most important. Hindus may worship one or many deities, usually with prayer rituals within their own home. The most common figures of devotion are the gods Vishnu, Shiva, and a mother goddess, Devi. Most Hindus believe the soul, or atman, is eternal, and goes through a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara) determined by one's positive or negative karma, or the consequences of one's actions. The goal of religious life is to learn to act so as to finally achieve liberation (moksha) of one's soul, escaping the rebirth cycle. Islam - The third of the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, Islam originated with the teachings of Muhammad in the 7th century. Muslims believe Muhammad is the final of all religious prophets (beginning with Abraham) and that the Qu'ran, which is the Islamic scripture, was revealed to him by God. Islam derives from the word submission, and obedience to God is a primary theme in this religion. In order to live an Islamic life, believers must follow the five pillars, or tenets, of Islam, which are the testimony of faith (shahada), daily prayer (salah), giving alms (zakah), fasting during Ramadan (sawm), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). Basic Groupings The two primary branches of Islam are Sunni and Shia, which split from each other over a religio-political leadership dispute about the rightful successor to Muhammad. The Shia believe Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, was the only divinely ordained Imam (religious leader), while the Sunni maintain the first three caliphs after Muhammad were also legitimate authorities. In modern Islam, Sunnis and Shia continue to have different views of acceptable schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and who is a proper Islamic religious authority. Islam also has an active mystical branch, Sufism, with various Sunni and Shia subsets. Sunni Islam accounts for over 75% of the world's Muslim population. It recognizes the Abu Bakr as the first caliph after Muhammad. Sunni has four schools of Islamic doctrine and law - Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali - which uniquely interpret the Hadith, or recorded oral traditions of Muhammad. A Sunni Muslim may elect to follow any one of these schools, as all are considered equally valid. Shia Islam represents 10-20% of Muslims worldwide, and its distinguishing feature is its reverence for Ali as an infallible, divinely inspired leader, and as the first Imam of the Muslim community after Muhammad. A majority of Shia are known as "Twelvers," because they believe that the 11 familial successor imams after Muhammad culminate in a 12th Imam (al-Mahdi) who is hidden in the world and will reappear at its end to redeem the righteous. Variants Ismaili faith: A sect of Shia Islam, its adherents are also known as "Seveners," because they believe that the rightful seventh Imam in Islamic leadership was Isma'il, the elder son of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq. Ismaili tradition awaits the return of the seventh Imam as the Mahdi, or Islamic messianic figure. Ismailis are located in various parts of the world, particularly South Asia and the Levant. Alawi faith: Another Shia sect of Islam, the name reflects followers' devotion to the religious authority of Ali. Alawites are a closed, secretive religious group who assert they are Shia Muslims, although outside scholars speculate their beliefs may have a syncretic mix with other faiths originating in the Middle East. Alawis live mostly in Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. Druze faith: A highly secretive tradition and a closed community that derives from the Ismaili sect of Islam; its core beliefs are thought to emphasize a combination of Gnostic principles believing that the Fatimid caliph, al-Hakin, is the one who embodies the key aspects of goodness of the universe, which are, the intellect, the word, the soul, the preceder, and the follower. The Druze have a key presence in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Jainism - Originating in India, Jain spiritual philosophy believes in an eternal human soul, the eternal universe, and a principle of "the own nature of things." It emphasizes compassion for all living things, seeks liberation of the human soul from reincarnation through enlightenment, and values personal responsibility due to the belief in the immediate consequences of one's behavior. Jain philosophy teaches non-violence and prescribes vegetarianism for monks and laity alike; its adherents are a highly influential religious minority in Indian society. Judaism - One of the first known monotheistic religions, likely dating to between 2000-1500 B.C., Judaism is the native faith of the Jewish people, based upon the belief in a covenant of responsibility between a sole omnipotent creator God and Abraham, the patriarch of Judaism's Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh. Divine revelation of principles and prohibitions in the Hebrew Scriptures form the basis of Jewish law, or halakhah, which is a key component of the faith. While there are extensive traditions of Jewish halakhic and theological discourse, there is no final dogmatic authority in the tradition. Local communities have their own religious leadership. Modern Judaism has three basic categories of faith: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform/Liberal. These differ in their views and observance of Jewish law, with the Orthodox representing the most traditional practice, and Reform/Liberal communities the most accommodating of individualized interpretations of Jewish identity and faith. Shintoism - A native animist tradition of Japan, Shinto practice is based upon the premise that every being and object has its own spirit or kami. Shinto practitioners worship several particular kamis, including the kamis of nature, and families often have shrines to their ancestors' kamis. Shintoism has no fixed tradition of prayers or prescribed dogma, but is characterized by individual ritual. Respect for the kamis in nature is a key Shinto value. Prior to the end of World War II, Shinto was the state religion of Japan, and bolstered the cult of the Japanese emperor. Sikhism - Founded by the Guru Nanak (born 1469), Sikhism believes in a non-anthropomorphic, supreme, eternal, creator God; centering one's devotion to God is seen as a means of escaping the cycle of rebirth. Sikhs follow the teachings of Nanak and nine subsequent gurus. Their scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib - also known as the Adi Granth - is considered the living Guru, or final authority of Sikh faith and theology. Sikhism emphasizes equality of humankind and disavows caste, class, or gender discrimination. Taoism - Chinese philosophy or religion based upon Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, which centers on belief in the Tao, or the way, as the flow of the universe and the nature of things. Taoism encourages a principle of non-force, or wu-wei, as the means to live harmoniously with the Tao. Taoists believe the esoteric world is made up of a perfect harmonious balance and nature, while in the manifest world - particularly in the body - balance is distorted. The Three Jewels of the Tao - compassion, simplicity, and humility - serve as the basis for Taoist ethics. Zoroastrianism - Originating from the teachings of Zoroaster in about the 9th or 10th century B.C., Zoroastrianism may be the oldest continuing creedal religion. Its key beliefs center on a transcendent creator God, Ahura Mazda, and the concept of free will. The key ethical tenets of Zoroastrianism expressed in its scripture, the Avesta, are based on a dualistic worldview where one may prevent chaos if one chooses to serve God and exercises good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. Zoroastrianism is generally a closed religion and members are almost always born to Zoroastrian parents. Prior to the spread of Islam, Zoroastrianism dominated greater Iran. Today, though a minority, Zoroastrians remain primarily in Iran, India, and Pakistan.

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

This entry gives the dollar value for the stock of all financial assets that are available to the central monetary authority for use in meeting a country's balance of payments needs as of the end-date of the period specified. This category includes not only foreign currency and gold, but also a country's holdings of Special Drawing Rights in the International Monetary Fund, and its reserve position in the Fund.

Roadways

This entry gives the total length of the road network and includes the length of the paved and unpaved portions.

S

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

School life expectancy (SLE) is the total number of years of schooling (primary to tertiary) that a child can expect to receive, assuming that the probability of his or her being enrolled in school at any particular future age is equal to the current enrollment ratio at that age. Caution must be maintained when utilizing this indicator in international comparisons. For example, a year or grade completed in one country is not necessarily the same in terms of educational content or quality as a year or grade completed in another country. SLE represents the expected number of years of schooling that will be completed, including years spent repeating one or more grades.

Sex ratio

This entry includes the number of males for each female in five age groups - at birth, under 15 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over, and for the total population. Sex ratio at birth has recently emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in some countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide due to a strong preference for sons. This will affect future marriage patterns and fertility patterns. Eventually, it could cause unrest among young adult males who are unable to find partners.

Stock of broad money

This entry covers all of "Narrow money," plus the total quantity of time and savings deposits, credit union deposits, institutional money market funds, short-term repurchase agreements between the central bank and commercial deposit banks, and other large liquid assets held by nonbank financial institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial public enterprises, and the private sector of the economy. National currency units have been converted to US dollars at the closing exchange rate for the date of the information. Because of exchange rate movements, changes in money stocks measured in national currency units may vary significantly from those shown in US dollars, and caution is urged when making comparisons over time in US dollars. In addition to serving as a medium of exchange, broad money includes assets that are slightly less liquid than narrow money and the assets tend to function as a "store of value" - a means of holding wealth.

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

This entry gives the cumulative US dollar value of all investments in foreign countries made directly by residents - primarily companies - of the home country, as of the end of the time period indicated. Direct investment excludes investment through purchase of shares.

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

This entry gives the cumulative US dollar value of all investments in the home country made directly by residents - primarily companies - of other countries as of the end of the time period indicated. Direct investment excludes investment through purchase of shares.

Stock of domestic credit

This entry is the total quantity of credit, denominated in the domestic currency, provided by financial institutions to the central bank, state and local governments, public non-financial corporations, and the private sector. The national currency units have been converted to US dollars at the closing exchange rate on the date of the information.

Stock of narrow money

This entry, also know as "M1," comprises the total quantity of currency in circulation (notes and coins) plus demand deposits denominated in the national currency held by nonbank financial institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial public enterprises, and the private sector of the economy, measured at a specific point in time. National currency units have been converted to US dollars at the closing exchange rate for the date of the information. Because of exchange rate movements, changes in money stocks measured in national currency units may vary significantly from those shown in US dollars, and caution is urged when making comparisons over time in US dollars. Narrow money consists of more liquid assets than broad money and the assets generally function as a "medium of exchange" for an economy.

Suffrage

This entry gives the age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted.

T

Telephone numbers

All telephone numbers in The World Factbook consist of the country code in brackets, the city or area code (where required) in parentheses, and the local number. The one component that is not presented is the international access code, which varies from country to country. For example, an international direct dial telephone call placed from the US to Madrid, Spain, would be as follows: 011 [34] (1) 577-xxxx, where 011 is the international access code for station-to-station calls; 01 is for calls other than station-to-station calls, [34] is the country code for Spain, (1) is the city code for Madrid, 577 is the local exchange, and xxxx is the local telephone number. An international direct dial telephone call placed from another country to the US would be as follows: international access code + [1] (202) 939-xxxx, where [ 1] is the country code for the US, (202) is the area code for Washington, DC, 939 is the local exchange, and xxxx is the local telephone number.

Telephone system

This entry includes a brief general assessment of the system with details on the domestic and international components. The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry: Arabsat - Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). Autodin - Automatic Digital Network (US Department of Defense). CB - citizen's band mobile radio communications. Cellular telephone system - the telephones in this system are radio transceivers, with each instrument having its own private radio frequency and sufficient radiated power to reach the booster station in its area (cell), from which the telephone signal is fed to a telephone exchange. Central American Microwave System - a trunk microwave radio relay system that links the countries of Central America and Mexico with each other. Coaxial cable - a multichannel communication cable consisting of a central conducting wire, surrounded by and insulated from a cylindrical conducting shell; a large number of telephone channels can be made available within the insulated space by the use of a large number of carrier frequencies. Comsat - Communications Satellite Corporation (US). DSN - Defense Switched Network (formerly Automatic Voice Network or Autovon); basic general-purpose, switched voice network of the Defense Communications System (US Department of Defense). Eutelsat - European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Paris). Fiber-optic cable - a multichannel communications cable using a thread of optical glass fibers as a transmission medium in which the signal (voice, video, etc.) is in the form of a coded pulse of light. GSM - a global system for mobile (cellular) communications devised by the Groupe Special Mobile of the pan-European standardization organization, Conference Europeanne des Posts et Telecommunications (CEPT) in 1982. HF - high frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to 30,000-kHz range. Inmarsat - International Maritime Satellite Organization (London); provider of global mobile satellite communications for commercial, distress, and safety applications at sea, in the air, and on land. Intelsat - International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Washington, DC). Intersputnik - International Organization of Space Communications (Moscow); first established in the former Soviet Union and the East European countries, it is now marketing its services worldwide with earth stations in North America, Africa, and East Asia. Landline - communication wire or cable of any sort that is installed on poles or buried in the ground. Marecs - Maritime European Communications Satellite used in the Inmarsat system on lease from the European Space Agency. Marisat - satellites of the Comsat Corporation that participate in the Inmarsat system. Medarabtel - the Middle East Telecommunications Project of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) providing a modern telecommunications network, primarily by microwave radio relay, linking Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen; it was initially started in Morocco in 1970 by the Arab Telecommunications Union (ATU) and was known at that time as the Middle East Mediterranean Telecommunications Network. Microwave radio relay - transmission of long distance telephone calls and television programs by highly directional radio microwaves that are received and sent on from one booster station to another on an optical path. NMT - Nordic Mobile Telephone; an analog cellular telephone system that was developed jointly by the national telecommunications authorities of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). Orbita - a Russian television service; also the trade name of a packet-switched digital telephone network. Radiotelephone communications - the two-way transmission and reception of sounds by broadcast radio on authorized frequencies using telephone handsets. PanAmSat - PanAmSat Corporation (Greenwich, CT). SAFE - South African Far East Cable Satellite communication system - a communication system consisting of two or more earth stations and at least one satellite that provide long distance transmission of voice, data, and television; the system usually serves as a trunk connection between telephone exchanges; if the earth stations are in the same country, it is a domestic system. Satellite earth station - a communications facility with a microwave radio transmitting and receiving antenna and required receiving and transmitting equipment for communicating with satellites. Satellite link - a radio connection between a satellite and an earth station permitting communication between them, either one-way (down link from satellite to earth station - television receive-only transmission) or two-way (telephone channels). SHF - super high frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to 30,000-MHz range. Shortwave - radio frequencies (from 1.605 to 30 MHz) that fall above the commercial broadcast band and are used for communication over long distances. Solidaridad - geosynchronous satellites in Mexico's system of international telecommunications in the Western Hemisphere. Statsionar - Russia's geostationary system for satellite telecommunications. Submarine cable - a cable designed for service under water. TAT - Trans-Atlantic Telephone; any of a number of high-capacity submarine coaxial telephone cables linking Europe with North America. Telefax - facsimile service between subscriber stations via the public switched telephone network or the international Datel network. Telegraph - a telecommunications system designed for unmodulated electric impulse transmission. Telex - a communication service involving teletypewriters connected by wire through automatic exchanges. Tropospheric scatter - a form of microwave radio transmission in which the troposphere is used to scatter and reflect a fraction of the incident radio waves back to earth; powerful, highly directional antennas are used to transmit and receive the microwave signals; reliable over-the-horizon communications are realized for distances up to 600 miles in a single hop; additional hops can extend the range of this system for very long distances. Trunk network - a network of switching centers, connected by multichannel trunk lines. UHF - ultra high frequency; any radio frequency in the 300- to 3,000-MHz range. VHF - very high frequency; any radio frequency in the 30- to 300-MHz range.

Telephones - main lines in use

This entry gives the total number of main telephone lines in use.

Telephones - mobile cellular

This entry gives the total number of mobile cellular telephone subscribers.

Terminology

Due to the highly structured nature of the Factbook database, some collective generic terms have to be used. For example, the word Country in the Country name entry refers to a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states. Military is also used as an umbrella term for various civil defense, security, and defense activities in many entries. The Independence entry includes the usual colonial independence dates and former ruling states as well as other significant nationhood dates such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, or state succession that are not strictly independence dates. Dependent areas have the nature of their dependency status noted in this same entry.

Terrain

This entry contains a brief description of the topography.

Time difference

This entry is expressed in The World Factbook in two ways. First, it is stated as the difference in hours between the capital of an entity and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during Standard Time. Additionally, the difference in time between the capital of an entity and that observed in Washington, D.C. is also provided. Note that the time difference assumes both locations are simultaneously observing Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time.

Time zones

Ten countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, and the United States) and the island of Greenland observe more than one official time depending on the number of designated time zones within their boundaries. An illustration of time zones throughout the world and within countries can be seen in the Standard Time Zones of the World map included in the Reference Maps section of The World Factbook.

Total fertility rate

This entry gives a figure for the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate (TFR) is a more direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential for population change in the country. A rate of two children per woman is considered the replacement rate for a population, resulting in relative stability in terms of total numbers. Rates above two children indicate populations growing in size and whose median age is declining. Higher rates may also indicate difficulties for families, in some situations, to feed and educate their children and for women to enter the labor force. Rates below two children indicate populations decreasing in size and growing older. Global fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the next 50 years.

Total renewable water resources

This entry provides the long-term average water availability for a country in cubic kilometers of precipitation, recharged ground water, and surface inflows from surrounding countries. The values have been adjusted to account for overlap resulting from surface flow recharge of groundwater sources. Total renewable water resources provides the water total available to a country but does not include water resource totals that have been reserved for upstream or downstream countries through international agreements. Note that these values are averages and do not accurately reflect the total available in any given year. Annual available resources can vary greatly due to short-term and long-term climatic and weather variations.

Trafficking in persons

Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. The International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection issues, estimates that 12.3 million people worldwide are enslaved in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time. Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat, depriving people of their human rights and freedoms, risking global health, promoting social breakdown, inhibiting development by depriving countries of their human capital, and helping fuel the growth of organized crime. In 2000, the US Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), reauthorized in 2003 and 2005, which provides tools for the US to combat trafficking in persons, both domestically and abroad. One of the law's key components is the creation of the US Department of State's annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses the government response (i.e., the current situation) in some 150 countries with a significant number of victims trafficked across their borders who are recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Countries in the annual report are rated in three tiers, based on government efforts to combat trafficking. The countries identified in this entry are those listed in the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report as Tier 2 Watch List or Tier 3 based on the following tier rating definitions: Tier 2 Watch List countries do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant efforts to do so, and meet one of the following criteria: 1. they display high or significantly increasing number of victims, 2. they have failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, or, 3. they have committed to take action over the next year. Tier 3 countries neither satisfy the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking nor demonstrate a significant effort to do so. Countries in this tier are subject to potential non-humanitarian and non-trade sanctions.

Transnational issues

This category includes four entries - Disputes - international, Refugees and internally displaced persons, Trafficking in persons, and Illicit drugs - that deal with current issues going beyond national boundaries.

Transportation

This category includes the entries dealing with the means for movement of people and goods.

Transportation - note

This entry includes miscellaneous transportation information of significance not included elsewhere.

U

Unemployment rate

This entry contains the percent of the labor force that is without jobs. Substantial underemployment might be noted.

Urbanization

This entry provides two measures of the degree of urbanization of a population. The first, urban population, describes the percentage of the total population living in urban areas, as defined by the country. The second, rate of urbanization, describes the projected average rate of change of the size of the urban population over the given period of time. Additionally, the World entry includes a list of the ten largest urban agglomerations. An urban agglomeration is defined as comprising the city or town proper and also the suburban fringe or thickly settled territory lying outside of, but adjacent to, the boundaries of the city.

UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

See entry for Coordinated Universal Time.

W

Waterways

This entry gives the total length of navigable rivers, canals, and other inland bodies of water.

Weights and Measures

This information is presented in This information is presented in

Y

Years

All year references are for the calendar year (CY) unless indicated as fiscal year (FY). The calendar year is an accounting period of 12 months from 1 January to 31 December. The fiscal year is an accounting period of 12 months other than 1 January to 31 December.

Note: Information for the US and US dependencies was complied from material in the public domain and does not represent Intelligence Community estimates.

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About :: History

A Brief History of Basic Intelligence and The World Factbook

The Intelligence Cycle is the process by which information is acquired, converted into intelligence, and made available to policymakers. Information is raw data from any source, data that may be fragmentary, contradictory, unreliable, ambiguous, deceptive, or wrong. Intelligence is information that has been collected, integrated, evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted. Finished intelligence is the final product of the Intelligence Cycle ready to be delivered to the policymaker.

The three types of finished intelligence are: basic, current, and estimative. Basic intelligence provides the fundamental and factual reference material on a country or issue. Current intelligence reports on new developments. Estimative intelligence judges probable outcomes. The three are mutually supportive: basic intelligence is the foundation on which the other two are constructed; current intelligence continually updates the inventory of knowledge; and estimative intelligence revises overall interpretations of country and issue prospects for guidance of basic and current intelligence. The World Factbook, The President's Daily Brief, and the National Intelligence Estimates are examples of the three types of finished intelligence.

The United States has carried on foreign intelligence activities since the days of George Washington but only since World War II have they been coordinated on a government-wide basis. Three programs have highlighted the development of coordinated basic intelligence since that time: (1) the Joint Army Navy Intelligence Studies (JANIS), (2) the National Intelligence Survey (NIS), and (3)The World Factbook .

During World War II, intelligence consumers realized that the production of basic intelligence by different components of the US Government resulted in a great duplication of effort and conflicting information. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought home to leaders in Congress and the executive branch the need for integrating departmental reports to national policymakers. Detailed and coordinated information was needed not only on such major powers as Germany and Japan, but also on places of little previous interest. In the Pacific Theater, for example, the Navy and Marines had to launch amphibious operations against many islands about which information was unconfirmed or nonexistent. Intelligence authorities resolved that the United States should never again be caught unprepared.

In 1943, Gen. George B. Strong (G-2), Adm. H. C. Train (Office of Naval Intelligence - ONI), and Gen. William J. Donovan (Director of the Office of Strategic Services - OSS) decided that a joint effort should be initiated. A steering committee was appointed on 27 April 1943 that recommended the formation of a Joint Intelligence Study Publishing Board to assemble, edit, coordinate, and publish the Joint Army Navy Intelligence Studies (JANIS). JANIS was the first interdepartmental basic intelligence program to fulfill the needs of the US Government for an authoritative and coordinated appraisal of strategic basic intelligence. Between April 1943 and July 1947, the board published 34 JANIS studies. JANIS performed well in the war effort, and numerous letters of commendation were received, including a statement from Adm. Forrest Sherman, Chief of Staff, Pacific Ocean Areas, which said, "JANIS has become the indispensable reference work for the shore-based planners."

The need for more comprehensive basic intelligence in the postwar world was well expressed in 1946 by George S. Pettee, a noted author on national security. He wrote in The Future of American Secret Intelligence (Infantry Journal Press, 1946, page 46) that world leadership in peace requires even more elaborate intelligence than in war. "The conduct of peace involves all countries, all human activities - not just the enemy and his war production."

The Central Intelligence Agency was established on 26 July 1947 and officially began operating on 18 September 1947. Effective 1 October 1947, the Director of Central Intelligence assumed operational responsibility for JANIS. On 13 January 1948, the National Security Council issued Intelligence Directive (NSCID) No. 3, which authorized the National Intelligence Survey (NIS) program as a peacetime replacement for the wartime JANIS program. Before adequate NIS country sections could be produced, government agencies had to develop more comprehensive gazetteers and better maps. The US Board on Geographic Names (BGN) compiled the names; the Department of the Interior produced the gazetteers; and CIA produced the maps.

The Hoover Commission's Clark Committee, set up in 1954 to study the structure and administration of the CIA, reported to Congress in 1955 that: "The National Intelligence Survey is an invaluable publication which provides the essential elements of basic intelligence on all areas of the world. There will always be a continuing requirement for keeping the Survey up-to-date." The Factbook was created as an annual summary and update to the encyclopedic NIS studies. The first classified Factbook was published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version was published in June 1971. The NIS program was terminated in 1973 except for the Factbook, map, and gazetteer components. The 1975 Factbook was the first to be made available to the public with sales through the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The Factbook was first made available on the Internet in June 1997. The year 2010 marks the 63rd anniversary of the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency and the 67th year of continuous basic intelligence support to the US Government by The World Factbook and its two predecessor programs.

The Evolution of The World Factbook

National Basic Intelligence Factbook produced semiannually until 1980. Country entries include sections on Land, Water, People, Government, Economy, Communications, and Defense Forces.

1981

Publication becomes an annual product and is renamed The World

Factbook. A total of 165 nations are covered on 225 pages.

1983

Appendices (Conversion Factors, International Organizations) first introduced.

1984

Appendices expanded; now include: A. The United Nations, B. Selected

United Nations Organizations, C. Selected International

Organizations, D. Country Membership in Selected Organizations, E.

Conversion Factors.

1987

A new Geography section replaces the former separate Land and Water sections. UN Organizations and Selected International Organizations appendices merged into a new International Organizations appendix. First multi-color-cover Factbook.

1988

More than 40 new geographic entities added to provide complete world coverage without overlap or omission. Among the new entities are Antarctica, oceans (Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific), and the World. The front-of-the-book explanatory introduction expanded and retitled to Notes, Definitions, and Abbreviations. Two new Appendices added: Weights and Measures (in place of Conversion Factors) and a Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names. Factbook size reaches 300 pages.

1989

Economy section completely revised and now includes an Overview briefly describing a country's economy. New entries added under People, Government, and Communications.

1990

The Government section revised and considerably expanded with new entries.

1991

A new International Organizations and Groups appendix added.

Factbook size reaches 405 pages.

1992

Twenty new successor state entries replace those of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. New countries are respectively: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan; and Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia. Number of nations in the Factbook rises to 188.

1993

Czechoslovakia's split necessitates new Czech Republic and Slovakia entries. New Eritrea entry added after it secedes from Ethiopia. Substantial enhancements made to Geography section.

1994

Two new appendices address Selected International Environmental Agreements. The gross domestic product (GDP) of most developing countries changed to a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis rather than an exchange rate basis. Factbook size up to 512 pages.

1995

The GDP of all countries now presented on a PPP basis. New appendix lists estimates of GDP on an exchange rate basis. Communications category split; Railroads, Highways, Inland waterways, Pipelines, Merchant marine, and Airports entries now make up a new Transportation category. The World Factbook is first produced on CD-ROM.

1996

Maps accompanying each entry now present more detail. Flags also introduced for nearly all entities. Various new entries appear under Geography and Communications. Factbook abbreviations consolidated into a new Appendix A. Two new appendices present a Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes and a Cross-Reference List of Hydrogeographic Data Codes. Geographic coordinates added to Appendix H, Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names. Factbook size expands by 95 pages in one year to reach 652.

1997

The World Factbook introduced onto the Internet. A special printed edition prepared for the CIA's 50th anniversary. A schema or Guide to Country Profiles introduced. New color maps and flags now accompany each country profile. Category headings distinguished by shaded backgrounds. Number of categories expanded to nine - the current number - with the addition of an Introduction (for only a few countries) and Transnational Issues (which includes Disputes-international and Illicit drugs).

1998

The Introduction category with two entries, Current issues and Historical perspective, expanded to more countries. Last year for the production of CD-ROM versions of the Factbook.

1999

Historical perspective and Current issues entries in the

Introduction category combined into a new Background statement.

Several new Economy entries introduced. A new physical map of the

world added to the back-of-the-book reference maps.

2000

A new "country profile" added on the Southern Ocean. The Background statements dramatically expanded to over 200 countries and possessions. A number of new Communications entries added.

2001

Background entries completed for all 267 entities in the Factbook. Several new HIV/AIDS entries introduced under the People category. Revision begun on individual country maps to include elevation extremes and a partial geographic grid. Weights and Measures appendix deleted.

2002

New entry on Distribution of Family income - Gini index added. Revision of individual country maps continued (process still ongoing).

2003

In the Economy category, petroleum entries added for oil production, consumption, exports, imports, and proved reserves, as well as natural gas proved reserves.

2004

Bi-weekly updates launched on The World Factbook Web site. Additional petroleum entries included for natural gas production, consumption, exports, and imports. In the Transportation category, under Merchant marine, subfields added for foreign-owned vessels and those registered in other countries. Descriptions of the many forms of government mentioned in the Factbook incorporated into the Definitions and Notes.

2005

In the People category, a Major infectious diseases field added for countries deemed to pose a higher risk for travelers. In the Economy category, entries included for Current account balance, Investment, Public debt, and Reserves of foreign exchange and gold. The Transnational issues category expanded to include Refugees and internally displaced persons. Category headings receive distinctive colored backgrounds. These distinguishing colors are used in both the printed and online versions of the Factbook. Size of the printed Factbook reaches 702 pages.

2006

In the Economy category, national GDP figures now presented at Official Exchange Rates (OER) in addition to GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP). Entries in the Transportation section reordered; Highways changed to Roadways, and Ports and harbors to Ports and terminals.

2007

In the Government category, the Capital entry significantly expanded with up to four subfields, including new information having to do with time. The subfields consist of the name of the capital itself, its geographic coordinates, the time difference at the capital from coordinated universal time (UTC), and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note is added to highlight those countries with multiple time zones. A Trafficking in persons entry added to the Transnational issues category. A new appendix, Weights and Measures, (re)introduced to the online version of the Factbook.

2008

In the Geography category, two fields focus on the increasingly vital resource of water: Total renewable water resources and Freshwater withdrawal. In the Economy category, three fields added for: Stock of direct foreign investment - at home, Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad, and Market value of publicly traded shares. Concise descriptions of all major religions included in the Definitions and Notes. Responsibility for printing of The World Factbook turned over to the Government Printing Office.

2009

The online Factbook site completely redesigned with many new features. In the People category, two new fields provide information on education in terms of opportunity and resources: School Life Expectancy and Education expenditures. Additionally, the Urbanization entry expanded to include all countries. In the Economy category, five fields added: Central bank discount rate, Commercial bank prime lending rate, Stock of money, Stock of quasi money, and Stock of domestic credit.

2010

In order to facilitate comparisons over time, dozens of the entries in the Economy category expanded to include two (and in some cases three) years' worth of data. A variety of enhancements introduced on the Factbook Web site.

2011

Weekly updates inaugurated on the The World Factbook Web site. The dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles results in two new listings: Curacao and Sint Maarten. A Broadcast media field replaces the former Radio broadcast stations and TV broadcast stations entries. Concise descriptions of all major Legal systems incorporated into the Definitions and Notes. In the Geography section, under Natural hazards, a Volcanism subfield added for countries with historically active volcanoes. In the Government category, a new National anthems field introduced.

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About :: Copyright and Contributors

The World Factbook is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency for the use of US Government officials, and the style, format, coverage, and content are designed to meet their specific requirements. Information is provided by Antarctic Information Program (National Science Foundation), Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center (Department of Defense), Bureau of the Census (Department of Commerce), Bureau of Labor Statistics (Department of Labor), Central Intelligence Agency, Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs, Defense Intelligence Agency (Department of Defense), Department of Energy, Department of State, Fish and Wildlife Service (Department of the Interior), Maritime Administration (Department of Transportation), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Department of Defense), Naval Facilities Engineering Command (Department of Defense), Office of Insular Affairs (Department of the Interior), Office of Naval Intelligence (Department of Defense), US Board on Geographic Names (Department of the Interior), US Transportation Command (Department of Defense), Oil & Gas Journal, and other public and private sources.

The Factbook is in the public domain. Accordingly, it may be copied freely without permission of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The official seal of the CIA, however, may NOT be copied without permission as required by the CIA Act of 1949 (50 U.S.C. section 403m). Misuse of the official seal of the CIA could result in civil and criminal penalties.

Citation model:

The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence

Agency, 2009.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

Comments and queries are welcome and may be addressed to:

Central Intelligence Agency

Attn: Office of Public Affairs

Washington, DC 20505

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

Telephone: [1] (703) 482-0623

FAX: [1] (703) 482-1739

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About :: Purchasing

Printed copies of The World Factbook may be obtained from the following:

US Government Printing Office 732 N. Capitol St. Washington, DC 20401 Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 AM-6:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) Telephone: [1] (202) 512-1800; toll free: [1] (866) 512-1800 FAX: [1] (202) 512-2104 http://bookstore.gpo.gov/

National Technical Information Service 5285 Port Royal Road Springfield, VA 22161 Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) Telephone: [1] (800) 553-6847 (only in the US); [1] (703) 605-6000 (for outside US) FAX: [1] (703) 605-6900 http://www.ntis.gov/

The World Factbook can be accessed on the Internet at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

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Frequently Asked Questions(by category)

Answers to many frequently asked questions (FAQs) are explained in the Definitions and Notes section inThe World Factbook. Please review this section to see if your question is already answered there. In addition, we have compiled the following list of FAQs to answer other common questions.

General ::

Can you provide additional information for a specific country?

The staff cannot provide data beyond what appears in The World Factbook. The format and information in the Factbook are tailored to the specific requirements of US Government officials and content is focused on their current and anticipated needs. The staff welcomes suggestions for new entries.

How often is The World Factbook updated?

Formerly our Web site and the published Factbook were only updated annually. In November 2001, we began more frequent online updating and for many years bi-weekly updates were the norm. In late 2010 we began to update the online Factbook on a weekly schedule. The CIA discontinued publishing the printed Factbook after the 2007 edition; subsequent annual editions have been published by the US Government Printing Office.

Can I use some or all of The World Factbook for my Web site (book, research project, homework, etc.)?

The World Factbook is in the public domain and may be used freely by anyone at anytime without seeking permission. However, US Code (Section 403m) prohibits use of the CIA seal in a manner which implies that the CIA approved, endorsed, or authorized such use. For any questions about your intended use, you should consult with legal counsel. Further information on use of The World Factbook is described on the Contributors and Copyright Information page. As a courtesy, please cite The World Factbook when used.

Why are there discrepancies between The World Factbook's demographic statistics and other sources?

Although estimates and projections start with the same basic data from censuses, surveys, and registration systems, final estimates and projections can differ as a result of factors including data availability, assessment, and methods and protocols.

Data availability Researchers may obtain specific country data at different times. Estimates or projections developed before the results of a census have been released will not be as accurate as those that take into account new census results.

Assessment Researchers can differ in their assessment of data quality and in their estimates based on the available country data. They often need to adjust their estimates due to such factors as undercounting in a census or underregistration of births or deaths.

Methods and protocols Differences in methods and protocols can shape the way estimates and projections are made of fertility, mortality, and international migration, and how these data are integrated with the population data. For example, the US Census Bureau uses a model that projects the population ahead by single years of age, a single year at a time (population statistics used in the Factbook are based on this model), whereas the United Nations model projects five-year age groups forward, five years at a time.

Why doesn't The World Factbook include information on states, departments, provinces, etc., for each country?

The World Factbook provides national-level information on countries, territories, and dependencies, but not subnational administrative units within a country. A comprehensive encyclopedia might be a source for state/province-level information.

Is it possible to access older editions of The World Factbook to do comparative research and trend analysis?

Previous editions of the Factbook , beginning with 2000, are available for downloading - but not browsing - on the CIA Web site. Rehosted versions of earlier editions of the Factbook are available for browsing, as well as for downloading, at other Internet web sites. We urge caution, however, in attempting to create time series by stringing together economic data - especially dollar values - from previous editions of the Factbook . Over time, data sources, definitions, and economic accounting methods have changed. We occasionally have made these changes ourselves in order to provide our readers with the best information available. Also, in the case of dollar values, changes in relative exchange rates and prices may make trends difficult to comprehend. Therefore, individuals should consult additional resources when doing comparative research or trend analysis.

Would it be possible to set up a partnership or collaboration between the producers of The World Factbook and other organizations or individuals?

The World Factbook does not partner with other organizations or individuals, but we do welcome comments and suggestions that such groups or persons choose to provide.

Geography ::

Why can't I find a geographic name for a particular country?

The World Factbook is not a gazetteer (a dictionary or index of places, usually with descriptive or statistical information) and cannot provide more than the names of the administrative divisions (in the Government category) and major cities/towns (on the country maps). Our expanded Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names (Appendix F), however, includes many of the world's major geographic features as well as historic (former) names of countries and cities mentioned in The World Factbook.

Why are Taiwan and the European Union listed out of alphabetical order at the end of the Factbook entries?

Taiwan is listed after the A-Z country entries because even though the mainland People's Republic of China claims Taiwan, elected Taiwanese authorities de facto administer the island and reject mainland sovereignty claims. With the establishment of diplomatic relations with China on January 1, 1979, the US Government recognized the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China.

The European Union (EU) is not a country, but it has taken on many nation-like attributes and these may be expanded in the future. A more complete explanation on the inclusion of the EU into the Factbook can be found in the Preliminary statement.

Since we have an ambassador who represents the US at the Vatican, why is this entity not listed in the Factbook?

Vatican City is found under Holy See. The term "Holy See" refers to the authority and sovereignty vested in the Pope and his advisors to direct the worldwide Catholic Church. As the jurisdictional equal of a state, the Holy See can enter into treaties and sends and receives diplomatic representatives. Vatican City, created in 1929 to administer properties belonging to the Holy See in Rome, is recognized under international law as a sovereign state, but it does not send or receive diplomatic representatives. Consequently, Holy See is included as a Factbook entry, with Vatican City cross-referenced in the Geographic Names appendix.

Why is Palestine not listed in The World Factbook?

The Palestinian areas of Gaza Strip and West Bank are listed in the

Factbook.

Why are the Golan Heights not shown as part of Israel or Northern

Cyprus with Turkey?

Territorial occupations/annexations not recognized by the United

States Government are not shown on US Government maps.

Why don't you include information on entities such as Tibet or

Kashmir?

The World Factbook provides information on the administrative divisions of a country as recommended by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). The BGN is a component of the US Government that develops policies, principles, and procedures governing the spelling, use, and application of geographic names - domestic, foreign, Antarctic, and undersea. Its decisions enable all departments and agencies of the US Government to have access to uniform names of geographic features.

Also included in the Factbook are entries on parts of the world whose status has not yet been resolved (e.g., West Bank, Spratly Islands). Specific regions within a country or areas in dispute among countries are not covered.

What do you mean when you say that a country is "doubly landlocked"?

A doubly landlocked country is one that is separated from an ocean or an ocean-accessible sea by two intervening countries. Uzbekistan and Liechtenstein are the only countries that fit this definition.

Why is the area of the United States described as "slightly larger than China" in the Factbook , while other sources list China as larger in area than the United States?

It all depends on whether one is looking at total area (land and water) when making the comparison (which is the criterion used by the Factbook) or just land area (which excludes inland water features such as rivers and lakes).

Total area (combining land and water)

United States = 9,826,630 sq km China = 9,596,960 sq km

Land only (without any water features)

United States = 9,161,923 sq km China = 9,326,410 sq km

Why has The World Factbook dropped the four French departments of

Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, and French Guiana?

The four entities are no longer in The World Factbook because their status has changed. While they are overseas departments of France, they are also now recognized as French regions, having equal status to the 22 metropolitan regions that make up European France. In other words, they are now recognized as being part of France proper. Their status is somewhat analogous to Alaska and Hawaii vis-a-vis the contiguous United States. Although separated from the larger geographic entity, they are still considered to be an integral part of it.

Photos ::

Why do you not have pictures for every country?

Inclusion of photos in The World Factbook is a new feature that premiered with the unveiling of the redesigned online World Factbook in June 2009. This is a long-term project, and we plan to continuously add more photos to the site over time. Eventually, we hope to have images for every country in the Factbook.

Could you include photos of people from different locations around the world?

Factbook policy is to not include photos showing identifiable individuals.

I have great travel photos from my trips abroad. Can I submit them to your website to enhance your photo collection?

We appreciate the many offers from the public to contribute to our photo collection. However, we only use photos from US Government sources.

Spelling and Pronunciation ::

Why is the spelling of proper names such as rulers, presidents, and prime ministers in The World Factbook different than their spelling in my country?

The Factbook staff applies the names and spellings from the Chiefs of State link on the CIA Web site. The World Factbook is prepared using the standard American English computer keyboard and does not use any special characters, symbols, or most diacritical markings in its spellings. Surnames are always spelled with capital letters; they may appear first in some cultures.

Why does the spelling of geographic names, features, cities, administrative divisions, etc. in the Factbook differ from those used in my country?

The United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) recommends and approves names and spellings. The BGN is the component of the United States Government that develops policies, principles, and procedures governing the spelling, use, and application of geographic names - domestic, foreign, Antarctic, and undersea. Its decisions enable all departments and agencies of the US Government to use uniform names of geographic features. (A note is usually included where changes may have occurred but have not yet been approved by the BGN). The World Factbook is prepared using the standard American English computer keyboard and does not use any special characters, symbols, or most diacritical markings in its spellings.

Why does The World Factbook omit pronunciations of country or leader names?

There are too many variations in pronunciation among English-speaking countries, not to mention English renditions of non-English names, for pronunciations to be included. American English pronunciations are included for some countries such as Qatar and Kiribati.

Why is the name of the Labour party misspelled?

When American and British spellings of common English words differ, The World Factbook always uses the American spelling, even when these common words form part of a proper name in British English.

Policies and Procedures ::

What is The World Factbook's source for a specific subject field?

The Factbook staff uses many different sources to publish what we judge are the most reliable and consistent data for any particular category. Space considerations preclude a listing of these various sources.

The names of some geographic features provided in the Factbook differ from those used in other publications. For example, in Asia the Factbook has Burma as the country name, but in other publications Myanmar is used; also, the Factbook uses Sea of Japan whereas other publications label it East Sea. What is your policy on naming geographic features?

The Factbook staff follows the guidance of the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). The BGN is the component of the United States Government that develops policies, principles, and procedures governing the spelling, use, and application of geographic names - domestic, foreign, Antarctic, and undersea. Its decisions enable all departments and agencies of the US Government to have access to uniform names of geographic features. The position of the BGN is that the names Burma and Sea of Japan be used in official US Government maps and publications.

Why is most of the statistical information in the Factbook given in metric units, rather than the units standard to US measure?

US Federal agencies are required by the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-168) and by Executive Order 12770 of July 1991 to use the International System of Units, commonly referred to as the metric system or SI. In addition, the metric system is used by over 95 percent of the world's population.

Why don't you include information on minimum and maximum temperature extremes?

The Factbook staff judges that this information would only be useful for some (generally smaller) countries. Larger countries can have large temperature extremes that do not represent the landmass as a whole.

What information sources are used for the country flags?

Flag designs used in The World Factbook are based on various national and vexillological sources.

Why do your GDP (Gross Domestic Product) statistics differ from other sources?

We have two sets of GDP dollar estimates in The World Factbook , one derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations and the other derived from official exchange rates (OER). Other sources probably use one of the two. See the Definitions and Notes section on GDP and GDP methodology for more information.

On the CIA Web site, Chiefs of State is updated weekly, but the last update for the Factbook was an earlier date. Why the discrepancy?

Although Chiefs of State and The World Factbook both appear on the CIA Web site, they are produced and updated on different weekly schedules. Chiefs of State includes fewer countries but more leaders, whereas The World Factbook has a much larger database and includes all countries.

Some percentage distributions do not add to 100. Why not?

Because of rounding, percentage distributions do not always add precisely to 100%. Rounding of numbers always results in a loss of precision - i.e., error. This error becomes apparent when percentage data are totaled, as the following two examples show:

Original Data Rounded to whole integer

Example 1 43.2 43

30.4 30

26.4 26

-- -

100.0 99

Example 2 42.8 43

31.6 32

25.6 26

-- -

100.0 101

When this occurs, we do not force the numbers to add exactly to 100, because doing so would introduce additional error into the distribution.

What rounding convention does The World Factbook use?

In deciding on the number of digits to present, the Factbook staff assesses the accuracy of the original data and the needs of US Government officials. All of the economic data are processed by computer - either at the source or by the Factbook staff. The economic data presented in The Factbook, therefore, follow the rounding convention used by virtually all numerical software applications, namely, any digit followed by a "5" is rounded up to the next higher digit, no matter whether the original digit is even or odd. Thus, for example, when rounded to the nearest integer, 2.5 becomes 3, rather than 2, as occurred in some pre-computer rounding systems.

Why do you list "Independence" dates for countries such as France,

Germany, and the United Kingdom?

For most countries, this entry presents the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For other countries, the date may be some other significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, or state succession and so may not strictly be an "Independence" date. Dependent entities have the nature of their dependency status noted in this same entry.

Technical ::

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@Afghanistan (South Asia)

Introduction ::Afghanistan

Background:

Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. Karzai was re-elected in August 2009 for a second term. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability - particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges for the Afghan Government.

Geography ::Afghanistan

Location:

Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran

Geographic coordinates:

33 00 N, 65 00 E

Map references:

Asia

Area:

total: 652,230 sq km country comparison to the world: 41 land: 652,230 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:

total: 5,529 km

border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers

Terrain:

mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m

highest point: Noshak 7,485 m

Natural resources:

natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones

Land use:

arable land: 12.13%

permanent crops: 0.21%

other: 87.66% (2005)

Irrigated land:

27,200 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

65 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 23.26 cu km/yr (2%/0%/98%)

per capita: 779 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts

Environment - current issues:

limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)

People ::Afghanistan

Population:

29,121,286 country comparison to the world: 41 note: this is a significantly revised figure; the previous estimate of 33,609,937 was extrapolated from the last Afghan census held in 1979, which was never completed because of the Soviet invasion; a new Afghan census is scheduled to take place in 2010 (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 43.6% (male 6,343,611/female 6,036,673)

15-64 years: 54% (male 7,864,422/female 7,470,617)

65 years and over: 2.4% (male 326,873/female 353,520) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 18 years

male: 17.9 years

female: 18 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.471% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 33

Birth rate:

38.11 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Death rate:

17.65 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 3

Net migration rate:

4.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 23

Urbanization:

urban population: 24% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 5.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 151.5 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 2 male: 155.15 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 147.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 44.65 years country comparison to the world: 221 male: 44.45 years

female: 44.87 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

5.5 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 13

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.01% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 168

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: malaria

animal contact disease: rabies

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Afghan(s)

adjective: Afghan

Ethnic groups:

Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%,

Baloch 2%, other 4%

Religions:

Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%, other 1%

Languages:

Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 28.1%

male: 43.1%

female: 12.6% (2000 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 8 years

male: 11 years

female: 5 years (2004)

Education expenditures:

NA

Government ::Afghanistan

Country name:

conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

conventional short form: Afghanistan

local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan

local short form: Afghanestan

former: Republic of Afghanistan

Government type:

Islamic republic

Capital:

name: Kabul

geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E

time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

34 provinces (welayat, singular - welayat); Badakhshan, Badghis,

Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor,

Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar,

Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika,

Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan,

Wardak, Zabul

Independence:

19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 19 August (1919)

Constitution:

constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004; ratified 26 January 2004

Legal system:

based on mixed civil and sharia law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); First Vice President Mohammad FAHIM Khan (since 19 November 2009); Second Vice President Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); First Vice President Mohammad

FAHIM Khan (since 19 November 2009); Second Vice President Abdul

Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004)

cabinet: 25 ministers; note - ministers are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the president and two vice presidents elected by direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if no candidate receives 50% or more of the vote in the first round of voting, the two candidates with the most votes will participate in a second round; election last held on 20 August 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: Hamid KARZAI reelected president; percent of vote (first round) - Hamid KARZAI 49.67%, Abdullah ABDULLAH 30.59%, Ramazan BASHARDOST 10.46%, Ashraf GHANI 2.94%; other 6.34%; note - ABDULLAH conceded the election to KARZAI following the first round vote

Legislative branch:

the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats, one-third of members elected from provincial councils for four-year terms, one-third elected from local district councils for three-year terms, and one-third nominated by the president for five-year terms) and the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (no more than 250 seats); members directly elected for five-year terms

note: on rare occasions the government may convene a Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; it is made up of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils

elections: last held on 18 September 2010 (next election expected in 2015)

election results: NA

Judicial branch:

the constitution establishes a nine-member Stera Mahkama or Supreme Court (its nine justices are appointed for 10-year terms by the president with approval of the Wolesi Jirga) and subordinate High Courts and Appeals Courts; there is also a minister of justice; a separate Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission established by the Bonn Agreement is charged with investigating human rights abuses and war crimes

Political parties and leaders:

Afghanistan Peoples' Treaty Party [Sayyed Amir TAHSEEN];

Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization [Abdul Rasoul SAYYAF];

Afghanistan's Islamic Nation Party [Toran Noor Aqa Ahmad ZAI];

Afghanistan's National Islamic Party [Rohullah LOUDIN];

Afghanistan's Welfare Party [Meer Asef ZAEEFI]; Afghan Social

Democratic Party [Anwarul Haq AHADI]; Afghan Society for the Call to

the Koran and Sunna [Mawlawee Samiullah NAJEEBEE]; Comprehensive

Movement of Democracy and Development of Afghanistan Party [Sher

Mohammad BAZGAR]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Al-hajj Mohammad

Tawos ARAB]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Kabir RANJBAR];

Elites People of Afghanistan Party [Abdul Hamid JAWAD]; Freedom and

Democracy Movement of Afghanistan [Abdul Raqib Jawid KOHISTANEE];

Freedom Party of Afghanistan [Abdul MALEK]; Freedom Party of

Afghanistan [Dr. Ghulam Farooq NEJRABEE]; Hizullah-e-Afghanistan

[Qari Ahmad ALI]; Human Rights Protection and Development Party of

Afghanistan [Baryalai NASRATI]; Islamic Justice Party of Afghanistan

[Mohammad Kabir MARZBAN]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Mohammad

Ali JAWID]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Mukhtar

MUFLEH]; Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Khalid FAROOQI,

Abdul Hadi ARGHANDIWAL]; Islamic Party of the Afghan Land [Mohammad

Hassan FEROZKHEL]; Islamic People's Movement of Afghanistan [Al-haj

Said Hussain ANWARY]; Islamic Society of Afghanistan [Ustad

RABBANI]; Islamic Unity of the Nation of Afghanistan Party [Qurban

Ali URFANI]; Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Karim

KHALILI]; Islamic Unity Party of the People of Afghanistan [Haji

Mohammad MOHAQQEQ]; Labor and Progress of Afghanistan Party

[Zulfiqar OMID]; Muslim People of Afghanistan Party [Besmellah

JOYAN]; Muslim Unity Movement Party of Afghanistan [Wazir Mohammad

WAHDAT]; National and Islamic Sovereignty Movement Party of

Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah AHMADZAI]; National Congress Party of

Afghanistan [Abdul Latif PEDRAM]; National Country Party [Ghulam

MOHAMMAD]; National Development Party of Afghanistan [Dr. Assef

BAKTASH]; National Freedom Seekers Party [Abdul Hadi DABEER];

National Independence Party of Afghanistan [Taj Mohammad WARDAK];

National Islamic Fighters Party of Afghanistan [Amanat NINGARHAREE];

National Islamic Front of Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Ahmad GAILANEE];

National Islamic Moderation Party of Afghanistan [Qara Baik

IZADYAR]; National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Sayed NOORULLAH]

National Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad AKBAREE];

National Movement of Afghanistan [Ahmad Wali MASOOUD]; National

Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid ARYAN]; National Patch of

Afghanistan Party [Sayed Kamal SADAT]; National Peace Islamic Party

of Afghanistan [Shah Mohammood Popal ZAI]; National Peace & Islamic

Party of the Tribes of Afghanistan [Abdul Qaher SHARIATEE]; National

Peace & Unity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Qader IMAMI]; National

Prosperity and Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Osman

SALEKZADA]; National Prosperity Party [Mohammad Hassan JAHFAREE];

National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Eshaq

GAILANEE]; National Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Sayed Mansoor

NADREEI]; National Sovereignty Party [Sayed Mustafa KAZEMI];

National Stability Party [Mohammad Same KHAROTI]; National Stance

Party [Habibullah JANEBDAR]; National Tribal Unity Islamic Party of

Afghanistan [Mohammad Shah KHOGYANI]; National Unity Movement

[Sultan Mohammad GHAZI]; National Unity Movement of Afghanistan

[Mohammad Nadir AATASH]; National Unity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul

Rashid JALILI]; New Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Yunis QANUNI]; Peace

and National Welfare Activists Society [Shamsul al-Haq Noor SHAMS];

Peace Movement [Shahnawaz TANAI]; People's Aspirations Party of

Afghanistan [Ilhaj Saraj-u-din ZAFAREE]; People's Freedom Seekers

Party of Afghanistan [Feda Mohammad EHSAS]; People's Liberal Freedom

Seekers Party of Afghanistan [Ajmal SUHAIL]; People's Message Party

of Afghanistan [Noor Aqa WAINEE]; People's Movement of the National

Unity of Afghanistan [Abdul Hakim NOORZAI]; People's Party of

Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah ASAR]; People's Prosperity Party of

Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad ZAREEF]; People's Sovereignty Movement

of Afghanistan [Hayatullah SUBHANEE]; People's Uprising Party of

Afghanistan [Sayed Zahir Qayedam Al-BELADI]; People's Welfare Party

of Afghanistan [Miagul WASIQ]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan

[Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Progressive Democratic Party of

Afghanistan [Mohammad Wali ARYA]; Republican Party [Sebghatullah

SANJAR]; Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Khaleq NEMAT]; The

Afghanistan's Mujahid Nation's Islamic Unity Movement [Saeedullah

SAEED]; The People of Afghanistan's Democratic Movement [Mohammad

Sharif NAZARI]; Tribes Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad

Zarif NASERI]; Understanding and Democracy Party of Afghanistan

[Ahamad SHAHEEN]

United Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Wasil RAHIMEE]; United Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Wahidullah SABAWOON]; Young Afghanistan's Islamic Organization [Sayed Jawad HUSSINEE]; Youth Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Jamil KARZAI]; note - includes only political parties approved by the Ministry of Justice

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: religious groups; tribal leaders; ethnically based groups; Taliban

International organization participation:

ADB, CICA, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,

IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO

(correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner),

SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO,

WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Khojesta F. EBRAHIMKHEL

chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-6410

FAX: [1] (202) 483-6488

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Karl W. EIKENBERRY

embassy: The Great Masood Road, Kabul

mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806

telephone: [93] 0700 108 001

FAX: [93] 0700 108 564

Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green, with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and slightly overlapping the other two bands; the center of the emblem features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the mosque are numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK); this central image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great"), and at bottom center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan; black signifies the past, red is for the blood shed for independence, and green can represent either hope for the future, agricultural prosperity, or Islam

note: Afghanistan had more changes to its national flag in the 20th century than any other country; the colors black, red, and green appeared on most of them

National anthem:

name: "Milli Surood" (National Anthem)

lyrics/music: Abdul Bari JAHANI/Babrak WASA

note: adopted 2006; the 2004 constitution of the post-Taliban government mandated that a new national anthem should be written containing the phrase "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) and mentioning the names of Afghanistan's ethnic groups

Economy ::Afghanistan

Economy - overview:

Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflict. The economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international assistance, the recovery of the agricultural sector, and service sector growth. Despite the progress of the past few years, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid, agriculture, and trade with neighboring countries. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, weak governance, and the Afghan Government's inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world. While the international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $67 billion at four donors' conferences since 2002, the Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$29.81 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109 $27.38 billion (2009 est.)

$22.34 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$16.63 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

8.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 6 22.5% (2009 est.)

3.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 212 $1,000 (2009 est.)

$800 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 31%

industry: 26%

services: 43%

note: data exclude opium production (2008 est.)

Labor force:

15 million (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 78.6%

industry: 5.7%

services: 15.7% (FY08/09 est.)

Unemployment rate:

35% (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 183 40% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line:

36% (FY08/09)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

13.3% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 214 20.7% (2008 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 48 14.92% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$3.943 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 100 $2.819 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$4.149 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 125 $2.915 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$363.6 million (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 166 $20.06 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins

Industries:

small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food-products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

285.5 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 168

Electricity - consumption:

231.1 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 175

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

230 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 116

Oil - consumption:

5,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 164

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 138

Oil - imports:

4,404 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 161

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 99

Natural gas - production:

30 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 84

Natural gas - consumption:

30 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 108

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 46

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 70

Natural gas - proved reserves:

49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 65

Current account balance:

-$2.475 billion (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 160 $85 million (2008 est.)

Exports:

$547 million (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 164 $603 million (2008 est.); note - not including illicit exports or reexports

Exports - commodities:

opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems

Exports - partners:

US 26.47%, India 23.09%, Pakistan 17.36%, Tajikistan 12.51% (2009)

Imports:

$5.3 billion (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 109 $4.5 billion (2007)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products

Imports - partners:

Pakistan 26.78%, US 24.81%, India 5.15%, Germany 5.06%, Russia 4.04% (2009)

Debt - external:

$2.7 billion (2008/2009) country comparison to the world: 134 $8 billion (2004)

Exchange rates:

afghanis (AFA) per US dollar - 50.23 (2009), 50.25 (2008), 50 (2007), 46 (2006), 47.7 (2005), 48 (2004)

Communications ::Afghanistan

Telephones - main lines in use:

129,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 139

Telephones - mobile cellular:

12 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 57

Telephone system:

general assessment: limited fixed-line telephone service; an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks

domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve rapidly

international: country code - 93; multiple VSAT's provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2009)

Broadcast media:

state-owned broadcaster, Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), operates a series of radio and television stations in Kabul and the provinces; an estimated 50 private radio stations, 8 TV networks, and about a dozen international broadcasters are available; more than 30 community-based radio stations broadcasting (2007)

Internet country code:

.af

Internet hosts:

46 (2010) country comparison to the world: 211

Internet users:

1 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 98

Communications - note:

Internet access is growing through Internet cafes as well as public "telekiosks" in Kabul (2005)

Transportation ::Afghanistan

Airports:

53 (2010) country comparison to the world: 89

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 19

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 8

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 34

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 14

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 9 (2010)

Heliports:

11 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 466 km (2009)

Roadways:

total: 42,150 km country comparison to the world: 87 paved: 12,350 km

unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)

Waterways:

1,200 km; (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2008) country comparison to the world: 59

Ports and terminals:

Kheyrabad, Shir Khan

Military ::Afghanistan

Military branches:

Afghan Armed Forces: Afghan National Army (ANA, includes Afghan

National Army Air Force, ANAAF) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

22 years of age; inductees are contracted into service for a 4-year term (2005)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 6,800,888

females age 16-49: 6,413,647 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,888,358

females age 16-49: 3,641,998 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 378,996

female: 357,822 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 75

Transnational Issues ::Afghanistan

Disputes - international:

Pakistan has built fences in some portions of its border with Afghanistan which remains open in some areas to foreign terrorists and other illegal activities

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 132,246 (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in south and west due to drought and instability) (2007)

Illicit drugs:

world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation decreased 22% to 157,000 hectares in 2008 but remains at a historically high level; less favorable growing conditions in 2008 reduced potential opium production to 5,500 metric tons, down 31 percent from 2007; if the entire opium crop were processed, 648 metric tons of pure heroin potentially could be produced; the Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts; most of the heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium; vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial networks; regional source of hashish (2008)

page last updated on January 13, 2011

======================================================================

@Akrotiri (Europe)

Introduction ::Akrotiri

Background:

By terms of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment that created the independent Republic of Cyprus, the UK retained full sovereignty and jurisdiction over two areas of almost 254 square kilometers - Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The southernmost and smallest of these is the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area, which is also referred to as the Western Sovereign Base Area.

Geography ::Akrotiri

Location:

Eastern Mediterranean, peninsula on the southwest coast of Cyprus

Geographic coordinates:

34 37 N, 32 58 E

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 123 sq km country comparison to the world: 223 note: includes a salt lake and wetlands

Area - comparative:

about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

total: 47.4 km

border countries: Cyprus 47.4 km

Coastline:

56.3 km

Climate:

temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters

Environment - current issues:

hunting around the salt lake; note - breeding place for loggerhead and green turtles; only remaining colony of griffon vultures is on the base

Geography - note:

British extraterritorial rights also extended to several small

off-post sites scattered across Cyprus; of the Sovereign Base Area

(SBA) land, 60% is privately owned and farmed, 20% is owned by the

Ministry of Defense, and 20% is SBA Crown land

People ::Akrotiri

Population:

approximately 15,700 live on the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia including 7,700 Cypriots, 3,600 Service and UK-based contract personnel, and 4,400 dependents country comparison to the world: 219

Languages:

English, Greek

Government ::Akrotiri

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Akrotiri

Dependency status:

a special form of UK overseas territory; administered by an administrator who is also the Commander, British Forces Cyprus

Capital:

name: Episkopi Cantonment (base administrative center for Akrotiri and Dhekelia)

geographic coordinates: 34 40 N, 32 51 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Constitution:

Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960, effective 16 August 1960, functions as a basic legal document

Legal system:

the Sovereign Base Area Administration has its own court system to deal with civil and criminal matters; laws applicable to the Cypriot population are, as far as possible, the same as the laws of the Republic of Cyprus

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

head of government: Administrator Major General Jamie GORDON (since October 2008); note - reports to the British Ministry of Defense

elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; the administrator appointed by the monarch

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description:

the flag of the UK is used

National anthem:

note: as a United Kingdom area of special sovereignty, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Akrotiri

Economy - overview:

Economic activity is limited to providing services to the military and their families located in Akrotiri. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7715 (2010), 0.7338 (2009), 0.6827 (2008)

note: on 1 January 2008 Akrotiri and Dhekelia adopted the euro along with the rest of Cyprus

Communications ::Akrotiri

Broadcast media:

British Forces Broadcast Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel satellite TV service as well as BFBS radio broadcasts to the Akrotiri Sovereign Base (2009)

Military ::Akrotiri

Military - note:

Akrotiri has a full RAF base, Headquarters for British Forces

Cyprus, and Episkopi Support Unit

page last updated on January 12, 2011

======================================================================

@Albania (Europe)

Introduction ::Albania

Background:

Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents. Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997; however, there have been claims of electoral fraud in every one of Albania's post-communist elections. In the 2005 general elections, the Democratic Party and its allies won a decisive victory on pledges to reduce crime and corruption, promote economic growth, and decrease the size of government. The election, and particularly the orderly transition of power, was considered an important step forward. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.

Geography ::Albania

Location:

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north

Geographic coordinates:

41 00 N, 20 00 E

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 28,748 sq km country comparison to the world: 144 land: 27,398 sq km

water: 1,350 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:

total: 717 km

border countries: Greece 282 km, Macedonia 151 km, Montenegro 172 km, Kosovo 112 km

Coastline:

362 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:

mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter

Terrain:

mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m

highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 20.1%

permanent crops: 4.21%

other: 75.69% (2005)

Irrigated land:

3,530 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

41.7 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 1.71 cu km/yr (27%/11%/62%)

per capita: 546 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)

People ::Albania

Population:

2,986,952 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Age structure:

0-14 years: 23.1% (male 440,528/female 400,816)

15-64 years: 67.1% (male 1,251,001/female 1,190,841)

65 years and over: 9.8% (male 165,557/female 190,710) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 30 years

male: 28.9 years

female: 31.1 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.249% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Birth rate:

11.88 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 166

Death rate:

6.04 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Net migration rate:

-3.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 189

Urbanization:

urban population: 47% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.123 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 15.11 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 123 male: 16.79 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.22 years country comparison to the world: 59 male: 74.65 years

female: 80.11 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.47 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 189

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Nationality:

noun: Albanian(s)

adjective: Albanian

Ethnic groups:

Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb,

Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.)

note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)

Religions:

Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%

note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice

Languages:

Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach,

Romani, Slavic dialects

Literacy:

definition: age 9 and over can read and write

total population: 98.7%

male: 99.2%

female: 98.3% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2004)

Education expenditures:

2.9% of GDP (2002) country comparison to the world: 148

Government ::Albania

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Albania

conventional short form: Albania

local long form: Republika e Shqiperise

local short form: Shqiperia

former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: Tirana (Tirane)

geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 19 49 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore

Independence:

28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 28 November (1912)

Constitution:

approved by parliament on 21 October 1998; adopted by popular referendum on 22 November 1998; promulgated 28 November 1998

Legal system:

has a civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; has accepted jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for its citizens

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President of the Republic Bamir TOPI (since 24 July 2007)

head of government: Prime Minister Sali BERISHA (since 10 September 2005)

cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and approved by parliament (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by the Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); four election rounds held between 8 and 20 July 2007 (next election to be held in 2012); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Bamir TOPI elected president; Assembly vote, fourth round (three-fifths majority, 84 votes, required): Bamir TOPI 85 votes, Neritan CEKA 5 votes

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Kuvendi (140 deputies; 100 deputies elected directly in single member electoral zones with an approximate number of voters; 40 deputies elected from multi-name lists of parties or party coalitions according to their respective order)

elections: last held on 28 June 2009 (next to be held in 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PD 68, PS 65, LSI 4, other 3

Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court, Supreme Court (chairman is elected by the People's Assembly for a four-year term) and multiple appeals and district courts

Political parties and leaders:

Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]; Party for Justice and

Integration or PDI [Tahir MUCHEDINI]; Republican Party or PR [Fatmir

MEDIU]; Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI [Ilir META];

Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]; Unity for Humen Rights Party or

PBDNJ [Vangjel DULE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Citizens Advocacy Office [Kreshnik SPAHIU]; Confederation of Trade

Unions of Albania or KSSH [Kastriot MUCO]; Front for Albanian

National Unification or FBKSH [Gafur ADILI]; Mjaft Movement [Elton

KACIDHJA]; Omonia [Ligorag KARAMELO]; Union of Independent Trade

Unions of Albania or BSPSH [Gezim KALAJA]

International organization participation:

BSEC, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,

IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO

(correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, SECI,

UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Gilbert GALANXHI

chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942

FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander ARVIZU

embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, Labinoti #103, Tirana

mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510

telephone: [355] (4) 2247285

FAX: [355] (4) 2232222

Flag description:

red with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is claimed to be that of 15th-century hero George Castriota SKANDERBERG, who led a successful uprising against the Turks that resulted in a short-lived independence for some Albanian regions (1443-1478); an unsubstantiated explanation for the eagle symbol is the tradition that Albanians see themselves as descendants of the eagle; they refer to themselves as "Shkypetars," which translates as "sons of the eagle"

National anthem:

name: "Hymni i Flamurit" (Hymn to the Flag)

lyrics/music: Aleksander Stavre DRENOVA/Ciprian PORUMBESCU

note: adopted 1912

Economy ::Albania

Economy - overview:

Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. Macroeconomic growth averaged around 6% between 2004-08, but declined to about 3% in 2009-10. Inflation is low and stable. The government has taken measures to curb violent crime, and recently adopted a fiscal reform package aimed at reducing the large gray economy and attracting foreign investment. The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad representing about 15% of GDP, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade deficit. The agricultural sector, which accounts for over half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Energy shortages because of a reliance on hydropower, and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment and lack of success in attracting new foreign investment needed to expand the country's export base. The completion of a new thermal power plant near Vlore has helped diversify generation capacity, and plans to upgrade transmission lines between Albania and Montenegro and Kosovo would help relieve the energy shortages. Also, with help from EU funds, the government is taking steps to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$23.95 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 115 $23.23 billion (2009 est.)

$22.49 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

Albania has an informal, and unreported, sector that may be as large as 50% of official GDP

GDP (official exchange rate):

$11.58 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 114 3.3% (2009 est.)

7.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 123 $7,800 (2009 est.)

$7,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 21.2%

industry: 19.5%

services: 59.3% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

1.1 million (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 58%

industry: 15%

services: 27% (September 2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:

12.7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 134 12.8% (2009 est.)

note: these are official rates, but actual rates may exceed 30% due to preponderance of near-subsistence farming

Population below poverty line:

25% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 25.9% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

26.7 (2005) country comparison to the world: 126

Investment (gross fixed):

29.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Public debt:

59.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34 58.1% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 99 2.2% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

5.25% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 71 6.25% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

12.66% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 13.02% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$2.708 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 113 $2.995 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$9.096 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 105 $9.279 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$7.701 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104 $8.231 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products

Industries:

food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate:

3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103

Electricity - production:

2.888 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 124

Electricity - consumption:

3.603 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 118

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

2.475 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

5,400 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

Oil - consumption:

36,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 108

Oil - exports:

749 bbl/day (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 122

Oil - imports:

24,080 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 106

Oil - proved reserves:

199.1 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 58

Natural gas - production:

30 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 86

Natural gas - consumption:

30 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Natural gas - proved reserves:

849.5 million cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 100

Current account balance:

-$1.245 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 143 -$1.845 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$1.339 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 144 $1.048 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco

Exports - partners:

Italy 58.75%, Greece 9.69%, Austria 6.73%, China 5.68% (2009)

Imports:

$4.337 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126 $4.264 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals

Imports - partners:

Italy 29.94%, Greece 14.05%, Turkey 7.1%, Germany 6.9%, China 5.39% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.992 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 98 $2.37 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$1.55 billion (2004) country comparison to the world: 143

Exchange rates:

leke (ALL) per US dollar - 106.5 (2010), 94.979 (2009), 79.546 (2008), 92.668 (2007), 98.384 (2006)

Communications ::Albania

Telephones - main lines in use:

363,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 107

Telephones - mobile cellular:

4.162 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 102

Telephone system:

general assessment: despite new investment in fixed lines teledensity remains low with roughly 10 fixed lines per 100 people; mobile-cellular telephone use is widespread and generally effective; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is now exceeds 100 per 100 persons

domestic: offsetting the shortage of fixed line capacity, mobile-cellular phone service has been available since 1996; by 2003, two companies were providing mobile services at a greater teledensity than some of Albania's neighbors; Internet broadband services initiated in 2005; Internet cafes are popular in Tirana and have started to spread outside the capital

international: country code - 355; submarine cable provides connectivity to Italy, Croatia, and Greece; the Trans-Balkan Line, a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system, provides additional connectivity to Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Turkey; international traffic carried by fiber-optic cable and, when necessary, by microwave radio relay from the Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece (2009)

Broadcast media:

2 public television networks, one of which transmits by satellite to Albanian-language communities in neighboring countries; more than 60 private television stations operating; many viewers can pick up Italian and Greek TV broadcasts via terrestrial reception; cable TV service is available; 2 public radio networks and roughly 50 private radio stations; several international broadcasters are available (2008)

Internet country code:

.al

Internet hosts:

15,098 (2010) country comparison to the world: 117

Internet users:

1.3 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 90

Transportation ::Albania

Airports:

5 (2010) country comparison to the world: 177

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 339 km; oil 207 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 896 km country comparison to the world: 96 standard gauge: 896 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 18,000 km country comparison to the world: 117 paved: 7,020 km

unpaved: 10,980 km (2002)

Waterways:

43 km (on the Bojana River) (2010) country comparison to the world: 105

Merchant marine:

total: 25 country comparison to the world: 92 by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 23, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)

registered in other countries: 4 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Panama 3) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore

Military ::Albania

Military branches:

Joint Force Command (includes Land, Naval, and Aviation Brigade

Commands), Joint Support Command (includes Logistic Command),

Training and Doctrine Command (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

19 years of age (2004)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 947,446

females age 16-49: 910,145 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 802,097

females age 16-49: 768,953 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 35,249

female: 31,855 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.49% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 103

Transnational Issues ::Albania

Disputes - international:

the Albanian Government calls for the protection of the rights of ethnic Albanians in neighboring countries, and the peaceful resolution of interethnic disputes; some ethnic Albanian groups in neighboring countries advocate for a "greater Albania," but the idea has little appeal among Albanian nationals; the mass emigration of unemployed Albanians remains a problem for developed countries, chiefly Greece and Italy

Illicit drugs:

increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and - to a lesser extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; limited opium and expanding cannabis production; ethnic Albanian narcotrafficking organizations active and expanding in Europe; vulnerable to money laundering associated with regional trafficking in narcotics, arms, contraband, and illegal aliens

page last updated on January 20, 2011

======================================================================

@Algeria (Africa)

Introduction ::Algeria

Background:

After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets, and fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence between 1992-98 resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent, was reelected to a second term in 2004, and overwhelmingly won a third term in 2009 after the government amended the constitution in 2008 to remove presidential term limits. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA, including large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing activities of extremist militants. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged with al-Qai'da to form al-Qai'da in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, which has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and bombings targeting the Algerian Government and Western interests.

Geography ::Algeria

Location:

Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates:

28 00 N, 3 00 E

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 2,381,741 sq km country comparison to the world: 11 land: 2,381,741 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas

Land boundaries:

total: 6,343 km

border countries: Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km, Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km

Coastline:

998 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm

Climate:

arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer

Terrain:

mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m

highest point: Tahat 3,003 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc

Land use:

arable land: 3.17%

permanent crops: 0.28%

other: 96.55% (2005)

Irrigated land:

5,690 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

14.3 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 6.07 cu km/yr (22%/13%/65%)

per capita: 185 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season

Environment - current issues:

soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto

Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental

Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer

Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

second-largest country in Africa (after Sudan)

People ::Algeria

Population:

34,586,184 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 35

Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.4% (male 4,436,591/female 4,259,729)

15-64 years: 69.5% (male 11,976,965/female 11,777,618)

65 years and over: 5.1% (male 798,576/female 928,709) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 27.1 years

male: 26.8 years

female: 27.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.177% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106

Birth rate:

16.71 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 121

Death rate:

4.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 196

Net migration rate:

-0.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 132

Urbanization:

urban population: 65% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 26.75 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 81 male: 29.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 23.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.26 years country comparison to the world: 98 male: 72.57 years

female: 76.04 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.76 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 162

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

21,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 76

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 1,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 73

Nationality:

noun: Algerian(s)

adjective: Algerian

Ethnic groups:

Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

note: almost all Algerians are Berber in origin, not Arab; the minority who identify themselves as Berber live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools

Religions:

Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%

Languages:

Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 69.9%

male: 79.6%

female: 60.1% (2002 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2005)

Education expenditures:

4.3% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 98

Government ::Algeria

Country name:

conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

conventional short form: Algeria

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah

local short form: Al Jaza'ir

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: Algiers

geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

48 provinces (wilayat, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain

Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida,

Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa,

El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel,

Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila,

Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi

Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret,

Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen

Independence:

5 July 1962 (from France)

National holiday:

Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)

Constitution:

8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976; effective 22 November 1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, 28 November 1996, 10 April 2002, and 12 November 2008

Legal system:

socialist, based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials including several Supreme Court justices; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999) note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; a November 2008 constitutional amendment separated the position of head of government from that of the prime minister

head of government: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; note - a November 2008 constitutional amendment abolished presidential term limits; election last held on 9 April 2009 (next to be held in April 2014)

election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA was reelected president for a third term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA 90.2%, Louisa HANOUNE 4.2%, Moussa TOUATI 2.3%, Djahid YOUNSI 1.4%, Ali Fawzi REBIANE less than 1%, Mohamed SAID less than 1%

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Council of the Nation (upper house; 144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president, two-thirds elected by indirect vote to serve six-year terms; the constitution requires half the Council to be renewed every three years) and the National People's Assembly (lower house; 389 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: Council of the Nation - last held on 29 December 2009 (next to be held in December 2012); National People's Assembly - last held on 17 May 2007 (next to be held in 2012)

election results: Council of the Nation - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 136, RND 61, MSP 52, PT 26, RCD 19, FNA 13, other 49, independents 33;

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:

Ahd 54 [Ali Fauzi REBAINE]; Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa

TOUATI]; National Democratic Rally (Rassemblement National

Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA]; National Liberation Front or

FLN [Abdelaziz BELKHADEM, secretary general]; National Reform

Movement or Islah [Ahmed ABDESLAM] (formerly MRN); Rally for Culture

and Democracy or RCD [Said SADI]; Renaissance Movement or EnNahda

Movement [Fatah RABEI]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine Ait

AHMED]; Society of Peace Movement or MSP [Boudjerra SOLTANI];

Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUNE]

note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997

Political pressure groups and leaders:

The Algerian Human Rights League or LADDH [Hocine ZEHOUANE]; SOS

Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]

International organization participation:

ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BIS, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA,

IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF,

IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA,

MONUSCO, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, OSCE

(partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU,

WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah BAALI

chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800

FAX: [1] (202) 667-2174

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David D. PEARCE

embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, El-Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16000 Algiers

mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers

telephone: [213] 770-08-2000

FAX: [213] 21-60-7355

Flag description:

two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace (white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim countries because the Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness

National anthem:

name: "Kassaman" (We Pledge)

lyrics/music: Mufdi ZAKARIAH/Mohamed FAWZI

note: adopted 1962; ZAKARIAH wrote "Kassaman" as a poem while imprisoned in Algiers by French colonial forces

Economy ::Algeria

Economy - overview:

Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. Gradual liberalization since the mid-1990s has opened up more of the economy, but in recent years Algeria has imposed new restrictions on foreign involvement in its economy and largely halted the privatization of state-owned industries. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the eighth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the fourth-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in oil reserves. Thanks to strong hydrocarbon revenues, Algeria has a cushion of $150 billion in foreign currency reserves and a large hydrocarbon stabilization fund. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about 1% of GDP. Algeria has struggled to develop industires outside of hydrocarbons in part because of high costs and an inert state bureaucracy.The government's efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foregin and domestic investment outside the energy sector have done little to reduce high poverty and youth unemployment rates. In 2010, Algeria began a five-year, $286 billion development program to update the country's infrastructure and provide jobs. The costly program will boost Algeria's economy in 2011 but worsen the country's budget deficit. Long-term economic challenges include diversification from hydrocarbons, relaxing state control of the economy, and providing adequate jobs for youger Algerians.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$254.7 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48 $244.6 billion (2009 est.)

$239.4 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$159 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

4.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 74 2.2% (2009 est.)

2.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126 $7,200 (2009 est.)

$7,100 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 8.3%

industry: 61.5%

services: 30.2% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

9.877 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 14%

industry: 13.4%

construction and public works: 10%

trade: 14.6%

government: 32%

other: 16% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate:

9.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 110 10.2% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

23% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

35.3 (1995) country comparison to the world: 86

Investment (gross fixed):

27.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Public debt:

25.7% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 20% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 142 5.7% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

4% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 107 4% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 117 8% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$79.07 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 36 $68.13 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$109.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 50 $98.82 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$12.29 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 89 $21.71 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle

Industries:

petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing

Industrial production growth rate:

4.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68

Electricity - production:

34.98 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 61

Electricity - consumption:

28.34 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 62

Electricity - exports:

273 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

279 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

2.125 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Oil - consumption:

325,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

Oil - exports:

1.891 million bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 12

Oil - imports:

14,320 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 127

Oil - proved reserves:

13.42 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Natural gas - production:

86.5 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 7

Natural gas - consumption:

26.83 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 28

Natural gas - exports:

59.67 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 4

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 201

Natural gas - proved reserves:

4.502 trillion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 10

Current account balance:

$3.959 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 33 -$4.185 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$52.66 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 50 $43.69 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%

Exports - partners:

US 23.2%, Italy 17.23%, Spain 10.83%, France 7.97%, Canada 7.65%,

Netherlands 5.19%, Turkey 4.22% (2009)

Imports:

$37.07 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52 $39.1 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods

Imports - partners:

France 19.7%, China 11.72%, Italy 10.19%, Spain 8.13%, Germany 5.77%, Turkey 5.05% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$150.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 11 $149.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$4.138 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 116 $5.413 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$19.34 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 69 $17.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$1.844 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68 $1.644 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar - 76 (2010), 72.6474 (2009), 63.25 (2008), 69.9 (2007), 72.647 (2006)

Communications ::Algeria

Telephones - main lines in use:

2.576 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 51

Telephones - mobile cellular:

32.73 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 30

Telephone system:

general assessment: privatization of Algeria's telecommunications sector began in 2000; three mobile cellular licenses have been issued and, in 2005, a consortium led by Egypt's Orascom Telecom won a 15-year license to build and operate a fixed-line network in Algeria; the license will allow Orascom to develop high-speed data and other specialized services and contribute to meeting the large unfulfilled demand for basic residential telephony; Internet broadband services began in 2003

domestic: a limited network of fixed lines with a teledensity of less than 10 telephones per 100 persons is offset by the rapid increase in mobile-cellular subscribership; in 2009, combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity was roughly 100 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 213; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 51 (Intelsat, Intersputnik, and Arabsat) (2009)

Broadcast media:

state-run Radio-Television Algerienne operates the broadcast media and carries programming in Arabic, Berber dialects, and French; use of satellite dishes is widespread, providing easy access to European and Arab satellite stations; state-run radio operates several national networks and roughly 40 regional radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:

.dz

Internet hosts:

572 (2010) country comparison to the world: 176

Internet users:

4.7 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 49

Transportation ::Algeria

Airports:

143 (2010) country comparison to the world: 39

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 57

over 3,047 m: 12

2,438 to 3,047 m: 28

1,524 to 2,437 m: 11

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 86

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 19

914 to 1,523 m: 41

under 914 m: 23 (2010)

Heliports:

2 (2010)

Pipelines:

condensate 1,937 km; gas 14,648 km; liquid petroleum gas 2,933 km; oil 7,579 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 3,973 km country comparison to the world: 43 standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 108,302 km country comparison to the world: 39 paved: 76,028 km (includes 645 km of expressways)

unpaved: 32,274 km (2004)

Merchant marine:

total: 35 country comparison to the world: 80 by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 8, chemical tanker 2, liquefied gas 9, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 3

foreign-owned: 12 (UK 12) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran,

Skikda

Military ::Algeria

Military branches:

People's National Army (Armee Nationale Populaire, ANP), Land Forces (Forces Terrestres, FT), Navy of the Republic of Algeria (Marine de la Republique Algerienne, MRA), Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jaza'eriya, QJJ), Territorial Air Defense Force (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

19-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months civil projects) (2006)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,113,472

females age 16-49: 9,959,693 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 8,481,036

females age 16-49: 8,508,245 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 365,503

female: 352,009 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 37

Transnational Issues ::Algeria

Disputes - international:

Algeria, and many other states, rejects Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; Algeria remains concerned about armed bandits operating throughout the Sahel who sometimes destabilize southern Algerian towns; dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf)

IDPs: undetermined (civil war during 1990s) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Algeria is a transit country for men and women trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude; criminal networks of sub-Saharan nationals in southern Algeria facilitate transit by arranging transportation, forged documents, and promises of employment

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Algeria is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List because it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in January 2009, the government approved new legislation that criminalizes trafficking in persons for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation representing an important step toward complying with international standards; despite these efforts, the government did not show overall progress in punishing trafficking crimes and protecting trafficking victims and continued to lack adequate measures to protect victims and prevent trafficking (2009)

page last updated on January 20, 2011

======================================================================

@American Samoa (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::American Samoa

Background:

Settled as early as 1000 B.C., Samoa was "discovered" by European explorers in the 18th century. International rivalries in the latter half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which Germany and the US divided the Samoan archipelago. The US formally occupied its portion - a smaller group of eastern islands with the excellent harbor of Pago Pago - the following year.

Geography ::American Samoa

Location:

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand

Geographic coordinates:

14 20 S, 170 00 W

Map references:

Oceania

Area:

total: 199 sq km country comparison to the world: 215 land: 199 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

116 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:

tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall averages about 3 m; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October); little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain:

five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Lata Mountain 964 m

Natural resources:

pumice, pumicite

Land use:

arable land: 10%

permanent crops: 15%

other: 75% (2005)

Irrigated land:

NA

Natural hazards:

typhoons common from December to March

volcanism: American Samoa experiences limited volcanic activity on the Ofu and Olosega Islands, neither has erupted since the 19th century

Environment - current issues:

limited natural fresh water resources; the water division of the government has spent substantial funds in the past few years to improve water catchments and pipelines

Geography - note:

Pago Pago has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the South

Pacific Ocean, sheltered by shape from rough seas and protected by

peripheral mountains from high winds; strategic location in the

South Pacific Ocean

People ::American Samoa

Population:

66,432 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 202

Age structure:

0-14 years: 33.4% (male 11,159/female 10,768)

15-64 years: 62.7% (male 20,848/female 20,271)

65 years and over: 3.9% (male 1,211/female 1,371) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 23.4 years

male: 23.3 years

female: 23.6 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.212% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103

Birth rate:

23.05 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 73

Death rate:

4.09 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 209

Net migration rate:

-6.83 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 206

Urbanization:

urban population: 92% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.061 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 9.91 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 152 male: 12.91 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.97 years country comparison to the world: 104 male: 71.04 years

female: 77.08 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

3.22 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 55

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Nationality:

noun: American Samoan(s) (US nationals)

adjective: American Samoan

Ethnic groups:

native Pacific islander 91.6%, Asian 2.8%, white 1.1%, mixed 4.2%, other 0.3% (2000 census)

Religions:

Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%

Languages:

Samoan 90.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English 2.9%, Tongan 2.4%, other Pacific islander 2.1%, other 2%

note: most people are bilingual (2000 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97%

male: 98%

female: 97% (1980 est.)

Education expenditures:

NA

Government ::American Samoa

Country name:

conventional long form: Territory of American Samoa

conventional short form: American Samoa

abbreviation: AS

Dependency status:

unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior

Government type:

NA

Capital:

name: Pago Pago

geographic coordinates: 14 16 S, 170 42 W

time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three districts and two islands* at the second order; Eastern, Manu'a, Rose Island*, Swains Island*, Western

Independence:

none (territory of the US)

National holiday:

Flag Day, 17 April (1900)

Constitution:

ratified on 2 June 1966; effective 1 July 1967

Legal system:

NA

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)

head of government: Governor Togiola TULAFONO (since 7 April 2003)

cabinet: Cabinet made up of 12 department directors (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as American Samoa, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 4 and 18 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)

election results: Togiola TULAFONO reelected governor; percent of vote - Togiola TULAFONO 56.5%, Afoa Moega LUTU 43.5%

Legislative branch:

bicameral Fono or Legislative Assembly consists of the Senate (18 seats; members are elected from local chiefs to serve four-year terms)and the House of Representatives (21 seats; 20 members are elected by popular vote and 1 is an appointed, nonvoting delegate from Swains Island; members serve two-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010); Senate - last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)

election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 18

note: American Samoa elects one nonvoting representative to the US House of Representatives; election last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012); results - Eni F. H. FALEOMAVAEGA reelected as delegate

Judicial branch:

High Court (chief justice and associate justices are appointed by the US Secretary of the Interior)

Political parties and leaders:

Democratic Party [Oreta M. TOGAFAU]; Republican Party [Tautai A. F.

FAALEVAO]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Population Pressure LAS (addresses the growing population pressures)

International organization participation:

AOSIS, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, SPC, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (territory of the US)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (territory of the US)

Flag description:

blue, with a white triangle edged in red that is based on the fly side and extends to the hoist side; a brown and white American bald eagle flying toward the hoist side is carrying two traditional Samoan symbols of authority, a war club known as a "Fa'alaufa'i" (upper; left talon), and a coconut fiber fly whisk known as a "Fue" (lower; right talon); the combination of symbols broadly mimics that seen on the US Great Seal and reflects the relationship between the United States and American Samoa

National anthem:

name: "Amerika Samoa" (American Samoa)

lyrics/music: Mariota Tiumalu TUIASOSOPO/Napoleon Andrew TUITELELEAPAGA

note: local anthem adopted 1950; as a territory of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)

Economy ::American Samoa

Economy - overview:

American Samoa has a traditional Polynesian economy in which more than 90% of the land is communally owned. Economic activity is strongly linked to the US with which American Samoa conducts most of its commerce. Tuna fishing and tuna processing plants are the backbone of the private sector, with canned tuna the primary export. The two tuna canneries account for 80% of employment. In late September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami devastated American Samoa and nearby Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency is overseeing a relief program of nearly $25 million. Transfers from the US Government add substantially to American Samoa's economic well being. Attempts by the government to develop a larger and broader economy are restrained by Samoa's remote location, its limited transportation, and its devastating hurricanes. Tourism is a promising developing sector.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$575.3 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 212 $510.1 million (2003 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$462.2 million (2005)

GDP - real growth rate:

3% (2003) country comparison to the world: 119

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 124 $5,800 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Labor force:

17,630 (2005) country comparison to the world: 210

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 34%

industry: 33%

services: 33% (1990)

Unemployment rate:

29.8% (2005) country comparison to the world: 176

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

NA%

Agriculture - products:

bananas, coconuts, vegetables, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, papayas; dairy products, livestock

Industries:

tuna canneries (largely supplied by foreign fishing vessels), handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

185 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Electricity - consumption:

172.1 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 180

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Oil - consumption:

4,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 171

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 209

Oil - imports:

4,140 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 200

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 94

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 47

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Exports:

$445.6 million (FY04 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Exports - commodities:

canned tuna 93%

Imports:

$308.8 million (FY04 est.) country comparison to the world: 194

Imports - commodities:

raw materials for canneries 56%, food, petroleum products, machinery and parts

Debt - external:

$NA

Exchange rates:

the US dollar is used

Communications ::American Samoa

Telephones - main lines in use:

10,400 (2009) country comparison to the world: 200

Telephones - mobile cellular:

2,200 (2004) country comparison to the world: 214

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA

domestic: good telex, telegraph, facsimile, and cellular telephone services; domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station

international: country code - 1-684; satellite earth station - 1 (Intelsat-Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media:

3 television stations broadcasting; multi-channel pay-per-view television services are available; about a dozen radio stations, some of which are repeater stations (2009)

Internet country code:

.as

Internet hosts:

1,676 (2010) country comparison to the world: 157

Internet users:

NA

Transportation ::American Samoa

Airports:

3 (2010) country comparison to the world: 190

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 3

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 241 km (2008) country comparison to the world: 205

Ports and terminals:

Pago Pago

Military ::American Samoa

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 14,230

females age 16-49: 13,842 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 810

female: 796 (2010 est.)

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the US

Transnational Issues ::American Samoa

Disputes - international:

Tokelau periodically asserts claims to American Samoa's Swains

Island (Olohega), such as in its 2006 draft independence constitution

page last updated on December 8, 2010

======================================================================

@Andorra (Europe)

Introduction ::Andorra

Background:

For 715 years, from 1278 to 1993, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality, ruled by French and Spanish leaders (from 1607 onward, the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Seu d'Urgell). In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy. For decades Andorra enjoyed its status as a small refuge of fiscal and banking freedom and benefitted from Spanish and French tourists attracted to the country's duty-free shopping. The situation has changed in recent years as Andorra started to tax foreign investment and other sectors. Tourism accounts for over 80% of Andorra's gross domestic product.

Geography ::Andorra

Location:

Southwestern Europe, between France and Spain

Geographic coordinates:

42 30 N, 1 30 E

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 468 sq km country comparison to the world: 194 land: 468 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

total: 120.3 km

border countries: France 56.6 km, Spain 63.7 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

temperate; snowy, cold winters and warm, dry summers

Terrain:

rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Riu Runer 840 m

highest point: Pic de Coma Pedrosa 2,946 m

Natural resources:

hydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead

Land use:

arable land: 2.13%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 97.87% (2005)

Irrigated land:

NA

Natural hazards:

avalanches

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; overgrazing of mountain meadows contributes to soil erosion; air pollution; wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

landlocked; straddles a number of important crossroads in the Pyrenees

People ::Andorra

Population:

84,525 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 198

Age structure:

0-14 years: 15.5% (male 6,710/female 6,305)

15-64 years: 72.2% (male 31,604/female 28,925)

65 years and over: 12.3% (male 5,113/female 5,231) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 39.9 years

male: 40.2 years

female: 39.6 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.382% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 166

Birth rate:

10.03 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 196

Death rate:

6.21 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 158

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Urbanization:

urban population: 89% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: -0.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.066 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female

total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 3.84 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 207 male: 3.79 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.89 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 82.36 years country comparison to the world: 4 male: 80.3 years

female: 84.55 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.34 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 206

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Nationality:

noun: Andorran(s)

adjective: Andorran

Ethnic groups:

Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, other 6% (1998)

Religions:

Roman Catholic (predominant)

Languages:

Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese

Literacy:

definition: NA

total population: 100%

male: 100%

female: 100%

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years

male: 11 years

female: 12 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

3.2% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 141

Government ::Andorra

Country name:

conventional long form: Principality of Andorra

conventional short form: Andorra

local long form: Principat d'Andorra

local short form: Andorra

Government type:

parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its chiefs of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president of France and bishop of Seu d'Urgell, Spain, who are represented in Andorra by the coprinces' representatives

Capital:

name: Andorra la Vella

geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 1 31 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

7 parishes (parroquies, singular - parroquia); Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Loria

Independence:

1278 (formed under the joint suzerainty of the French Count of Foix and the Spanish Bishop of Seu d'Urgel)

National holiday:

Our Lady of Meritxell Day, 8 September (1278)

Constitution:

Andorra's first written constitution was drafted in 1991; approved by referendum 14 March 1993; effective 28 April 1993

Legal system:

based on French and Spanish civil codes; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: French Coprince Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007); represented by Christian FREMONT (since September 2008) and Spanish Coprince Bishop Joan-Enric VIVES i Sicilia (since 12 May 2003); represented by Nemesi MARQUES i Oste (since 30 July 2003)

head of government: Executive Council President Jaume BARTUMEU Cassany (since 5 June 2009)

cabinet: Executive Council or Govern designated by the Executive Council president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: Executive Council president elected by the General Council and formally appointed by the coprinces for a four-year term; election last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in April-May 2013)

election results: Jaume BARTUMEU CASSANY elected executive council president; percent of General Council vote - NA

Legislative branch:

unicameral General Council of the Valleys or Consell General de las Valls (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, 14 from a single national constituency and 14 to represent each of the seven parishes; to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in March-April 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - PS 45%, Reformist Coaliton 32%, Andorra for Change 19%, Andorran Green 4%; seats by party - PS 14, Reformist Coalition 11, Andorra for Change 3

Judicial branch:

Tribunal of Judges or Tribunal de Batlles; Tribunal of the Courts or

Tribunal de Corts; Supreme Court of Justice of Andorra or Tribunal

Superior de Justicia d'Andorra; Supreme Council of Justice or

Consell Superior de la Justicia; Constitutional Tribunal or Tribunal

Constitucional

Political parties and leaders:

Andorra for Change [Juan Eusebio NOMEN CALVET]; Greens of Andorra [Isabel LOZANO MUNOZ]; Liberal Party of Andorra or PLA [Joan GABRIEL i ESTANY] (formerly Liberal Union or UL); New Center [Vicenc MATEU] (formerly Andorran Democratic Center Party); Reformist Coalition [Joan GABRIEL i ESTANY] (includes the Liberal Party and New Center); Social Democratic Party or PS [Jaume BARTUMEU CASSANY] (formerly part of National Democratic Group or AND)

Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA

International organization participation:

CE, FAO, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFRCS, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, OIF,

OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, Union Latina, UNWTO, WCO, WHO, WIPO,

WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Narcis CASAL Fonsdeviela

chancery: 2 United Nations Plaza, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10017

telephone: [1] (212) 750-8064

FAX: [1] (212) 750-6630

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Andorra; the US Ambassador to Spain is accredited to Andorra; US interests in Andorra are represented by the US Consulate General's office in Barcelona (Spain); mailing address: Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23, 08034 Barcelona, Spain; telephone: [34] (93) 280-2227; FAX: [34] (93) 280-6175

Flag description:

three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red, with the national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; the latter band is slightly wider than the other two so that the ratio of band widths is 8:9:8; the coat of arms features a quartered shield with the emblems of (starting in the upper left and proceeding clockwise): Urgell, Foix, Bearn, and Catalonia; the motto reads VIRTUS UNITA FORTIOR (Strength United is Stronger); the flag combines the blue and red French colors with the red and yellow of Spain to show Franco-Spanish protection

note: similar to the flags of Chad and Romania, which do not have a national coat of arms in the center, and the flag of Moldova, which does bear a national emblem

National anthem:

name: "El Gran Carlemany" (The Great Charlemagne)

lyrics/music: Joan BENLLOCH i VIVO/Enric Marfany BONS

note: adopted 1921; the anthem provides a brief history of Andorra in a first person narrative

Economy ::Andorra

Economy - overview:

Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for more than 80% of GDP. An estimated 11 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status for some products and by its summer and winter resorts. Andorra's comparative advantage eroded when the borders of neighboring France and Spain opened, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs. The banking sector, with its partial "tax haven" status, also contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural production is limited - only 2% of the land is arable - and most food has to be imported. The principal livestock activity is sheep raising. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs) and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$4.22 billion (2008) country comparison to the world: 166 $3.66 billion (2007)

$3.588 billion (2006)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$NA

GDP - real growth rate:

2.6% (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 136 2% (2007 est.)

3.5% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$44,900 (2008) country comparison to the world: 12 $42,500 (2007)

$38,800 (2005)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Labor force:

42,220 (2008) country comparison to the world: 193

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 0.5%

industry: 18.5%

services: 81% (2008)

Unemployment rate:

7% (2008) country comparison to the world: 69 0% (2007)

Population below poverty line:

8% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.3% (2008) country comparison to the world: 67 3.9% (2007)

Agriculture - products:

small quantities of rye, wheat, barley, oats, vegetables; sheep

Industries:

tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, banking, tobacco, furniture

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

NA kWh

Electricity - consumption:

NA kWh

Electricity - exports:

NA kWh

Electricity - imports:

NA kWh; note - most electricity supplied by Spain and France;

Andorra generates a small amount of hydropower

Exports:

$89.5 million (2008) country comparison to the world: 195 $117.1 million (2007)

Exports - commodities:

tobacco products, furniture

Imports:

$1.801 billion (2008) country comparison to the world: 154 $1.789 billion (2007)

Imports - commodities:

consumer goods, food, electricity

Debt - external:

$NA

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7715 (2010), 0.7179 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7306 (2007), 0.7964 (2006)

Communications ::Andorra

Telephones - main lines in use:

37,900 (2009) country comparison to the world: 171

Telephones - mobile cellular:

64,500 (2009) country comparison to the world: 191

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA

domestic: modern system with microwave radio relay connections between exchanges

international: country code - 376; landline circuits to France and Spain

Broadcast media:

1 public television station and 2 public radio stations; a few commercial radio stations operating; good reception of radio and TV broadcasts from stations in France and Spain (2008)

Internet country code:

.ad

Internet hosts:

26,773 (2010) country comparison to the world: 100

Internet users:

67,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 170

Transportation ::Andorra

Roadways:

total: 320 km (2008) country comparison to the world: 201

Military ::Andorra

Military branches:

no regular military forces, Police Service of Andorra (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 22,776 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 18,338

females age 16-49: 17,395 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 396

female: 350 (2010 est.)

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of France and Spain

Transnational Issues ::Andorra

Disputes - international:

none

page last updated on January 12, 2011

======================================================================

@Angola (Africa)

Introduction ::Angola

Background:

Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but fighting picked up again by 1996. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. President DOS SANTOS held legislative elections in September 2008 and, despite promising to hold presidential elections in 2009, has since made a presidential poll contingent on the drafting of a new constitution.

Geography ::Angola

Location:

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates:

12 30 S, 18 30 E

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 1,246,700 sq km country comparison to the world: 23 land: 1,246,700 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries:

total: 5,198 km

border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of discontiguous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km

Coastline:

1,600 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:

semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)

Terrain:

narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Morro de Moco 2,620 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium

Land use:

arable land: 2.65%

permanent crops: 0.23%

other: 97.12% (2005)

Irrigated land:

800 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

184 cu km (1987)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.35 cu km/yr (23%/17%/60%)

per capita: 22 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau

Environment - current issues:

overuse of pastures and subsequent soil erosion attributable to population pressures; desertification; deforestation of tropical rain forest, in response to both international demand for tropical timber and to domestic use as fuel, resulting in loss of biodiversity; soil erosion contributing to water pollution and siltation of rivers and dams; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

the province of Cabinda is an exclave, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo

People ::Angola

Population:

13,068,161 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 70

Age structure:

0-14 years: 43.5% (male 2,812,359/female 2,759,047)

15-64 years: 53.7% (male 3,496,726/female 3,382,440)

65 years and over: 2.7% (male 153,678/female 195,043) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 18 years

male: 18 years

female: 18 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.063% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

Birth rate:

43.33 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 7

Death rate:

23.74 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

Net migration rate:

1.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 55

Urbanization:

urban population: 57% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 178.13 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 1 male: 190.12 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 165.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 38.48 years country comparison to the world: 223 male: 37.48 years

female: 39.52 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

6.05 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 10

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

2.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

190,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 32

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

11,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 27

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)

water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Angolan(s)

adjective: Angolan

Ethnic groups:

Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestico (mixed European and native African) 2%, European 1%, other 22%

Religions:

indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 est.)

Languages:

Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 67.4%

male: 82.9%

female: 54.2% (2001 est.)

Education expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 160

Government ::Angola

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Angola

conventional short form: Angola

local long form: Republica de Angola

local short form: Angola

former: People's Republic of Angola

Government type:

republic; multiparty presidential regime

Capital:

name: Luanda

geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 13 14 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

18 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela,

Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene,

Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico,

Namibe, Uige, Zaire

Independence:

11 November 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 11 November (1975)

Constitution:

adopted by People's Assembly 25 August 1992

Legal system:

based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; modified to accommodate political pluralism and increased use of free markets; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS (since 21 September 1979); Antonio Paulo KASSOMA was named prime minister by MPLA on 26 September 2008

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by universal ballot for a five-year term (eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term) under the 1992 constitution; President DOS SANTOS was selected by the party to take over after the death of former President Augustino NETO(1979) under a one-party system and stood for reelection in Angola's first multiparty elections on 29-30 September 1992 (next were to be held in September 2009 but have been postponed)

election results: Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS 49.6%, Jonas SAVIMBI 40.1%, making a run-off election necessary; the run-off was never held leaving DOS SANTOS in his current position as the president

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (220 seats; members elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 5-6 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - MPLA 81.6%, UNITA 10.4%, PRS 3.2%, ND 1.2%, FNLA 1.1%, other 2.5%; seats by party - MPLA 191, UNITA 16, PRS 8, FNLA 3, ND 2

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court and separate provincial courts (judges are appointed by the president)

Political parties and leaders:

National Front for the Liberation of Angola or FNLA [Ngola KABANGU]; National Union for the Total Independence of Angola or UNITA [Isaias SAMAKUVA] (largest opposition party); New Democracy Electoral Union or ND [Quintino de MOREIRA]; Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola or MPLA [Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS] (ruling party in power since 1975); Social Renewal Party or PRS [Eduardo KUANGANA]

note: nine other parties participated in the legislative election in September 2008 but won no seats

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda or FLEC [N'zita

Henriques TIAGO, Antonio Bento BEMBE]

note: FLEC's small-scale armed struggle for the independence of Cabinda Province persists despite the signing of a peace accord with the government in August 2006

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD,

IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO

(correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OPEC,

SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO,

WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Josefina Perpetua Pitra DIAKITE

chancery: 2108 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 785-1156

FAX: [1] (202) 785-1258

consulate(s) general: Houston, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Dan MOZENA

embassy: number 32 Rua Houari Boumedienne (in the Miramar area of Luanda), Luanda

mailing address: international mail: Caixa Postal 6468, Luanda; pouch: US Embassy Luanda, US Department of State, 2550 Luanda Place, Washington, DC 20521-2550

telephone: [244] (222) 64-1000

FAX: [244] (222) 64-1232

Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle); red represents liberty, black the African continent, the symbols characterize workers and peasants

National anthem:

name: "Angola Avante" (Forward Angola)

lyrics/music: Manuel Rui Alves MONTEIRO/Rui Alberto Vieira Dias MINGAO

note: adopted 1975

Economy ::Angola

Economy - overview:

Angola's high growth rate in recent years was driven by high international prices for its oil. Angola became a member of OPEC in late 2006 and in late 2007 was assigned a production quota of 1.9 million barrels a day (bbl/day), somewhat less than the 2-2.5 million bbl/day Angola's government had wanted. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 85% of GDP. Diamond exports contribute an additional 5%. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country's food is still imported. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from 2004 to 2008. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. Land mines left from the war still mar the countryside, even though peace was established after the death of rebel leader Jonas SAVIMBI in February 2002. Since 2005, the government has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure. The global recession temporarily stalled economic growth. Lower prices for oil and diamonds during the global recession led to a contraction in GDP in 2009, and many construction projects stopped because Luanda accrued $9 billion in arrears to foreign construction companies when government revenue fell in 2008 and 2009. Angola abandoned its currency peg in 2009, and in November 2009 signed onto an IMF Stand-By Arrangement loan of $1.4 billion to rebuild international reserves. Although consumer inflation declined from 325% in 2000 to under 14% in 2010, Luanda has been unable to reduce inflation below 10%. The Angolan kwanza depreciated again in mid 2010, which, along with higher oil prices, should boost economic growth in all sectors. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, also is a major challenge.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$114.1 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 66 $107.8 billion (2009 est.)

$108.7 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$85.81 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

5.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 41 -0.9% (2009 est.)

13.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,700 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 117 $8,400 (2009 est.)

$8,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9.6%

industry: 65.8%

services: 24.6% (2008 est.)

Labor force:

7.977 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 57

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 85%

industry and services: 15% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate:

NA

Population below poverty line:

40.5% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 0.6%

highest 10%: 44.7% (2000)

Investment (gross fixed):

15.9% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 124

Public debt:

20.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109 21.7% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

13.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 215 13.7% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

30% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 12 19.57% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15.68% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 66 12.53% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$8.74 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 74 $9.792 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$24.92 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 77 $29.04 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$17.52 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 83 $22.06 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - products:

bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains; livestock; forest products; fish

Industries:

petroleum; diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, feldspar, bauxite, uranium, and gold; cement; basic metal products; fish processing; food processing, brewing, tobacco products, sugar; textiles; ship repair

Industrial production growth rate:

5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63

Electricity - production:

3.722 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 119

Electricity - consumption:

3.173 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 125

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

1.948 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 17

Oil - consumption:

70,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 90

Oil - exports:

1.407 million bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Oil - imports:

28,090 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 101

Oil - proved reserves:

13.5 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 15

Natural gas - production:

680 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 65

Natural gas - consumption:

680 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - proved reserves:

271.8 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 42

Current account balance:

$2.089 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 41 -$1.668 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$51.65 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52 $40.08 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

crude oil, diamonds, refined petroleum products, coffee, sisal, fish and fish products, timber, cotton

Exports - partners:

China 35.65%, US 25.98%, France 8.83%, South Africa 4.13% (2009)

Imports:

$18.1 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 74 $15.74 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and electrical equipment, vehicles and spare parts; medicines, food, textiles, military goods

Imports - partners:

Portugal 18.71%, China 17.39%, US 8.51%, Brazil 8.22%, South Korea 6.72%, France 4.51%, Italy 4.28%, South Africa 4.02% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$16.89 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 43 $13.64 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$17.98 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 75 $13.64 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$91.55 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34 $79.88 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$4.883 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60 $3.933 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

kwanza (AOA) per US dollar - 92.08 (2010), 79.328 (2009), 75.023 (2008), 76.6 (2007), 80.4 (2006)

Communications ::Angola

Telephones - main lines in use:

303,200 (2009) country comparison to the world: 112

Telephones - mobile cellular:

8.109 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 73

Telephone system:

general assessment: limited system; state-owned telecom had monopoly for fixed-lines until 2005; demand outstripped capacity, prices were high, and services poor; Telecom Namibia, through an Angolan company, became the first private licensed operator in Angola's fixed-line telephone network; by 2010, the number of fixed-line providers had expanded to 5; Angola Telecom established mobile-cellular service in Luanda in 1993 and the network has been extended to larger towns; a privately-owned, mobile-cellular service provider began operations in 2001

domestic: only about two fixed-lines per 100 persons; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 65 telephones per 100 persons in 2009

international: country code - 244; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 29 (2009)

Broadcast media:

state controls all broadcast media with nationwide reach; state-owned Televisao Popular de Angola (TPA) provides terrestrial TV service on 2 channels; a third TPA channel is available via cable and satellite; TV subscription services are available; state-owned Radio Nacional de Angola (RNA) broadcasts on 5 stations; about a half dozen private radio stations broadcast locally (2008)

Internet country code:

.ao

Internet hosts:

3,717 (2010) country comparison to the world: 142

Internet users:

606,700 (2009) country comparison to the world: 114

Transportation ::Angola

Airports:

193 (2010) country comparison to the world: 32

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 31

over 3,047 m: 5

2,438 to 3,047 m: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 162

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 31

914 to 1,523 m: 78

under 914 m: 47 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 2 km; oil 87 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 2,764 km country comparison to the world: 62 narrow gauge: 2,641 km 1.067-m gauge; 123 km 0.600-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 51,429 km country comparison to the world: 80 paved: 5,349 km

unpaved: 46,080 km (2001)

Waterways:

1,300 km (2010) country comparison to the world: 55

Merchant marine:

total: 7 country comparison to the world: 125 by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 1 (Spain 1)

registered in other countries: 15 (Bahamas 5, Liberia 1, Malta 7, former Netherlands Antilles 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Cabinda, Lobito, Luanda, Namibe

Military ::Angola

Military branches:

Angolan Armed Forces (FAA): Army, Navy (Marinha de Guerra Angola,

MGA), Angolan National Air Force (Forca Aerea Nacional Angolana,

FANA) (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

20-45 years of age for compulsory and 18-45 years for voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years; Angolan citizenship required; minimum age for women volunteers is 20; the MGA is entirely staffed with volunteers (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,991,424

females age 16-49: 2,893,898 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,506,489

females age 16-49: 1,451,427 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 151,237

female: 147,919 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3.6% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 32

Transnational Issues ::Angola

Disputes - international:

Cabindan separatists continue to return to the Angolan exclave from exile in neighboring states and Europe since the 2006 ceasefire and peace agreement

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 12,615 (Democratic Republic of Congo)

IDPs: 61,700 (27-year civil war ending in 2002; 4 million IDPs already have returned) (2007)

Illicit drugs:

used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa

page last updated on January 13, 2011

======================================================================

@Anguilla (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Anguilla

Background:

Colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, Anguilla was administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the island - against the wishes of the inhabitants - was incorporated into a single British dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis. Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was formally recognized in 1980 with Anguilla becoming a separate British dependency.

Geography ::Anguilla

Location:

Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic

Ocean, east of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates:

18 15 N, 63 10 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 91 sq km country comparison to the world: 226 land: 91 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

about one-half the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

61 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate:

tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds

Terrain:

flat and low-lying island of coral and limestone

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Crocus Hill 65 m

Natural resources:

salt, fish, lobster

Land use:

arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (mostly rock with sparse scrub oak, few trees, some commercial salt ponds) (2005)

Irrigated land:

NA

Natural hazards:

frequent hurricanes and other tropical storms (July to October)

Environment - current issues:

supplies of potable water sometimes cannot meet increasing demand largely because of poor distribution system

Geography - note:

the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles

People ::Anguilla

Population:

14,766 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 222

Age structure:

0-14 years: 24.5% (male 1,815/female 1,725)

15-64 years: 67.8% (male 4,665/female 5,125)

65 years and over: 7.7% (male 534/female 572) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 33 years

male: 31.6 years

female: 34.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.215% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

Birth rate:

13 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 155

Death rate:

4.4 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 202

Net migration rate:

13.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 5

Urbanization:

urban population: 100% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.032 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 3.49 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 212 male: 3.94 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 80.77 years country comparison to the world: 18 male: 78.22 years

female: 83.39 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.75 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 163

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Nationality:

noun: Anguillan(s)

adjective: Anguillan

Ethnic groups:

black (predominant) 90.1%, mixed, mulatto 4.6%, white 3.7%, other 1.5% (2001 census)

Religions:

Anglican 29%, Methodist 23.9%, other Protestant 30.2%, Roman Catholic 5.7%, other Christian 1.7%, other 5.2%, none or unspecified 4.3% (2001 census)

Languages:

English (official)

Literacy:

definition: age 12 and over can read and write

total population: 95%

male: 95%

female: 95% (1984 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

3.5% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 131

Government ::Anguilla

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Anguilla

Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK

Government type:

NA

Capital:

name: The Valley

geographic coordinates: 18 13 N, 63 03 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Independence:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday:

Anguilla Day, 30 May (1967)

Constitution:

Anguilla Constitutional Order 1 April 1982; amended 1990

Legal system:

based on English common law

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Alistair HARRISON (since 21 April 2009)

head of government: Chief Minister Hubert HUGHES (since 16 February 2010)

cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from among the elected members of the House of Assembly (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed chief minister by the governor

Legislative branch:

unicameral House of Assembly (11 seats; 7 members elected by direct popular vote, 2 ex officio members, and 2 appointed; members serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 15 February 2010 (next to be held in 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AUM 4, AUF 2, APP 1

Judicial branch:

High Court (judge provided by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court)

Political parties and leaders:

Anguilla Progressive Party or APP [Roy ROGERS]; Anguilla Strategic

Alternative or ANSA [Edison BAIRD]; Anguilla United Front or AUF

[Osbourne FLEMING, Victor BANKS] (a coalition of the Anguilla

Democratic Party or ADP and the Anguilla National Alliance or ANA);

Anguilla United Movement or AUM [Hubert HUGHES]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA

International organization participation:

Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description:

blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Anguillan coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms depicts three orange dolphins in an interlocking circular design on a white background with a turquoise-blue field below; the white in the background represents peace; the blue base symbolizes the surrounding sea, as well as faith, youth, and hope; the three dolphins stand for endurance, unity, and strength

National anthem:

name: "God Bless Anguilla"

lyrics/music: Alex RICHARDSON

note: local anthem adopted 1981; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Anguilla

Economy - overview:

Anguilla has few natural resources, and the economy depends heavily on luxury tourism, offshore banking, lobster fishing, and remittances from emigrants. Increased activity in the tourism industry has spurred the growth of the construction sector contributing to economic growth. Anguillan officials have put substantial effort into developing the offshore financial sector, which is small but growing. In the medium term, prospects for the economy will depend largely on the tourism sector and, therefore, on revived income growth in the industrialized nations as well as on favorable weather conditions.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$175.4 million (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 217 $191.7 million (2008 est.)

$108.9 million (2004 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$175.4 million (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-8.5% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 214

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$12,200 (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 4%

industry: 18%

services: 78% (2002 est.)

Labor force:

6,049 (2001) country comparison to the world: 218

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture/fishing/forestry/mining: 4%

manufacturing: 3%

construction: 18%

transportation and utilities: 10%

commerce: 36%

services: 29% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate:

8% (2002) country comparison to the world: 87

Population below poverty line:

23% (2002)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.3% (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 149

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 60 6.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

9.27% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 99 9.51% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$19.03 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 186 $19.57 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$458.9 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 171 $470.6 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$529.6 million (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 162 $447.7 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:

small quantities of tobacco, vegetables; cattle raising

Industries:

tourism, boat building, offshore financial services

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

NA kWh

Current account balance:

-$42.87 million (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 69

Exports:

$119.5 million (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 189

Exports - commodities:

lobster, fish, livestock, salt, concrete blocks, rum

Imports:

$143 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 204

Imports - commodities:

fuels, foodstuffs, manufactures, chemicals, trucks, textiles

Debt - external:

$8.8 million (1998) country comparison to the world: 192

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

note: fixed rate since 1976

Communications ::Anguilla

Telephones - main lines in use:

6,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 209

Telephones - mobile cellular:

27,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 204

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA

domestic: modern internal telephone system

international: country code - 1-264; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; microwave radio relay to island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten (2007)

Broadcast media:

1 private television station; multi-channel cable TV subscription services are available; about 10 radio stations, one of which is government-owned (2007)

Internet country code:

.ai

Internet hosts:

271 (2010) country comparison to the world: 186

Internet users:

3,700 (2009) country comparison to the world: 207

Transportation ::Anguilla

Airports:

3 (2010) country comparison to the world: 195

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 2

under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 175 km country comparison to the world: 209 paved: 82 km

unpaved: 93 km (2004)

Ports and terminals:

Blowing Point, Road Bay

Military ::Anguilla

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,611 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,987

females age 16-49: 3,354 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 111

female: 111 (2010 est.)

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues ::Anguilla

Disputes - international:

none

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

page last updated on December 29, 2010

======================================================================

@Antarctica (Antarctica)

Introduction ::Antarctica

Background:

Speculation over the existence of a "southern land" was not confirmed until the early 1820s when British and American commercial operators and British and Russian national expeditions began exploring the Antarctic Peninsula region and other areas south of the Antarctic Circle. Not until 1840 was it established that Antarctica was indeed a continent and not just a group of islands or an area of ocean. Several exploration "firsts" were achieved in the early 20th century, but generally the area saw little human activity. Following World War II, however, there was an upsurge in scientific research on the continent. A number of countries have set up a range of year-round and seasonal stations, camps, and refuges to support scientific research in Antarctica. Seven have made territorial claims, but not all countries recognize these claims. In order to form a legal framework for the activities of nations on the continent, an Antarctic Treaty was negotiated that neither denies nor gives recognition to existing territorial claims; signed in 1959, it entered into force in 1961.

Geography ::Antarctica

Location:

continent mostly south of the Antarctic Circle

Geographic coordinates:

90 00 S, 0 00 E

Map references:

Antarctic Region

Area:

total: 14 million sq km

land: 14 million sq km (280,000 sq km ice-free, 13.72 million sq km ice-covered) (est.)

note: fifth-largest continent, following Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, but larger than Australia and the subcontinent of Europe

Area - comparative:

slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US

Land boundaries:

0 km

note: see entry on Disputes - international

Coastline:

17,968 km

Maritime claims:

Australia, Chile, and Argentina claim Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) rights or similar over 200 nm extensions seaward from their continental claims, but like the claims themselves, these zones are not accepted by other countries; 21 of 28 Antarctic consultative nations have made no claims to Antarctic territory (although Russia and the US have reserved the right to do so) and do not recognize the claims of the other nations; also see the Disputes - international entry

Climate:

severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distance from the ocean; East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica because of its higher elevation; Antarctic Peninsula has the most moderate climate; higher temperatures occur in January along the coast and average slightly below freezing

Terrain:

about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges up to nearly 5,000 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsula area, and parts of Ross Island on McMurdo Sound; glaciers form ice shelves along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves constitute 11% of the area of the continent

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Bentley Subglacial Trench -2,540 m

highest point: Vinson Massif 4,897 m

note: the lowest known land point in Antarctica is hidden in the Bentley Subglacial Trench; at its surface is the deepest ice yet discovered and the world's lowest elevation not under seawater

Natural resources:

iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small uncommercial quantities; none presently exploited; krill, finfish, and crab have been taken by commercial fisheries

Land use:

arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (ice 98%, barren rock 2%) (2005)

Natural hazards:

katabatic (gravity-driven) winds blow coastward from the high interior; frequent blizzards form near the foot of the plateau; cyclonic storms form over the ocean and move clockwise along the coast; volcanism on Deception Island and isolated areas of West Antarctica; other seismic activity rare and weak; large icebergs may calve from ice shelf

Environment - current issues:

in 1998, NASA satellite data showed that the Antarctic ozone hole was the largest on record, covering 27 million square kilometers; researchers in 1997 found that increased ultraviolet light passing through the hole damages the DNA of icefish, an Antarctic fish lacking hemoglobin; ozone depletion earlier was shown to harm one-celled Antarctic marine plants; in 2002, significant areas of ice shelves disintegrated in response to regional warming

Geography - note:

the coldest, windiest, highest (on average), and driest continent; during summer, more solar radiation reaches the surface at the South Pole than is received at the Equator in an equivalent period; mostly uninhabitable

People ::Antarctica

Population:

no indigenous inhabitants, but there are both permanent and summer-only staffed research stations

note: 29 nations, all signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, operate through their National Antarctic Program a number of seasonal-only (summer) and year-round research stations on the continent and its nearby islands south of 60 degrees south latitude (the region covered by the Antarctic Treaty); the population doing and supporting science or engaged in the management and protection of the Antarctic region varies from approximately 4,400 in summer to 1,100 in winter; in addition, approximately 1,000 personnel, including ship's crew and scientists doing onboard research, are present in the waters of the treaty region; peak summer (December-February) population - 4,490 total; Argentina 667, Australia 200, Australia and Romania jointly 13, Belgium 20, Brazil 40, Bulgaria 18, Chile 359, China 90, Czech Republic 20, Ecuador 26, Finland 20, France 125, France and Italy jointly 60, Germany 90, India 65, Italy 102, Japan 125, South Korea 70, NZ 85, Norway 44, Peru 28, Poland 40, Russia 429, South Africa 80, Spain 50, Sweden 20, Ukraine 24, UK 217, US 1,293, Uruguay 70 (2008-2009); winter (June-August) station population - 1,106 total; Argentina 176, Australia 62, Brazil 12, Chile 114, China 29, France 26, France and Italy jointly 13, Germany 9, India 25, Japan 40, South Korea 18, NZ 10, Norway 7, Poland 12, Russia 148, South Africa 10, Ukraine 12, UK 37, US 337, Uruguay 9 (2009); research stations operated within the Antarctic Treaty area (south of 60 degrees south latitude) by National Antarctic Programs: year-round stations - 40 total; Argentina 6, Australia 3, Brazil 1, Chile 6, China 2, France 1, France and Italy jointly 1, Germany 1, India 1, Japan 1, South Korea 1, NZ 1, Norway 1, Poland 1, Russia 5, South Africa 1, Ukraine 1, UK 2, US 3, Uruguay 1 (2009); a range of seasonal-only (summer) stations, camps, and refuges - Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania (with Australia), Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, UK, US, and Uruguay (2008-2009); in addition, during the austral summer some nations have numerous occupied locations such as tent camps, summer-long temporary facilities, and mobile traverses in support of research (May 2009 est.)

Government ::Antarctica

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Antarctica

Government type:

Antarctic Treaty Summary - the Antarctic region is governed by a system known as the Antarctic Treaty System; the system includes: 1. the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, which establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica, 2. Recommendations and Measures adopted at meetings of Antarctic Treaty countries, 3. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972), 4. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980), and 5. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (1991); the 33rd Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay in May 2010; at these periodic meetings, decisions are made by consensus (not by vote) of all consultative member nations; by April 2010, there were 48 treaty member nations: 28 consultative and 20 non-consultative; consultative (decision-making) members include the seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as national territory (some claims overlap) and 21 non-claimant nations; the US and Russia have reserved the right to make claims; the US does not recognize the claims of others; Antarctica is administered through meetings of the consultative member nations; decisions from these meetings are carried out by these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and operations) in accordance with their own national laws; the years in parentheses indicate when a consultative member-nation acceded to the Treaty and when it was accepted as a consultative member, while no date indicates the country was an original 1959 treaty signatory; claimant nations are - Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, NZ, Norway, and the UK. Nonclaimant consultative nations are - Belgium, Brazil (1975/1983), Bulgaria (1978/1998) China (1983/1985), Ecuador (1987/1990), Finland (1984/1989), Germany (1979/1981), India (1983/1983), Italy (1981/1987), Japan, South Korea (1986/1989), Netherlands (1967/1990), Peru (1981/1989), Poland (1961/1977), Russia, South Africa, Spain (1982/1988), Sweden (1984/1988), Ukraine (1992/2004), Uruguay (1980/1985), and the US; non-consultative members, with year of accession in parentheses, are - Austria (1987), Belarus (2006), Canada (1988), Colombia (1989), Cuba (1984), Czech Republic (1962/1993), Denmark (1965), Estonia (2001), Greece (1987), Guatemala (1991), Hungary (1984), North Korea (1987), Monaco (2008), Papua New Guinea (1981), Portugal (2010), Romania (1971), Slovakia (1962/1993), Switzerland (1990), Turkey (1996), and Venezuela (1999); note - Czechoslovakia acceded to the Treaty in 1962 and separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993;

claimant nations are - Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, NZ, Norway, and the UK. Nonclaimant consultative nations are - Belgium, Brazil (1975/1983), Bulgaria (1978/1998) China (1983/1985), Ecuador (1987/1990), Finland (1984/1989), Germany (1979/1981), India (1983/1983), Italy (1981/1987), Japan, South Korea (1986/1989), Netherlands (1967/1990), Peru (1981/1989), Poland (1961/1977), Russia, South Africa, Spain (1982/1988), Sweden (1984/1988), Ukraine (1992/2004), Uruguay (1980/1985), and the US; non-consultative members, with year of accession in parentheses, are - Austria (1987), Belarus (2006), Canada (1988), Colombia (1989), Cuba (1984), Czech Republic (1962/1993), Denmark (1965), Estonia (2001), Greece (1987), Guatemala (1991), Hungary (1984), North Korea (1987), Monaco (2008), Papua New Guinea (1981), Portugal (2010), Romania (1971), Slovakia (1962/1993), Switzerland (1990), Turkey (1996), and Venezuela (1999); note - Czechoslovakia acceded to the Treaty in 1962 and separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993;

Article 1 - area to be used for peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing, is prohibited, but military personnel and equipment may be used for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose; Article 2 - freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation shall continue; Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel, cooperation with the UN and other international agencies; Article 4 - does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial claims and no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force; Article 5 - prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes; Article 6 - includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves south of 60 degrees 00 minutes south and reserves high seas rights; Article 7 - treaty-state observers have free access, including aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations, installations, and equipment; advance notice of all expeditions and of the introduction of military personnel must be given; Article 8 - allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own states; Article 9 - frequent consultative meetings take place among member nations; Article 10 - treaty states will discourage activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the treaty; Article 11 - disputes to be settled peacefully by the parties concerned or, ultimately, by the ICJ; Articles 12, 13, 14 - deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among involved nations; other agreements - some 200 recommendations adopted at treaty consultative meetings and ratified by governments; a mineral resources agreement was signed in 1988 but remains unratified; the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed 4 October 1991 and entered into force 14 January 1998; this agreement provides for the protection of the Antarctic environment through six specific annexes: 1) environmental impact assessment, 2) conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora, 3) waste disposal and waste management, 4) prevention of marine pollution, 5) area protection and management and 6) liability arising from environmental emergencies; it prohibits all activities relating to mineral resources except scientific research; a permanent Antarctic Treaty Secretariat was established in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Legal system:

Antarctica is administered through annual meetings - known as Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings - which include consultative member nations, non-consultative member nations, observer organizations, and expert organizations; decisions from these meetings are carried out by these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and operations) in accordance with their own national laws; more generally, access to the Antarctic Treaty area, that is to all areas between 60 and 90 degrees south latitude, is subject to a number of relevant legal instruments and authorization procedures adopted by the states party to the Antarctic Treaty; note - US law, including certain criminal offenses by or against US nationals, such as murder, may apply extraterritorially; some US laws directly apply to Antarctica; for example, the Antarctic Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. section 2401 et seq., provides civil and criminal penalties for the following activities unless authorized by regulation of statute: the taking of native mammals or birds; the introduction of nonindigenous plants and animals; entry into specially protected areas; the discharge or disposal of pollutants; and the importation into the US of certain items from Antarctica; violation of the Antarctic Conservation Act carries penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and one year in prison; the National Science Foundation and Department of Justice share enforcement responsibilities; Public Law 95-541, the US Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978, as amended in 1996, requires expeditions from the US to Antarctica to notify, in advance, the Office of Oceans, Room 5805, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520, which reports such plans to other nations as required by the Antarctic Treaty; for more information, contact Permit Office, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia 22230; telephone: (703) 292-8030, or visit its website at www.nsf.gov

Economy ::Antarctica

Economy - overview:

Scientific undertakings rather than commercial pursuits are the predominate human activity in Antarctica. Fishing off the coast and tourism, both based abroad, account for Antarctica's limited economic activity. Antarctic fisheries, targeting three main species - Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides and D. mawsoni), mackerel icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari), and krill (Euphausia superba) - reported landing 141,147 metric tons in 2008-09 (1 July - 30 June). (Estimated fishing is from the area covered by the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which extends slightly beyond the Antarctic Treaty area.) Unregulated fishing, particularly of Patagonian toothfish (also known as Chilean sea bass), is a serious problem. The CCAMLR determines the recommended catch limits for marine species. A total of 37,858 tourists visited the Antarctic Treaty area in the 2008-09 Antarctic summer, down from the 46,265 visitors in 2007-2008 (estimates provided to the Antarctic Treaty by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO); this does not include passengers on overflights). Nearly all of them were passengers on commercial (nongovernmental) ships and several yachts that make trips during the summer.

Communications ::Antarctica

Telephones - main lines in use:

0; note - information for US bases only (2001) country comparison to the world: 231

Telephone system:

general assessment: local systems at some research stations

domestic: commercial cellular networks operating in a small number of locations

international: country code - none allocated; via satellite (including mobile Inmarsat and Iridium systems) to and from all research stations, ships, aircraft, and most field parties (2007)

Internet country code:

.aq

Internet hosts:

7,765 (2010) country comparison to the world: 135

Transportation ::Antarctica

Airports:

26 (2010) country comparison to the world: 126

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 26

over 3,047 m: 5

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 9

under 914 m: 6 (2010)

Heliports:

53

note: all year-round and seasonal stations operated by National Antarctic Programs stations have some kind of helicopter landing facilities, prepared (helipads) or unprepared (2010)

Ports and terminals:

McMurdo Station; most coastal stations have sparse and intermittent offshore anchorages; a few stations have basic wharf facilities

Transportation - note:

US coastal stations include McMurdo (77 51 S, 166 40 E) and Palmer (64 43 S, 64 03 W); government use only except by permit (see Permit Office under "Legal System"); all ships at port are subject to inspection in accordance with Article 7, Antarctic Treaty; relevant legal instruments and authorization procedures adopted by the states parties to the Antarctic Treaty regulating access to the Antarctic Treaty area to all areas between 60 and 90 degrees of latitude south have to be complied with (see "Legal System"); The Hydrographic Commission on Antarctica (HCA), a commission of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), is responsible for hydrographic surveying and nautical charting matters in Antarctic Treaty area; it coordinates and facilitates provision of accurate and appropriate charts and other aids to navigation in support of safety of navigation in region; membership of HCA is open to any IHO Member State whose government has acceded to the Antarctic Treaty and which contributes resources or data to IHO Chart coverage of the area

Military ::Antarctica

Military - note:

the Antarctic Treaty prohibits any measures of a military nature, such as the establishment of military bases and fortifications, the carrying out of military maneuvers, or the testing of any type of weapon; it permits the use of military personnel or equipment for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes

Transnational Issues ::Antarctica

Disputes - international:

the Antarctic Treaty freezes, and most states do not recognize, the land and maritime territorial claims made by Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom (some overlapping) for three-fourths of the continent; the US and Russia reserve the right to make claims; no formal claims have been made in the sector between 90 degrees west and 150 degrees west; the International Whaling Commission created a sanctuary around the entire continent to deter catches by countries claiming to conduct scientific whaling; Australia has established a similar preserve in the waters around its territorial claim

page last updated on November 17, 2010

======================================================================

@Antigua and Barbuda (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Antigua and Barbuda

Background:

The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak Indians populated the islands when COLUMBUS landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.

Geography ::Antigua and Barbuda

Location:

Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic

Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates:

17 03 N, 61 48 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km) country comparison to the world: 199 land: 442.6 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km

Area - comparative:

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

153 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:

tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain:

mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Boggy Peak 402 m

Natural resources:

NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism

Land use:

arable land: 18.18%

permanent crops: 4.55%

other: 77.27% (2005)

Irrigated land:

NA

Total renewable water resources:

0.1 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.005 cu km/yr (60%/20%/20%)

per capita: 63 cu m/yr (1990)

Natural hazards:

hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts

Environment - current issues:

water management - a major concern because of limited natural fresh water resources - is further hampered by the clearing of trees to increase crop production, causing rainfall to run off quickly

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto

Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental

Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,

Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches; Barbuda has a large western harbor

People ::Antigua and Barbuda

Population:

86,754 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 197

Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.8% (male 11,660/female 11,303)

15-64 years: 66.6% (male 26,597/female 30,414)

65 years and over: 6.6% (male 2,456/female 3,202) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 30 years

male: 28.5 years

female: 31.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

Birth rate:

16.43 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126

Death rate:

5.77 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 173

Net migration rate:

2.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 35

Urbanization:

urban population: 30% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 124 male: 17.41 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.26 years country comparison to the world: 86 male: 73.27 years

female: 77.35 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.06 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 124

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Nationality:

noun: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)

adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan

Ethnic groups:

black 91%, mixed 4.4%, white 1.7%, other 2.9% (2001 census)

Religions:

Anglican 25.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.3%, Pentecostal 10.6%,

Moravian 10.5%, Roman Catholic 10.4%, Methodist 7.9%, Baptist 4.9%,

Church of God 4.5%, other Christian 5.4%, other 2%, none or

unspecified 5.8% (2001 census)

Languages:

English (official), local dialects

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling

total population: 85.8%

male: NA

female: NA (2003 est.)

Education expenditures:

3.9% of GDP (2002) country comparison to the world: 108

Government ::Antigua and Barbuda

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda

Government type:

constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

name: Saint John's

geographic coordinates: 17 07 N, 61 51 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip

Independence:

1 November 1981 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)

Constitution:

1 November 1981

Legal system:

based on English common law

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Louisse LAKE-TACK (since 17 July 2007)

head of government: Prime Minister Winston Baldwin SPENCER (since 24 March 2004)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general chosen by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17 seats; members appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives (17 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held on 12 March 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - UPP 50.9%, ALP 47.2%, BPM 1.1%; seats by party - UPP 9, ALP 7, BPM 1

Judicial branch:

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court consisting of a High Court of

Justice and a Court of Appeal (based in Saint Lucia; two judges of

the Supreme Court are residents of the islands and preside over the

Court of Summary Jurisdiction); Magistrates' Courts; member of the

Caribbean Court of Justice

Political parties and leaders:

Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [Thomas H. FRANK]; Barbuda People's Movement for Change [Arthur NIBBS]; Barbudans for a Better Barbuda [Ordrick SAMUEL]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER] (a coalition of three parties - Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement or ACLM, Progressive Labor Movement or PLM, United National Democratic Party or UNDP)

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's

Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,

IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO

(subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW,

PetroCaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah Mae LOVELL

chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

telephone: [1] (202) 362-5122

FAX: [1] (202) 362-5225

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda

Flag description:

red, with an inverted isosceles triangle based on the top edge of the flag; the triangle contains three horizontal bands of black (top), light blue, and white, with a yellow rising sun in the black band; the sun symbolizes the dawn of a new era, black represents the African heritage of most of the population, blue is for hope, and red is for the dynamism of the people; the "V" stands for victory; the successive yellow, blue, and white coloring is also meant to evoke the country's tourist attractions of sun, sea, and sand

National anthem:

name: "Fair Antigua, We Salute Thee"

lyrics/music: Novelle Hamilton RICHARDS/Walter Garnet Picart CHAMBERS

note: adopted 1967; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Antigua and Barbuda

Economy - overview:

Tourism continues to dominate Antigua and Barbuda's economy, accounting for nearly 60% of GDP and 40% of investment. The dual-island nation's agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and constrained by a limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming from the lure of higher wages in tourism and construction. Manufacturing comprises enclave-type assembly for export with major products being bedding, handicrafts, and electronic components. Prospects for economic growth in the medium term will continue to depend on tourist arrivals from the US, Canada, and Europe and potential damages from natural disasters. After taking office in 2004, the SPENCER government adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program, and was successful in reducing its public debt-to-GDP ratio from 120% to about 90% in 2008. However, the global financial crisis that began in 2008, has led to a significant increase in the national debt, which topped 130% at the end of 2010. The Antiguan economy experienced solid growth from 2003 to 2007, reaching over 12% in 2006 driven by a construction boom in hotels and housing associated with the Cricket World Cup, but growth dropped off in 2008 with the end of the boom. In 2009, Antigua's economy was severely hit by the global economic crisis, suffering from the collapse of its largest financial institution and a steep decline in tourism. This decline continued in 2010 as the country struggled with a yawning budget deficit.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.433 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 195 $1.494 billion (2009 est.)

$1.64 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.099 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-4.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 210 -8.9% (2009 est.)

1.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$16,500 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68 $17,400 (2009 est.)

$19,400 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 3.8%

industry: 22%

services: 74.3% (2002 est.)

Labor force:

30,000 (1991) country comparison to the world: 204

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 7%

industry: 11%

services: 82% (1983)

Unemployment rate:

11% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 120

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.5% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 69 6.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.07% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 86 10.43% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$233.5 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 170 $266.7 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$1.186 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 157 $1.236 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.13 billion (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 147 $1.002 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock

Industries:

tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances)

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

110 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Electricity - consumption:

102.3 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 189

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 208

Oil - consumption:

5,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Oil - exports:

219 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 130

Oil - imports:

4,690 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 159

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 207

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 209

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Current account balance:

-$211 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 90

Exports:

$84.3 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 197

Exports - commodities:

petroleum products, bedding, handicrafts, electronic components, transport equipment, food and live animals

Imports:

$522.8 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Imports - commodities:

food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil

Debt - external:

$359.8 million (June 2006) country comparison to the world: 166

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

note: fixed rate since 1976

Communications ::Antigua and Barbuda

Telephones - main lines in use:

37,400 (2009) country comparison to the world: 172

Telephones - mobile cellular:

134,900 (2009) country comparison to the world: 178

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA

domestic: good automatic telephone system

international: country code - 1-268; landing points for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) and the Global Caribbean Network (GCN) submarine cable systems with links to other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 2; tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands) and Guadeloupe (France) (2007)

Broadcast media:

state-controlled Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service (ABS) operates 1 TV station; multi-channel cable TV subscription services are available; 1 radio station operated by ABS; roughly 15 radio stations, some broadcasting on multiple frequencies (2007)

Internet country code:

.ag

Internet hosts:

9,795 (2010) country comparison to the world: 122

Internet users:

65,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 171

Transportation ::Antigua and Barbuda

Airports:

3 (2010) country comparison to the world: 194

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 1,165 km country comparison to the world: 181 paved: 384 km

unpaved: 781 km (2002)

Merchant marine:

total: 1,219 country comparison to the world: 9 by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 53, cargo 703, carrier 6, chemical tanker 4, container 412, liquefied gas 12, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 16, vehicle carrier 2

foreign-owned: 1,186 (Albania 1, Colombia 1, Denmark 20, Estonia 20,

Germany 1050, Greece 5, Iceland 9, Isle of Man 2, Latvia 16,

Lithuania 4, Mexico 2, Netherlands 18, Norway 9, NZ 2, Poland 2,

Russia 3, Slovenia 1, Sweden 1, Switzerland 7, Turkey 7, US 6) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Saint John's

Military ::Antigua and Barbuda

Military branches:

Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (including Antigua and

Barbuda Coast Guard) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 20,909

females age 16-49: 23,815 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 17,475

females age 16-49: 19,764 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 763

female: 758 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.5% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 161

Transnational Issues ::Antigua and Barbuda

Disputes - international:

none

Illicit drugs:

considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as an offshore financial center

page last updated on January 19, 2011

======================================================================

@Arctic Ocean (Oceans)

Introduction ::Arctic Ocean

Background:

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the recently delimited Southern Ocean). The Northwest Passage (US and Canada) and Northern Sea Route (Norway and Russia) are two important seasonal waterways. In recent years the polar ice pack has thinned allowing for increased navigation and raising the possibility of future sovereignty and shipping disputes among countries bordering the Arctic Ocean.

Geography ::Arctic Ocean

Location:

body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America, mostly north of the Arctic Circle

Geographic coordinates:

90 00 N, 0 00 E

Map references:

Arctic

Area:

total: 14.056 million sq km

note: includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies

Area - comparative:

slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US

Coastline:

45,389 km

Climate:

polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow annual temperature ranges; winters characterized by continuous darkness, cold and stable weather conditions, and clear skies; summers characterized by continuous daylight, damp and foggy weather, and weak cyclones with rain or snow

Terrain:

central surface covered by a perennial drifting polar icepack that, on average, is about 3 meters thick, although pressure ridges may be three times that thickness; clockwise drift pattern in the Beaufort Gyral Stream, but nearly straight-line movement from the New Siberian Islands (Russia) to Denmark Strait (between Greenland and Iceland); the icepack is surrounded by open seas during the summer, but more than doubles in size during the winter and extends to the encircling landmasses; the ocean floor is about 50% continental shelf (highest percentage of any ocean) with the remainder a central basin interrupted by three submarine ridges (Alpha Cordillera, Nansen Cordillera, and Lomonosov Ridge)

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Fram Basin -4,665 m

highest point: sea level 0 m

Natural resources:

sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales)

Natural hazards:

ice islands occasionally break away from northern Ellesmere Island; icebergs calved from glaciers in western Greenland and extreme northeastern Canada; permafrost in islands; virtually ice locked from October to June; ships subject to superstructure icing from October to May

Environment - current issues:

endangered marine species include walruses and whales; fragile ecosystem slow to change and slow to recover from disruptions or damage; thinning polar icepack

Geography - note:

major chokepoint is the southern Chukchi Sea (northern access to the Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait); strategic location between North America and Russia; shortest marine link between the extremes of eastern and western Russia; floating research stations operated by the US and Russia; maximum snow cover in March or April about 20 to 50 centimeters over the frozen ocean; snow cover lasts about 10 months

Economy ::Arctic Ocean

Economy - overview:

Economic activity is limited to the exploitation of natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, fish, and seals.

Transportation ::Arctic Ocean

Ports and terminals:

Churchill (Canada), Murmansk (Russia), Prudhoe Bay (US)

Transportation - note:

sparse network of air, ocean, river, and land routes; the Northwest Passage (North America) and Northern Sea Route (Eurasia) are important seasonal waterways

Transnational Issues ::Arctic Ocean

Disputes - international:

the littoral states are engaged in various stages of demonstrating the limits of their continental shelves beyond 200 nautical miles from their declared baselines in accordance with Article 76, paragraph 8, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; record summer melting of sea ice in the Arctic has restimulated interest in maritime shipping lanes and sea floor exploration

page last updated on November 17, 2010

======================================================================

@Argentina (South America)

Introduction ::Argentina

Background:

In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the successive resignations of several presidents.

Geography ::Argentina

Location:

Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between

Chile and Uruguay

Geographic coordinates:

34 00 S, 64 00 W

Map references:

South America

Area:

total: 2,780,400 sq km country comparison to the world: 8 land: 2,736,690 sq km

water: 43,710 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US

Land boundaries:

total: 9,861 km

border countries: Bolivia 832 km, Brazil 1,261 km, Chile 5,308 km, Paraguay 1,880 km, Uruguay 580 km

Coastline:

4,989 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:

mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest

Terrain:

rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Laguna del Carbon -105 m (located between Puerto San Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa Cruz)

highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 m (located in the northwestern corner of the province of Mendoza)

Natural resources:

fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium

Land use:

arable land: 10.03%

permanent crops: 0.36%

other: 89.61% (2005)

Irrigated land:

15,500 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

814 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 29.19 cu km/yr (17%/9%/74%)

per capita: 753 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

San Miguel de Tucuman and Mendoza areas in the Andes subject to earthquakes; pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike the pampas and northeast; heavy flooding in some areas

volcanism: Argentina experiences volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains along the Chilean border; Copahue (elev. 2,997 m, 9,833 ft) last erupted in 2000; other historically active volcanoes include Llullaillaco, Maipo, Planchon-Peteroa, San Jose, Tromen, Tupungatito, and Viedma

Environment - current issues:

environmental problems (urban and rural) typical of an industrializing economy such as deforestation, soil degradation, desertification, air pollution, and water pollution

note: Argentina is a world leader in setting voluntary greenhouse gas targets

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living

Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate

Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered

Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the

Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,

Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

second-largest country in South America (after Brazil); strategic location relative to sea lanes between the South Atlantic and the South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); diverse geophysical landscapes range from tropical climates in the north to tundra in the far south; Cerro Aconcagua is the Western Hemisphere's tallest mountain, while Laguna del Carbon is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere

People ::Argentina

Population:

41,343,201 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 32

Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.6% (male 5,369,477/female 5,122,260)

15-64 years: 63.5% (male 12,961,725/female 13,029,265)

65 years and over: 10.8% (male 1,819,057/female 2,611,800) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 30.3 years

male: 29.2 years

female: 31.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.036% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 119

Birth rate:

17.75 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

Death rate:

7.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 122

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 118

Urbanization:

urban population: 92% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.052 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 11.11 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 148 male: 12.4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 76.76 years country comparison to the world: 66 male: 73.52 years

female: 80.17 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.33 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 101

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.5% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

120,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 42

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

7,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Argentine(s)

adjective: Argentine

Ethnic groups:

white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry), Amerindian, or other non-white groups 3%

Religions:

nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%

Languages:

Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.2%

male: 97.2%

female: 97.2% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 16 years

male: 15 years

female: 17 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

4.9% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 71

Government ::Argentina

Country name:

conventional long form: Argentine Republic

conventional short form: Argentina

local long form: Republica Argentina

local short form: Argentina

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: Buenos Aires

geographic coordinates: 34 36 S, 58 40 W

time difference: UTC-3 (3 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: none scheduled for 2010

Administrative divisions:

23 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 autonomous city* (distrito federal); Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Capital Federal*, Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquen, Rio Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, Tierra del Fuego - Antartida e Islas del Atlantico Sur (Tierra del Fuego), Tucuman

note: the US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica

Independence:

9 July 1816 (from Spain)

National holiday:

Revolution Day, 25 May (1810)

Constitution:

1 May 1853; amended many times starting in 1860

Legal system:

mixture of US and West European legal systems; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since 10 December 2007); Vice President Julio COBOS (since 10 December 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since 10 December 2007); Vice President Julio COBOS (since 10 December 2007)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 October 2007 (next election to be held in 2011)

election results: Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER elected president; percent of vote - Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER 45%, Elisa CARRIO 23%, Roberto LAVAGNA 17%, Alberto Rodriguez SAA 8%

Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate (72 seats; members are elected by direct vote; presently one-third of the members elected every two years to serve six-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; members are elected by direct vote; one-half of the members elected every two years to serve four-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 28 June 2009 (next to be held in 2011); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 28 June 2009 (next to be held in 2011)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or party - FpV 8, ACyS 14, PJ disidente 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or party - FpV 45, ACyS 42, PRO 20, PJ disidente 12, other 8; note - as of 13 January 2009, the composition of the entire legislature is as follows: Senate - seats by bloc or party - FpV 36, ACyS 23, PJ disidente 9, other 4; Chamber of Deputies - seats by bloc or party - FpV 113, ACyS 77, PRO 26, PJ disidente 17, other 24

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (the Supreme Court judges are appointed by the president with approval of the Senate)

note: the Supreme Court has seven judges; the Argentine Congress in 2006 passed a bill to gradually reduce the number of Supreme Court judges to five

Political parties and leaders:

Civic and Social Accord or ACyS (a broad center-left alliance-including the CC, UCR, and Socialist parties-created ahead of the 2009 legislative elections); Civic Coalition or CC (a broad coalition loosely affiliated with Elisa CARRIO); Dissident Peronists or PJ Disidente (a sector of the Justicialist Party opposed to the Kirchners); Front for Victory or FpV (a broad coalition, including elements of the UCR and numerous provincial parties) [Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER]; Interbloque Federal or IF (a broad coalition of approximately 12 parties including PRO); Justicialist Party or PJ [Daniel SCIOLI]; Radical Civic Union or UCR [Ernesto SANZ]; Republican Proposal or PRO [Mauricio MACRI] (including Federal Recreate Movement or RECREAR [Esteban BULLRICH]; Socialist Party or PS [Ruben GIUSTINIANI]; Union For All [Patricia BULLRICH] (associated with the Civic Coalition); numerous provincial parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Argentine Association of Pharmaceutical Labs (CILFA); Argentine

Industrial Union (manufacturers' association); Argentine Rural

Confederation or CRA (small to medium landowners' association);

Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association); Central of

Argentine Workers or CTA (a radical union for employed and

unemployed workers); General Confederation of Labor or CGT

(Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization); White and Blue CGT

(dissident CGT labor confederation); Roman Catholic Church

other: business organizations; Peronist-dominated labor movement; Piquetero groups (popular protest organizations that can be either pro or anti-government); students

International organization participation:

AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN

(associate), FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD,

ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO,

IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA,

Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL,

OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, RG, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR,

UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer),

UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)

chancery: 1600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 238-6400

FAX: [1] (202) 332-3171

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Vilma MARTINEZ

embassy: Avenida Colombia 4300, C1425GMN Buenos Aires

mailing address: international mail: use embassy street address; APO address: US Embassy Buenos Aires, Unit 4334, APO AA 34034

telephone: [54] (11) 5777-4533

FAX: [54] (11) 5777-4240

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of light blue (top), white, and light blue; centered in the white band is a radiant yellow sun with a human face known as the Sun of May; the colors represent the clear skies and snow of the Andes; the sun symbol commemorates the appearance of the sun through cloudy skies on 25 May 1810 during the first mass demonstration in favor of independence; the sun features are those of Inti, the Inca god of the sun

National anthem:

name: "Himno Nacional Argentino" (Argentine National Anthem)

lyrics/music: Vicente LOPEZ y PLANES/Jose Blas PARERA

note: adopted 1813; Vicente LOPEZ was inspired to write the anthem after watching a play about the 1810 May Revolution against Spain

Economy ::Argentina

Economy - overview:

Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight. A severe depression, growing public and external indebtedness, and a bank run culminated in 2001 in the most serious economic, social, and political crisis in the country's turbulent history. Interim President Adolfo RODRIGUEZ SAA declared a default - the largest in history - on the government's foreign debt in December of that year, and abruptly resigned only a few days after taking office. His successor, Eduardo DUHALDE, announced an end to the peso's decade-long 1-to-1 peg to the US dollar in early 2002. The economy bottomed out that year, with real GDP 18% smaller than in 1998 and almost 60% of Argentines under the poverty line. Real GDP rebounded to grow by an average 8.5% annually over the subsequent six years, taking advantage of previously idled industrial capacity and labor, an audacious debt restructuring and reduced debt burden, excellent international financial conditions, and expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. Inflation also increased, however, during the administration of President Nestor KIRCHNER, which responded with price restraints on businesses, as well as export taxes and restraints, and beginning in early 2007, with understating inflation data. Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER succeeded her husband as President in late 2007, and the rapid economic growth of previous years began to slow sharply the following year as government policies held back exports and the world economy fell into recession. The economy has rebounded from the 2009 recession, but the government's continued reliance on expansionary fiscal and monetary policies risks exacerbating already high inflation, which remains under-reported by official statistics.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$596 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 24 $554.5 billion (2009 est.)

$571.6 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$351 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

7.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14 -3% (2009 est.)

5% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$14,700 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 76 $13,700 (2009 est.)

$14,100 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 8.5%

industry: 31.6%

services: 59.8% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

16.62 million country comparison to the world: 36 note: urban areas only (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 5%

industry: 23%

services: 72% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate:

7.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 84 8.7% (2009 est.)

note: based on official data, which may understate unemployment

Population below poverty line:

30% (January-June 2010)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.2%

highest 10%: 32.6% (2009)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

45.7 (2009) country comparison to the world: 38

Investment (gross fixed):

22% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 67

Public debt:

50.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51 48.6% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

22% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 222 16% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

NA%

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15.66% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 22 19.47% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$41.66 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 46 $35.33 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$112.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49 $85.18 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$113.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 47 $84.92 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$48.93 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 48 $52.31 billion (31 December 2008)

$86.68 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock

Industries:

food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel

Industrial production growth rate:

6.7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 45

Electricity - production:

109.5 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Electricity - consumption:

99.21 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 31

Electricity - exports:

2.628 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

10.28 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

796,300 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 26

Oil - consumption:

622,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 26

Oil - exports:

314,400 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Oil - imports:

52,290 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 84

Oil - proved reserves:

2.386 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34

Natural gas - production:

41.36 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 20

Natural gas - consumption:

43.14 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Natural gas - exports:

890 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 37

Natural gas - imports:

2.66 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 43

Natural gas - proved reserves:

398.4 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34

Current account balance:

$6.976 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29 $11.29 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$68.01 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 42 $55.67 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, wheat

Exports - partners:

Brazil 18.78%, China 9.26%, Chile 7.11%, US 6.38% (2009)

Imports:

$52.61 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48 $37.14 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic chemicals, plastics

Imports - partners:

Brazil 31.12%, US 13.69%, China 10.26%, Germany 4.69% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$53.61 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 20 $48.03 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$128.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 32 $118.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$86.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 36 $80.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$30.16 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 38 $29.46 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar - 3.8983 (2010), 3.7101 (2009), 3.1636 (2008), 3.1105 (2007), 3.0543 (2006)

Communications ::Argentina

Telephones - main lines in use:

9.764 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 22

Telephones - mobile cellular:

51.891 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 22

Telephone system:

general assessment: the "Telecommunications Liberalization Plan of 1998" opened the telecommunications market to competition and foreign investment encouraging the growth of modern telecommunications technology; fiber-optic cable trunk lines are being installed between all major cities; major networks are entirely digital and the availability of telephone service is improving

domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the trunk network; fixed-line teledensity is increasing gradually and mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; broadband Internet services are gaining ground

international: country code - 54; landing point for the Atlantis-2, UNISUR, South America-1, and South American Crossing/Latin American Nautilus submarine cable systems that provide links to Europe, Africa, South and Central America, and US; satellite earth stations - 112; 2 international gateways near Buenos Aires (2009)

Broadcast media:

government owns a TV station and a radio network; more than 2 dozen TV stations and hundreds of privately-owned radio stations; high rate of cable TV subscription usage (2007)

Internet country code:

.ar

Internet hosts:

6.025 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 16

Internet users:

13.694 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 28

Transportation ::Argentina

Airports:

1,141 (2010) country comparison to the world: 6

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 156

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 27

1,524 to 2,437 m: 65

914 to 1,523 m: 51

under 914 m: 9 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 985

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 43

914 to 1,523 m: 530

under 914 m: 410 (2010)

Heliports:

2 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 28,248 km; liquid petroleum gas 41 km; oil 5,977 km; refined products 3,636 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 31,409 km country comparison to the world: 8 broad gauge: 27,301 km 1.676-m gauge (94 km electrified)

standard gauge: 2,780 km 1.435-m gauge (26 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,328 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 231,374 km country comparison to the world: 22 paved: 69,412 km (includes 734 km of expressways)

unpaved: 161,962 km (2004)

Waterways:

11,000 km (2007) country comparison to the world: 11

Merchant marine:

total: 43 country comparison to the world: 74 by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 7, chemical tanker 4, container 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 23, refrigerated cargo 2

foreign-owned: 12 (Brazil 1, Chile 6, Spain 3, UK 2)

registered in other countries: 17 (Liberia 3, Panama 7, Paraguay 5, Uruguay 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Arroyo Seco, Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, La Plata, Punta Colorada,

Rosario, San Lorenzo-San Martin

Military ::Argentina

Military branches:

Argentine Army (Ejercito Argentino), Navy of the Argentine Republic

(Armada Republica; includes naval aviation and naval infantry),

Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina, FAA) (2011)

Military service age and obligation:

18-24 years of age for voluntary military service (18-21 requires parental permission); no conscription (2001)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 9,934,765

females age 16-49: 9,868,008 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 8,366,206

females age 16-49: 8,344,321 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 340,570

female: 323,953 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.8% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 146

Military - note:

the Argentine military is a well-organized force constrained by the country's prolonged economic hardship; the country has recently experienced a strong recovery, and the military is implementing a modernization plan aimed at making the ground forces lighter and more responsive (2008)

Transnational Issues ::Argentina

Disputes - international:

Argentina continues to assert its claims to the UK-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands in its constitution, forcibly occupying the Falklands in 1982, but in 1995 agreed no longer to seek settlement by force; territorial claim in Antarctica partially overlaps UK and Chilean claims; unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations; uncontested dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; in 2006, Argentina went to the ICJ to protest, on environmental grounds, the construction of two pulp mills in Uruguay on the Uruguay River, which forms the boundary; both parties presented their pleadings in 2007 with Argentina's reply in January and Uruguay's rejoinder in July 2008; the joint boundary commission, established by Chile and Argentina in 2001 has yet to map and demarcate the delimited boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur)

Illicit drugs:

a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe, heroin headed for the US, and ephedrine and pseudoephedrine headed for Mexico; some money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; law enforcement corruption; a source for precursor chemicals; increasing domestic consumption of drugs in urban centers, especially cocaine base and synthetic drugs (2008)

page last updated on January 19, 2011

======================================================================

@Armenia (Middle East)

Introduction ::Armenia

Background:

Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in an estimated 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1994 because of the Armenian separatists' control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. In 2009, senior Armenian leaders began pursuing rapprochement with Turkey, aiming to secure an opening of the border; this process is currently dormant.

Geography ::Armenia

Location:

Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey

Geographic coordinates:

40 00 N, 45 00 E

Map references:

Middle East

Area:

total: 29,743 sq km country comparison to the world: 142 land: 28,203 sq km

water: 1,540 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:

total: 1,254 km

border countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

highland continental, hot summers, cold winters

Terrain:

Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Debed River 400 m

highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m

Natural resources:

small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite

Land use:

arable land: 16.78%

permanent crops: 2.01%

other: 81.21% (2005)

Irrigated land:

2,860 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

10.5 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.95 cu km/yr (30%/4%/66%)

per capita: 977 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts

Environment - current issues:

soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants

Geography - note:

landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range

People ::Armenia

Population:

2,966,802 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 137

Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.2% (male 289,119/female 252,150)

15-64 years: 71.1% (male 986,764/female 1,123,708)

65 years and over: 10.6% (male 122,996/female 192,267) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 31.9 years

male: 29.1 years

female: 34.7 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.016% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 191

Birth rate:

12.74 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 158

Death rate:

8.42 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87

Net migration rate:

-4.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 195

Urbanization:

urban population: 64% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: -0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.133 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.15 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female

total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 19.5 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 102 male: 24.16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 14.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 72.96 years country comparison to the world: 118 male: 69.33 years

female: 77.07 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.36 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 114

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

2,400 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Nationality:

noun: Armenian(s)

adjective: Armenian

Ethnic groups:

Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001 census)

Religions:

Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist with elements of nature worship) 1.3%

Languages:

Armenian (official) 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.4%

male: 99.7%

female: 99.2% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years

male: 11 years

female: 12 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

3% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 147

Government ::Armenia

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Armenia

conventional short form: Armenia

local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun

local short form: Hayastan

former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: Yerevan

geographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan

Independence:

21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 21 September (1991)

Constitution:

adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005

Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)

head of government: Prime Minister Tigran SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 19 February 2008 (next to be held in February 2013); prime minister appointed by the president based on majority or plurality support in parliament; the prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National Assembly refuses to accept their program

election results: Serzh SARGSIAN elected president; percent of vote - Serzh SARGSIAN 52.9%, Levon TER-PETROSSIAN 21.5%, Artur BAGHDASARIAN 16.7%

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131 seats; members elected by popular vote, 90 members elected by party list and 41 by direct vote; to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 12 May 2007 (next to be held in the spring of 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - HHK 33.9%, Prosperous Armenia 15.1%, ARF (Dashnak) 13.2%, Rule of Law 7.1%, Heritage Party 6%, other 24.7%; seats by party - HHK 64, Prosperous Armenia 18, ARF (Dashnak) 16, Rule of Law 9, Heritage Party 7, independent 17

Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)

Political parties and leaders:

Armenian National Congress or ANC (bloc of independent and

opposition parties) [Levon TER-PETROSSIAN]; Armenian National

Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN]; Armenian Revolutionary Federation

("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Hrant MARKARIAN]; Heritage Party [Raffi

HOVHANNISIAN]; People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHIAN];

Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSARUKIAN]; Republican Party of Armenia or

HHK [Serzh SARGSIAN]; Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur

BAGHDASARIAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Aylentrank (Impeachment Alliance) [Nikol PASHINIAN]; Yerkrapah Union

[Manvel GRIGORIAN]

International organization participation:

ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU,

IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol,

IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer),

OIF (associate member), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO,

UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Tatoul MARKARIAN

chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976

FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Marie L. YOVANOVITCH

embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082

mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020

telephone: [374](10) 464-700

FAX: [374](10) 464-742

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the workers who farm it

National anthem:

name: "Mer Hayrenik""(Our Fatherland)

lyrics/music: Mikael NALBANDIAN/Barsegh KANACHYAN

note: adopted 1991; based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922) but with different lyrics

Economy ::Armenia

Economy - overview:

After several years of double-digit economic growth, Armenia faced a severe economic recession with GDP declining more than 14% in 2009, despite large loans from multilateral institutions. Sharp declines in the construction sector and workers' remittances, particularly from Russia, were the main reasons for the downturn. The economy began to recover in 2010 with nearly 5% growth. Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia has since switched to small-scale agriculture and away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet era. Armenia has managed to reduce poverty, slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia had made progress in implementing some economic reforms, including privatization, price reforms, and prudent fiscal policies, but geographic isolation, a narrow export base, and pervasive monopolies in important business sectors have made Armenia particularly vulnerable to the sharp deterioration in the global economy and the economic downturn in Russia. The conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s and Armenia's borders with Turkey remain closed until 2010, when Turkey and Armenia signed an accord to reestablish diplomatic relations. Armenia is particularly dependent on Russian commercial and governmental support and most key Armenian infrastructure is Russian-owned and/or managed, especially in the energy sector. The electricity distribution system was privatized in 2002 and bought by Russia's RAO-UES in 2005. Construction of a pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Armenia was completed in December 2008, and gas deliveries are slated to expand due to the April 2010 completion of the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant. Armenia has some mineral deposits (copper, gold, bauxite). Pig iron, unwrought copper, and other nonferrous metals are Armenia's highest valued exports. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment. Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. The government made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been ineffective and the current economic downturn has led to a sharp drop in tax revenue and forced the government to accept large loan packages from Russia, the IMF, and other international financial institutions. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms in order to regain economic growth and improve economic competitiveness and employment opportunities, especially given its economic isolation from two of its nearest neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$17.27 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 133 $16.5 billion (2009 est.)

$19.23 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$8.83 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

4.7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 64 -14.2% (2009 est.)

6.9% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,800 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 138 $5,600 (2009 est.)

$6,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 22%

industry: 46.6%

services: 31.4% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

1.481 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 46.2%

industry: 15.6%

services: 38.2% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:

7.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 73

Population below poverty line:

26.5% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.6%

highest 10%: 41.3% (2004)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

37 (2006) country comparison to the world: 77 44.4 (1996)

Investment (gross fixed):

33.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 11

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

6.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 176 3.4% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

NA% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 56 7.25% (2 December 2008)

note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy instrument of the Armenian National Bank

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

18.76% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 32 17.05% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$1.131 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 138 $1.071 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$3.507 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 130 $3.339 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.821 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 127 $1.733 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$140.5 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 110 $176 million (31 December 2008)

$105 million (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock

Industries:

diamond-processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry manufacturing, software development, food processing, brandy

Industrial production growth rate:

8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 26

Electricity - production:

5.584 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

Electricity - consumption:

4.776 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 110

Electricity - exports:

451.3 million kWh; note - exports an unknown quantity to Georgia; includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

418.7 million kWh; note - imports an unknown quantity from Iran (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 207

Oil - consumption:

49,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 97

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

Oil - imports:

45,200 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 91

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

Natural gas - consumption:

1.93 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 81

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 201

Natural gas - imports:

1.93 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 47

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 203

Current account balance:

-$1.138 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 142 -$1.326 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$846 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 158 $722.3 million (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

pig iron, unwrought copper, nonferrous metals, diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy

Exports - partners:

Germany 16.47%, Russia 15.45%, US 9.64%, Bulgaria 8.6%, Georgia 7.57%, Netherlands 7.48%, Belgium 6.71%, Canada 4.91% (2009)

Imports:

$2.988 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 140 $2.817 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds

Imports - partners:

Russia 24.02%, China 8.72%, Ukraine 6.15%, Turkey 5.39%, Germany 5.36%, Iran 4.07% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.247 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 94 $2.004 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$5.227 billion (30 June 2010) country comparison to the world: 103 $3.449 billion (31 December 2008)

Exchange rates:

drams (AMD) per US dollar - 374.29 (2010), 363.28 (2009), 303.93 (2008), 344.06 (2007), 414.69 (2006)

Communications ::Armenia

Telephones - main lines in use:

630,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 92

Telephones - mobile cellular:

2.62 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 120

Telephone system:

general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services monopoly terminated in late 2004 and a second provider began operations in mid-2005

domestic: reliable modern fixed-line and mobile-cellular services are available across Yerevan in major cities and towns; significant but ever-shrinking gaps remain in mobile-cellular coverage in rural areas

international: country code - 374; Yerevan is connected to the Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, through the Moscow international switch, and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3 (2008)

Broadcast media:

2 public television networks operating alongside more than 40 privately-owned television stations that provide local to near nationwide coverage; major Russian broadcast stations are widely available; subscription cable TV services are available in most regions; Public Radio of Armenia is a national, state-run broadcast network that operates alongside about 20 privately-owned radio stations; several major international broadcasters are available (2008)

Internet country code:

.am

Internet hosts:

65,279 (2010) country comparison to the world: 83

Internet users:

208,200 (2009) country comparison to the world: 138

Transportation ::Armenia

Airports:

11 (2010) country comparison to the world: 153

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 10

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 2,233 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 845 km country comparison to the world: 99 broad gauge: 845 km 1.520-m gauge (818 km electrified)

note: some lines are out of service (2008)

Roadways:

total: 8,888 km country comparison to the world: 139 paved: 7,079 km (includes 1,561 km of expressways)

unpaved: 1,809 km (2008)

Military ::Armenia

Military branches:

Armenian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense;

"Nagorno-Karabakh Republic": Nagorno-Karabakh Self Defense Force

(NKSDF) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 809,293

females age 16-49: 862,679 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 644,195

females age 16-49: 724,085 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 24,611

female: 22,682 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

2.8% of GDP (2010) country comparison to the world: 49

Transnational Issues ::Armenia

Disputes - international:

Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s, has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan - Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; border with Turkey remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute; ethnic Armenian groups in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy; Armenians continue to emigrate, primarily to Russia, seeking employment

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 113,295 (Azerbaijan)

IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, majority have returned home since 1994 ceasefire) (2007)

Illicit drugs:

illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs - mostly opium and hashish - moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

page last updated on January 12, 2011

======================================================================

@Aruba (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Aruba

Background:

Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry. Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.

Geography ::Aruba

Location:

Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela

Geographic coordinates:

12 30 N, 69 58 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 180 sq km country comparison to the world: 217 land: 180 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

68.5 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate:

tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain:

flat with a few hills; scant vegetation

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Ceru Jamanota 188 m

Natural resources:

NEGL; white sandy beaches

Land use:

arable land: 10.53%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 89.47% (2005)

Irrigated land:

0.01 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:

hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened

Environment - current issues:

NA

Geography - note:

a flat, riverless island renowned for its white sand beaches; its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean; the temperature is almost constant at about 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit)

People ::Aruba

Population:

104,589 country comparison to the world: 192 note: estimate based on a revision of the base population, fertility, and mortality numbers, as well as a revision of 1985-99 migration estimates from outmigration to inmigration, which is assumed to continue into the future; the new results are consistent with the 2000 census (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 19.1% (male 9,921/female 9,758)

15-64 years: 70.3% (male 34,676/female 37,752)

65 years and over: 10.6% (male 4,351/female 6,607) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 38 years

male: 36.2 years

female: 39.7 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.457% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 86

Birth rate:

12.77 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 157

Death rate:

7.76 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

Net migration rate:

9.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 9

Urbanization:

urban population: 47% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.021 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 13.34 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 131 male: 17.65 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.51 years country comparison to the world: 82 male: 72.47 years

female: 78.61 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.85 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 151

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Nationality:

noun: Aruban(s)

adjective: Aruban; Dutch

Ethnic groups:

mixed white/Caribbean Amerindian 80%, other 20%

Religions:

Roman Catholic 80.8%, Evangelist 4.1%, Protestant 2.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%, Methodist 1.2%, Jewish 0.2%, other 5.1%, none or unspecified 4.6%

Languages:

Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 66.3%, Spanish 12.6%, English (widely spoken) 7.7%, Dutch (official) 5.8%, other 2.2%, unspecified or unknown 5.3% (2000 census)

Literacy:

definition: NA

total population: 97.3%

male: 97.5%

female: 97.1% (2000 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

4.9% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 74

Government ::Aruba

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Aruba

Dependency status:

constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs obtained in 1986 upon separation from the Netherlands Antilles; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs

Government type:

parliamentary democracy

Capital:

name: Oranjestad

geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

Independence:

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

National holiday:

Flag Day, 18 March (1976)

Constitution:

1 January 1986

Legal system:

based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Fredis REFUNJOL (since 11 May 2004)

head of government: Prime Minister Michiel Godfried (Mike) EMAN (since 30 October 2009)

cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed for a six-year term by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by the Staten for four-year terms; election last held in 2009 (next to be held by 2013)

election results: Mike EMAN elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA

Legislative branch:

unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 September 2009 (next to be held in 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - AVP 48%, MEP 35.9%, PDR 5.7%; seats by party - AVP 12, MEP 8, PDR 1

Judicial branch:

Common Court of Justice, Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by the monarch)

Political parties and leaders:

Aliansa/Aruban Social Movement or MSA [Robert WEVER]; Aruban Liberal Organization or OLA [Glenbert CROES]; Aruban Patriotic Movement or MPA [Monica ARENDS-KOCK]; Aruban Patriotic Party or PPA [Benny NISBET]; Aruban People's Party or AVP [Mike EMAN]; People's Electoral Movement Party or MEP [Nelson O. ODUBER]; Real Democracy or PDR [Andin BIKKER]; RED [Rudy LAMPE]; Workers Political Platform or PTT [Gregorio WOLFF]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: environmental groups

International organization participation:

Caricom (observer), FATF, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC, UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - Mr. Henry BAARH, Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Aruba; the Consul General to Curacao is accredited to Aruba

Flag description:

blue, with two narrow, horizontal, yellow stripes across the lower portion and a red, four-pointed star outlined in white in the upper hoist-side corner; the star represents Aruba and its red soil and white beaches, its four points the four major languages (Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish, English) as well as the four points of a compass, to indicate that its inhabitants come from all over the world; the blue symbolizes Caribbean waters and skies; the stripes represent the island's two main "industries": the flow of tourists to the sun-drenched beaches and the flow of minerals from the earth

National anthem:

name: "Aruba Deshi Tera" (Aruba Precious Country)

lyrics/music: Juan Chabaya 'Padu' LAMPE/Rufo Inocencio WEVER

note: local anthem adopted 1986; as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, "Het Wilhelmus" is official (see Netherlands)

Economy ::Aruba

Economy - overview:

Tourism is the mainstay of the small open Aruban economy, together with offshore banking. Oil refining and storage ended in 2009. The rapid growth of the tourism sector over the last decade has resulted in a substantial expansion of other activities. Over 1.5 million tourists per year visit Aruba with 75% of those from the US. Construction continues to boom with hotel capacity five times the 1985 level. Tourist arrivals rebounded strongly following a dip after the 11 September 2001 attacks. The government has made cutting the budget and trade deficits a high priority.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.258 billion (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 181 $2.205 billion (2004 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.258 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2.4% (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 141

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$21,800 (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 59

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 0.4%

industry: 33.3%

services: 66.3% (2002 est.)

Labor force:

41,500 (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 194

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

note: most employment is in wholesale and retail trade and repair, followed by hotels and restaurants; oil refining

Unemployment rate:

6.9% (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 67

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Public debt:

46.3% of GDP (2005) country comparison to the world: 57

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.4% (2005) country comparison to the world: 100

Central bank discount rate:

3% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 85 5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.77% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 80 11.23% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$865 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 140 $781 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$1.771 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 146 $1.671 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.333 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 140 $1.321 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - products:

aloes; livestock; fish

Industries:

tourism, transshipment facilities

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

850 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

Electricity - consumption:

790.5 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 148

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

2,235 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 102

Oil - consumption:

8,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 155

Oil - exports:

231,100 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

Oil - imports:

236,400 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 100

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 206

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 208

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 202

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 202

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Exports:

$124 million (2006); note - includes oil reexports country comparison to the world: 188

Exports - commodities:

live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment

Exports - partners:

Panama 23.84%, Netherlands Antilles 20.49%, Colombia 17.48%,

Venezuela 12.61%, US 9.12%, Netherlands 7.5% (2009)

Imports:

$1.054 billion (2006) country comparison to the world: 169

Imports - commodities:

machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

US 49.51%, Netherlands 16.15%, UK 4.94% (2009)

Debt - external:

$478.6 million (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 164

Exchange rates:

Aruban guilders/florins (AWG) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.79 (2006), 1.79 (2005), 1.79 (2004), 1.79 (2003)

Communications ::Aruba

Telephones - main lines in use:

38,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 169

Telephones - mobile cellular:

128,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 180

Telephone system:

general assessment: modern fully automatic telecommunications system

domestic: increased competition through privatization; 3 mobile-cellular service providers are now licensed

international: country code - 297; landing site for the PAN-AM submarine telecommunications cable system that extends from the US Virgin Islands through Aruba to Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and the west coast of South America; extensive interisland microwave radio relay links (2007)

Broadcast media:

2 commercial television stations; cable TV subscription service provides access to foreign channels; about 20 commercial radio stations broadcast (2007)

Internet country code:

.aw

Internet hosts:

25,080 (2010) country comparison to the world: 101

Internet users:

24,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 187

Transportation ::Aruba

Airports:

1 (2010) country comparison to the world: 210

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Barcadera, Oranjestad, Sint Nicolaas

Military ::Aruba

Military branches:

no regular military forces (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 24,779

females age 16-49: 26,090 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 20,398

females age 16-49: 21,371 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 738

female: 715 (2010 est.)

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Transnational Issues ::Aruba

Disputes - international:

none

Illicit drugs:

transit point for US- and Europe-bound narcotics with some accompanying money-laundering activity; relatively high percentage of population consumes cocaine

page last updated on January 11, 2011

======================================================================

@Ashmore and Cartier Islands (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Background:

These uninhabited islands came under Australian authority in 1931; formal administration began two years later. Ashmore Reef supports a rich and diverse avian and marine habitat; in 1983, it became a National Nature Reserve. Cartier Island, a former bombing range, became a marine reserve in 2000.

Geography ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Location:

Southeastern Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, midway between northwestern Australia and Timor island

Geographic coordinates:

12 14 S, 123 05 E

Map references:

Oceania

Area:

total: 5 sq km country comparison to the world: 246 land: 5 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Ashmore Reef (West, Middle, and East Islets) and Cartier Island

Area - comparative:

about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

74.1 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:

tropical

Terrain:

low with sand and coral

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed location 3 m

Natural resources:

fish

Land use:

arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (all grass and sand) (2005)

Irrigated land:

0 sq km

Natural hazards:

surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards

Environment - current issues:

illegal killing of protected wildlife by traditional Indonesian fisherman, as well as fishing by non-traditional Indonesian vessels, are ongoing problems

Geography - note:

Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983;

Cartier Island Marine Reserve established in 2000

People ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Population:

no indigenous inhabitants

note: Indonesian fishermen are allowed access to the lagoon and fresh water at Ashmore Reef's West Island; access to East and Middle Islands is by permit only

Government ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Country name:

conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands

conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Dependency status:

territory of Australia; administered by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department

Legal system:

the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and the laws of the Northern Territory of Australia where applicable apply

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (territory of Australia)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (territory of Australia)

Flag description:

the flag of Australia is used

Economy ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Economy - overview:

no economic activity

Transportation ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Ports and terminals:

none; offshore anchorage only

Military ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force

Transnational Issues ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Disputes - international:

as the closest Australian territory to Indonesia, these islands became the target of human traffickers for the landing of illegal immigrants; in 2001, the Australian government removed these islands from the Australian Migration Zone making illegal arrivals ineligible for temporary visas and entry into Australia

page last updated on November 17, 2010

======================================================================

@Atlantic Ocean (Oceans)

Introduction ::Atlantic Ocean

Background:

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean, but larger than the Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, and Arctic Ocean). The Kiel Canal (Germany), Oresund (Denmark-Sweden), Bosporus (Turkey), Strait of Gibraltar (Morocco-Spain), and the Saint Lawrence Seaway (Canada-US) are important strategic access waterways. The decision by the International Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to delimit a fifth world ocean, the Southern Ocean, removed the portion of the Atlantic Ocean south of 60 degrees south latitude.

Geography ::Atlantic Ocean

Location:

body of water between Africa, Europe, the Southern Ocean, and the Western Hemisphere

Geographic coordinates:

0 00 N, 25 00 W

Map references:

Political Map of the World

Area:

total: 76.762 million sq km

note: includes Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caribbean Sea, Davis Strait,

Denmark Strait, part of the Drake Passage, Gulf of Mexico, Labrador

Sea, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Norwegian Sea, almost all of the

Scotia Sea, and other tributary water bodies

Area - comparative:

slightly less than 6.5 times the size of the US

Coastline:

111,866 km

Climate:

tropical cyclones (hurricanes) develop off the coast of Africa near Cape Verde and move westward into the Caribbean Sea; hurricanes can occur from May to December but are most frequent from August to November

Terrain:

surface usually covered with sea ice in Labrador Sea, Denmark Strait, and coastal portions of the Baltic Sea from October to June; clockwise warm-water gyre (broad, circular system of currents) in the northern Atlantic, counterclockwise warm-water gyre in the southern Atlantic; the ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a rugged north-south centerline for the entire Atlantic basin

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Milwaukee Deep in the Puerto Rico Trench -8,605 m

highest point: sea level 0 m

Natural resources:

oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales), sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, precious stones

Natural hazards:

icebergs common in Davis Strait, Denmark Strait, and the northwestern Atlantic Ocean from February to August and have been spotted as far south as Bermuda and the Madeira Islands; ships subject to superstructure icing in extreme northern Atlantic from October to May; persistent fog can be a maritime hazard from May to September; hurricanes (May to December)

Environment - current issues:

endangered marine species include the manatee, seals, sea lions, turtles, and whales; drift net fishing is hastening the decline of fish stocks and contributing to international disputes; municipal sludge pollution off eastern US, southern Brazil, and eastern Argentina; oil pollution in Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Maracaibo, Mediterranean Sea, and North Sea; industrial waste and municipal sewage pollution in Baltic Sea, North Sea, and Mediterranean Sea

Geography - note:

major chokepoints include the Dardanelles, Strait of Gibraltar, access to the Panama and Suez Canals; strategic straits include the Strait of Dover, Straits of Florida, Mona Passage, The Sound (Oresund), and Windward Passage; the Equator divides the Atlantic Ocean into the North Atlantic Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean

Economy ::Atlantic Ocean

Economy - overview:

The Atlantic Ocean provides some of the world's most heavily trafficked sea routes, between and within the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Other economic activity includes the exploitation of natural resources, e.g., fishing, dredging of aragonite sands (The Bahamas), and production of crude oil and natural gas (Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and North Sea).

Transportation ::Atlantic Ocean

Ports and terminals:

Alexandria (Egypt), Algiers (Algeria), Antwerp (Belgium), Barcelona

(Spain), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Casablanca (Morocco), Colon

(Panama), Copenhagen (Denmark), Dakar (Senegal), Gdansk (Poland),

Hamburg (Germany), Helsinki (Finland), Las Palmas (Canary Islands,

Spain), Le Havre (France), Lisbon (Portugal), London (UK), Marseille

(France), Montevideo (Uruguay), Montreal (Canada), Naples (Italy),

New Orleans (US), New York (US), Oran (Algeria), Oslo (Norway),

Peiraiefs or Piraeus (Greece), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Rotterdam

(Netherlands), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Stockholm (Sweden)

Transportation - note:

Kiel Canal and Saint Lawrence Seaway are two important waterways; significant domestic commercial and recreational use of Intracoastal Waterway on central and south Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico coast of US; the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of littoral states and offshore Atlantic waters as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, the east coast of Brazil, and the Caribbean Sea; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargoes stolen; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen

Transnational Issues ::Atlantic Ocean

Disputes - international:

some maritime disputes (see littoral states)

page last updated on November 17, 2010

======================================================================

@Australia (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::Australia

Background:

Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name of Great Britain. Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term concerns include climate-change issues such as the depletion of the ozone layer and more frequent droughts, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.

Geography ::Australia

Location:

Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific

Ocean

Geographic coordinates:

27 00 S, 133 00 E

Map references:

Oceania

Area:

total: 7,741,220 sq km country comparison to the world: 6 land: 7,682,300 sq km

water: 58,920 sq km

note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

25,760 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:

generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north

Terrain:

mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m

highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m

Natural resources:

bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, rare earth elements, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum

note: Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal accounting for 29% of global coal exports

Land use:

arable land: 6.15% (includes about 27 million hectares of cultivated grassland)

permanent crops: 0.04%

other: 93.81% (2005)

Irrigated land:

25,450 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

398 cu km (1995)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 24.06 cu km/yr (15%/10%/75%)

per capita: 1,193 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires

volcanism: volcanic activity occurs on the Heard and McDonald Islands

Environment - current issues:

soil erosion from overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; desertification; clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and plant species; the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast, the largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by increased shipping and its popularity as a tourist site; limited natural fresh water resources

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living

Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate

Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered

Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the

Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer

Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,

Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; the invigorating sea breeze known as the "Fremantle Doctor" affects the city of Perth on the west coast and is one of the most consistent winds in the world

People ::Australia

Population:

21,515,754 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 54

Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.6% (male 2,026,975/female 1,923,828)

15-64 years: 67.9% (male 7,318,743/female 7,121,613)

65 years and over: 13.5% (male 1,306,329/female 1,565,153) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 37.5 years

male: 36.8 years

female: 38.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.171% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 107

Birth rate:

12.39 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 161

Death rate:

6.81 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 145

Net migration rate:

6.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14

Urbanization:

urban population: 89% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.055 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.67 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 192 male: 5 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 81.72 years country comparison to the world: 9 male: 79.33 years

female: 84.25 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.78 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 158

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

18,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 81

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 127

Nationality:

noun: Australian(s)

adjective: Australian

Ethnic groups:

white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%

Religions:

Catholic 25.8%, Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7% (2006 Census)

Languages:

English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%,

Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7% (2006 Census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 21 years

male: 20 years

female: 21 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

4.7% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 83

Government ::Australia

Country name:

conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia

conventional short form: Australia

Government type:

federal parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

name: Canberra

geographic coordinates: 35 17 S, 149 13 E

time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends first Sunday in April

note: Australia is divided into three time zones

Administrative divisions:

6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia

Dependent areas:

Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling)

Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands,

Macquarie Island, Norfolk Island

Independence:

1 January 1901 (from the federation of UK colonies)

National holiday:

Australia Day, 26 January (1788); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the

anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New

Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25

April (1915)

Constitution:

9 July 1900; effective on 1 January 1901

Legal system:

based on English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts International Criminal Court jurisdiction with conditions

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Quentin BRYCE (since 5 September 2008)

head of government: Prime Minister Julia Eileen GILLARD (since 24 June 2010); Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Maxwell SWAN (since 24 June 2010)

cabinet: prime minister nominates, from among members of Parliament, candidates who are subsequently sworn in by the governor general to serve as government ministers (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch:

bicameral Federal Parliament consists of the Senate (76 seats; 12 members from each of the six states and 2 from each of the two mainland territories; one-half of state members are elected every three years by popular vote to serve six-year terms while all territory members are elected every three years) and the House of Representatives (150 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve terms of up to three-years; no state can have fewer than 5 representatives)

elections: half-Senate - last held on 21 August 2010; House of Representatives - last held on 21 August 2010 (the latest a simultaneous half-Senate and House of Representative elections can be held is 2014)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Liberal/National Party 34, Australian Labor Party 31, Greens 9, others 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Australian Labor Party 38.1%, Liberal Party 30.4%, Greens 11.5%, Liberal National Party of Queensland 9.3%, independents 6.6%, The Nationals 3.7%, Country Liberals 0.3%; seats by party - Australian Labor Party 72, Liberal Party 44, Liberal National Party of Queensland 21, The Nationals 7, Country Liberals 1, Greens 1, independents 4

Judicial branch:

High Court (the chief justice and six other justices are appointed by the governor general acting on the advice of the government)

Political parties and leaders:

Australian Greens [Bob BROWN]; Australian Labor Party [Julia

GILLARD]; Family First Party [Steve FIELDING]; Liberal Party [Tony

ABBOTT]; The Nationals [Warren TRUSS]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: business groups; environmental groups; social groups; trade unions

International organization participation:

ADB, ANZUS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group,

BIS, C, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt,

ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC,

IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, OSCE

(partner), Paris Club, PCA, PIF, SAARC (observer), Sparteca, SPC,

UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU,

WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Kim Christian BEAZLEY

chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 797-3000

FAX: [1] (202) 797-3168

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey L. BLEICH

embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600

mailing address: APO AP 96549

telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600

FAX: [61] (02) 6214-5970

consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Flag description:

blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a large seven-pointed star in the lower hoist-side quadrant known as the Commonwealth or Federation Star, representing the federation of the colonies of Australia in 1901; the star depicts one point for each of the six original states and one representing all of Australia's internal and external territories; on the fly half is a representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars

National anthem:

name: "Advance Australia Fair"

lyrics/music: Peter Dodds McCORMICK

note: adopted 1984; although originally written in the late 19th century, the anthem did not become official until 1984; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Australia

Economy - overview:

Australia's abundant and diverse natural resources attract high levels of foreign investment and include extensive reserves of coal, iron ore, copper, gold, natural gas, uranium, and renewable energy sources. A series of major investments, such as the US$40 billion Gorgon Liquid Natural Gas project, will significantly expand the resources sector. Australia also has a large services sector and is a significant exporter of natural resources, energy, and food. Key tenets of Australia's trade policy include support for open trade and the successful culmination of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, particularly for agriculture and services. The Australian economy grew for 17 consecutive years before the global financial crisis. Subsequently, the Rudd government introduced a fiscal stimulus package worth over US$50 billion to offset the effect of the slowing world economy, while the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates to historic lows. These policies - and continued demand for commodities, especially from China - helped the Australian economy rebound after just one quarter of negative growth. The economy grew by 1.2% during 2009 - the best performance in the OECD. Unemployment, originally expected to reach 8-10%, peaked at 5.7% in late 2009 and fell to 5.1% in 2010. As a result of an improved economy, the budget deficit is expected to peak below 4.2% of GDP and the government could return to budget surpluses as early as 2015. Australia was one of the first advanced economies to raise interest rates, with seven rate hikes between October 2009 and November 2010. The GILLARD government is focused on raising Australia's economic productivity to ensure the sustainability of growth, and continues to manage the symbiotic, but sometimes tense, economic relationship with China. Australia is engaged in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks and ongoing free trade agreement negotiations with China, Japan, and Korea.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$889.6 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 18 $861.1 billion (2009 est.)

$850.9 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.22 trillion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106 1.2% (2009 est.)

2.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$41,300 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 17 $40,500 (2009 est.)

$40,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 4%

industry: 24.8%

services: 71.2% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

11.62 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 44

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 3.6%

industry: 21.1%

services: 75% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate:

5.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 46 5.6% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

30.5 (2006) country comparison to the world: 110 35.2 (1994)

Investment (gross fixed):

27.4% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Public debt:

22.4% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 107 22.1% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 88 1.8% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

4% (31 March 2010) country comparison to the world: 106 4.25% (3 December 2008)

note: this is the Reserve Bank of Australia's "cash rate target," or policy rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

6.02% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 105 8.91% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$347.1 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 13 $290.8 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$1.134 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 15 $976.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.731 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 13 $1.407 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$1.258 trillion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 13 $675.6 billion (31 December 2008)

$1.298 trillion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry

Industries:

mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel

Industrial production growth rate:

3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Electricity - production:

239.9 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 17

Electricity - consumption:

222 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

589,200 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Oil - consumption:

946,300 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Oil - exports:

311,900 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

Oil - imports:

716,700 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Oil - proved reserves:

3.318 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Natural gas - production:

42.33 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Natural gas - consumption:

26.59 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Natural gas - exports:

22.3 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 10

Natural gas - imports:

6.56 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Natural gas - proved reserves:

3.115 trillion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 12

Current account balance:

-$35.23 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 182 -$41.33 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$210.7 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 21 $154.8 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

coal, iron ore, gold, meat, wool, alumina, wheat, machinery and transport equipment

Exports - partners:

China 21.81%, Japan 19.19%, South Korea 7.88%, India 7.51%, US 4.95%, UK 4.37%, NZ 4.1% (2009)

Imports:

$200.4 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 21 $160.4 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products

Imports - partners:

China 17.94%, US 11.26%, Japan 8.36%, Thailand 5.81%, Singapore 5.54%, Germany 5.3% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$38.62 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 30 $41.74 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$1.169 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14 $1.094 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$329.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14 $295.9 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$245.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 17 $221.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar - 1.1151 (2010), 1.2822 (2009), 1.2059 (2008), 1.2137 (2007), 1.3285 (2006)

Communications ::Australia

Telephones - main lines in use:

9.02 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 24

Telephones - mobile cellular:

24.22 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 37

Telephone system:

general assessment: excellent domestic and international service

domestic: domestic satellite system; significant use of radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of mobile telephones

international: country code - 61; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the Southern Cross fiber optic submarine cable provides links to New Zealand and the United States; satellite earth stations - 19 (10 Intelsat - 4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean, 2 Inmarsat - Indian and Pacific Ocean regions, 2 Globalstar, 5 other) (2007)

Broadcast media:

the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) runs multiple national and local radio networks and TV stations, as well as Australia Network, a TV service that broadcasts throughout the Asia-Pacific region and is the main public broadcaster; Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a second large public broadcaster, operates radio and TV networks broadcasting in multiple languages; several large national commercial TV networks, a large number of local commercial TV stations, and hundreds of commercial radio stations are accessible; cable and satellite systems are available (2008)

Internet country code:

.au

Internet hosts:

13.361 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 8

Internet users:

15.81 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 25

Transportation ::Australia

Airports:

465 (2010) country comparison to the world: 17

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 326

over 3,047 m: 11

2,438 to 3,047 m: 13

1,524 to 2,437 m: 148

914 to 1,523 m: 140

under 914 m: 14 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 139

1,524 to 2,437 m: 17

914 to 1,523 m: 110

under 914 m: 12 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 27,105 km; liquid petroleum gas 240 km; oil 3,258 km; oil/gas/water 1 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 37,855 km country comparison to the world: 7 broad gauge: 142 km 1.600-m gauge

standard gauge: 24,409 km 1.435-m gauge (1,094 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 13,304 km 1.067-m gauge (1,193 km electrified) (2008)

Roadways:

total: 812,972 km country comparison to the world: 9 paved: 341,448 km

unpaved: 471,524 km (2004)

Waterways:

2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling river systems) (2006) country comparison to the world: 45

Merchant marine:

total: 45 country comparison to the world: 73 by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 8, liquefied gas 4, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 6, roll on/roll off 5

foreign-owned: 20 (Canada 7, Germany 2, Netherlands 1, Norway 1, Singapore 2, UK 5, US 2)

registered in other countries: 29 (Dominica 1, Fiji 2, Liberia 2, Marshall Islands 1, Netherlands 1, NZ 1, Panama 5, Singapore 11, Tonga 1, UK 1, US 1, Vanuatu 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Brisbane, Cairns, Dampier, Darwin, Fremantle, Gladstone, Geelong,

Hay Point, Hobart, Jervis Bay, Melbourne, Newcastle, Port Adelaide,

Port Dalrymple, Port Hedland, Port Kembla, Port Lincoln, Port

Walcott, Sydney

Military ::Australia

Military branches:

Australian Defense Force (ADF): Australian Army, Royal Australian

Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Special Operations Command (2006)

Military service age and obligation:

17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; women allowed to serve in Army combat units in non-combat support roles (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 5,275,667

females age 16-49: 5,082,543 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 4,377,411

females age 16-49: 4,210,442 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 144,232

female: 136,525 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 42

Transnational Issues ::Australia

Disputes - international:

In 2007 Australia and Timor-Leste signed a 50-year development zone and revenue sharing agreement in lieu of a maritime boundary; dispute with Timor-Leste hampers creation of a revised maritime boundary with Indonesia in the Timor Sea; regional states continue to express concern over Australia's 2004 declaration of a 1,000-nautical mile-wide maritime identification zone; Australia asserts land and maritime claims to Antarctica; in 2004 Australia submitted its claims to Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to extend its continental margins covering over 3.37 million square kilometers, expanding its seabed roughly 30 percent more than its claimed exclusive economic zone; since 2003, Australia has led the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to maintain civil and political order and reinforce regional security

Illicit drugs:

Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; major consumer of cocaine and amphetamines

page last updated on January 19, 2011

======================================================================

@Austria (Europe)

Introduction ::Austria

Background:

Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995 have altered the meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.

Geography ::Austria

Location:

Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia

Geographic coordinates:

47 20 N, 13 20 E

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 83,871 sq km country comparison to the world: 113 land: 82,445 sq km

water: 1,426 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maine

Land boundaries:

total: 2,562 km

border countries: Czech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary 366 km, Italy 430 km, Liechtenstein 35 km, Slovakia 91 km, Slovenia 330 km, Switzerland 164 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers

Terrain:

in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m

highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m

Natural resources:

oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 16.59%

permanent crops: 0.85%

other: 82.56% (2005)

Irrigated land:

40 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

84 cu km (2005)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 3.67 cu km/yr (35%/64%/1%)

per capita: 448 cu m/yr (1999)

Natural hazards:

landslides; avalanches; earthquakes

Environment - current issues:

some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air

Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,

Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,

Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto

Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental

Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer

Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,

Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere

People ::Austria

Population:

8,214,160 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.5% (male 609,748/female 581,144)

15-64 years: 67.5% (male 2,785,091/female 2,756,402)

65 years and over: 18% (male 612,613/female 865,283) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 42.6 years

male: 41.5 years

female: 43.6 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.042% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 190

Birth rate:

8.65 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 216

Death rate:

10.05 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 57

Net migration rate:

1.83 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 43

Urbanization:

urban population: 67% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.051 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.37 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 197 male: 5.31 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 79.65 years country comparison to the world: 31 male: 76.74 years

female: 82.71 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.39 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 200

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 93

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

9,800 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 105

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Nationality:

noun: Austrian(s)

adjective: Austrian

Ethnic groups:

Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Serbs, and Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, German 0.9%, other or unspecified 2.4% (2001 census)

Religions:

Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)

Languages:

German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%, Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene, official in Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3% (2001 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98%

male: NA

female: NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 15 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

5.4% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 47

Government ::Austria

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Austria

conventional short form: Austria

local long form: Republik Oesterreich

local short form: Oesterreich

Government type:

federal republic

Capital:

name: Vienna

geographic coordinates: 48 12 N, 16 22 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

9 states (Bundeslaender, singular - Bundesland); Burgenland,

Kaernten (Carinthia), Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria),

Oberoesterreich (Upper Austria), Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria),

Tirol (Tyrol), Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)

Independence:

12 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 976 (Margravate of Austria established); 17 September 1156 (Duchy of Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed)

National holiday:

National Day, 26 October (1955); note - commemorates the passage of the law on permanent neutrality

Constitution:

1920; revised 1929; reinstated 1 May 1945; note - during the period 1 May 1934-1 May 1945 there was a fascist (corporative) constitution in place

Legal system:

civil law system with Roman law origin; judicial review of legislative acts by the Constitutional Court; separate administrative and civil/penal supreme courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

16 years of age; universal; note - reduced from 18 years of age in 2007

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Heinz FISCHER (SPOe) (since 8 July 2004)

head of government: Chancellor Werner FAYMANN (SPOe) (since 2 December 2008); Vice Chancellor Josef PROELL (OeVP) (since 2 December 2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers chosen by the president on the advice of the chancellor (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected for a six-year term (eligible for a second term) by direct popular vote and formally sworn into office before the Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung; presidential election last held on 25 April 2010 (next to be held on 25 April 2016); chancellor formally chosen by the president but determined by the coalition parties forming a parliamentary majority; vice chancellor chosen by the president on the advice of the chancellor

election results: Heinz FISCHER reelected president with 79.3% of the vote

note: government coalition - SPOe and OeVP

Legislative branch:

bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung consists of Federal Council or Bundesrat (62 seats; delegates appointed by state parliaments with each state receiving 3 to 12 seats in proportion to its population; members serve five- or six-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat (183 seats; members elected by popular vote for a five-year term under a system of proportional representation with partially-open party lists)

elections: National Council - last held on 28 September 2008 (next to be held by September 2013)

election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - SPOe 29.3%, OeVP 26%, FPOe 17.5%, BZOe 10.7%, Greens 10.4%, other 6.1%; seats by party - SPOe 57, OeVP 51, FPOe 34, BZOe 21, Greens 20

Judicial branch:

Supreme Judicial Court or Oberster Gerichtshof; Administrative Court or Verwaltungsgerichtshof; Constitutional Court or Verfassungsgerichtshof

Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for the Future of Austria or BZOe [Josef BUCHER]; Austrian

People's Party or OeVP [Josef PROELL]; Freedom Party of Austria or

FPOe [Heinz Christian STRACHE]; Social Democratic Party of Austria

or SPOe [Werner FAYMANN]; The Greens [Eva GLAWISCHNIG]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Austrian Trade Union Federation or OeGB (nominally independent but

primarily Social Democratic); Federal Economic Chamber;

OeVP-oriented Association of Austrian Industrialists or IV; Roman

Catholic Church, including its chief lay organization, Catholic

Action

other: three composite leagues of the Austrian People's Party or OeVP representing business, labor, farmers, and other nongovernment organizations in the areas of environment and human rights

International organization participation:

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia

Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU,

ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM,

IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,

ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD,

OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen

Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP,

UNHCR, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Christian PROSL

chancery: 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008-3035

telephone: [1] (202) 895-6700

FAX: [1] (202) 895-6750

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador William C. EACHO III

embassy: Boltzmanngasse 16, A-1090, Vienna

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [43] (1) 31339-0

FAX: [43] (1) 3100682

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red; the flag design is certainly one of the oldest - if not the oldest - national banners in the world; according to tradition, in 1191, following a fierce battle in the Third Crusade, Duke Leopold V of Austria's white tunic became completely blood-spattered; upon removal of his wide belt or sash, a white band was revealed; the red-white-red color combination was subsequently adopted as his banner

National anthem:

name: "Bundeshymne" (Federal Hymn)

lyrics/music: Paula von PRERADOVIC/Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART or Johann HOLZER (disputed)

note: adopted 1947; the anthem is also known as "Land der Berge, Land am Strome" (Land of the Mountains, Land on the River); Austria adopted a new national anthem after World War II to replace the former imperial anthem composed by Franz Josef HAYDN, which had been appropriated by Germany in 1922 and was now associated with the Nazi regime

Economy ::Austria

Economy - overview:

Austria, with its well-developed market economy and high standard of living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's. Its economy features a large service sector, a sound industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector. Following several years of solid foreign demand for Austrian exports and record employment growth, the international financial crisis and global economic downturn in 2008 led to a recession that persisted until the third quarter of 2009. Austrian GDP contracted 3.8% in 2009 but saw positive growth of about 2% in 2010. Unemployment has not risen as steeply in Austria as elsewhere in Europe, partly because its government has subsidized reduced working hour schemes to allow companies to retain employees. Such stabilization measures, stimulus initiatives, and the government's income tax reforms pushed the budget deficit to 3.5% of GDP in 2009 and about 5% in 2010, from only about 1.3% in 2008. The international financial crisis caused difficulties for some of Austria's largest banks whose extensive operations in central, eastern, and southeastern Europe faced large losses. The government provided bank support - including in some instances, nationalization - to prevent insolvency and possible regional contagion. In the medium-term all large Austrian banks will need additional capital. Even after the global economic outlook improves, Austria will need to continue restructuring, emphasizing knowledge-based sectors of the economy, and encouraging greater labor flexibility and greater labor participation to offset growing unemployment and Austria's aging population and exceedingly low fertility rate.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$332.9 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 36 $326.4 billion (2009 est.)

$339.3 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$366.3 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 147 -3.8% (2009 est.)

1.9% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$40,300 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 20 $39,800 (2009 est.)

$41,300 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.5%

industry: 29.4%

services: 69.1% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

3.63 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 96

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 5.5%

industry: 27.5%

services: 67% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:

4.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 43 4.8% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

6% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 4%

highest 10%: 22% (2007)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

26 (2007) country comparison to the world: 127 31 (1995)

Investment (gross fixed):

21% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 75

Public debt:

68.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 25 66.4% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 40 0.4% (2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

5.03% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 132 6.82% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$173.4 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 18 $175.6 billion (31 December 2009 est)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money:

$402.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 23 $402.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$659.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 20 $606.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$53.58 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 43 $72.3 billion (31 December 2008)

$228.7 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

grains, potatoes, sugar beets, wine, fruit; dairy products, cattle, pigs, poultry; lumber

Industries:

construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber and wood processing, paper and paperboard, communications equipment, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:

3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106

Electricity - production:

66.78 billion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 40

Electricity - consumption:

68.37 billion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Electricity - exports:

14.93 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

19.8 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

25,410 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

Oil - consumption:

273,700 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 48

Oil - exports:

52,970 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 78

Oil - imports:

298,400 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 37

Oil - proved reserves:

50 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 77

Natural gas - production:

1.668 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 59

Natural gas - consumption:

8.232 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 50

Natural gas - exports:

3.961 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Natural gas - imports:

10.96 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 20

Natural gas - proved reserves:

16.14 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 77

Current account balance:

$8.012 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 26 $8.73 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$157.4 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29 $135.7 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs

Exports - partners:

Germany 30.96%, Italy 8.17%, Switzerland 4.99%, US 3.99% (2009)

Imports:

$156 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 28 $138.7 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products; foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

Germany 45.07%, Switzerland 6.76%, Italy 6.66%, Netherlands 4.03% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$NA (31 December 2010 est.)

$18.05 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$755 billion (30 June 2010) country comparison to the world: 17 $864.2 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$290.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 18 $286.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$297.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14 $290.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7715 (2010), 0.7179 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006)

Communications ::Austria

Telephones - main lines in use:

3.253 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 46

Telephones - mobile cellular:

11.773 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 59

Telephone system:

general assessment: highly developed and efficient

domestic: fixed-line subscribership has been in decline since the mid-1990s with mobile-cellular subscribership eclipsing it by the late 1990s; the fiber-optic net is very extensive; all telephone applications and Internet services are available

international: country code - 43; satellite earth stations - 15; in addition, there are about 600 VSATs (very small aperture terminals) (2007)

Broadcast media:

Austria's public broadcaster, ORF, was the main broadcast source until commercial radio and television service was introduced in the 1990s; cable and satellite TV are available, including German TV stations (2008)

Internet country code:

.at

Internet hosts:

3.266 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 29

Internet users:

6.143 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 43

Transportation ::Austria

Airports:

55 (2010) country comparison to the world: 84

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 25

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 14 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 30

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 26 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 2,721 km; oil 663 km; refined products 157 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 6,399 km country comparison to the world: 29 standard gauge: 5,927 km 1.435-m gauge (3,688 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 384 km 1.000-m gauge (15 km electrified); 88 km 0.760-m gauge (10 km electrified) (2008)

Roadways:

total: 107,262 km country comparison to the world: 40 paved: 107,262 km (includes 1,696 km of expressways) (2006)

Waterways:

358 km (2007) country comparison to the world: 91

Merchant marine:

total: 2 country comparison to the world: 141 by type: cargo 2

registered in other countries: 4 (Cyprus 1, Malta 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna

Military ::Austria

Military branches:

Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK)

Military service age and obligation:

18-35 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for male or female voluntary service; service obligation 6 months of training, followed by an 8-year reserve obligation; conscripts cannot be deployed in military operations outside Austria (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,960,781

females age 16-49: 1,926,134 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,595,379

females age 16-49: 1,566,884 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 49,455

female: 47,046 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.8% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 150

Transnational Issues ::Austria

Disputes - international:

while threats of international legal action never materialized in 2007, 915,220 Austrians, with the support of the newly elected Freedom Party, signed a petition in January 2008, demanding that Austria block the Czech Republic's accession to the EU unless Prague closed its nuclear power plant in Temelin, bordering Austria

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; increasing consumption of European-produced synthetic drugs

page last updated on January 20, 2011

======================================================================

@Azerbaijan (Middle East)

Introduction ::Azerbaijan

Background:

Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Muslim population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized as part of Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the status of the territory. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding provinces in the territory of Azerbaijan. Corruption in the country is ubiquitous, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent years due to revenue from oil production, the promise of widespread wealth resulting from the continued development of Azerbaijan's energy sector remains largely unfulfilled.

Geography ::Azerbaijan

Location:

Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and

Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range

Geographic coordinates:

40 30 N, 47 30 E

Map references:

Middle East

Area:

total: 86,600 sq km country comparison to the world: 112 land: 82,629 sq km

water: 3,971 sq km

note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maine

Land boundaries:

total: 2,013 km

border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

dry, semiarid steppe

Terrain:

large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite

Land use:

arable land: 20.62%

permanent crops: 2.61%

other: 76.77% (2005)

Irrigated land:

14,550 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

30.3 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)

per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

droughts

Environment - current issues:

local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate

Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,

Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship

Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked

People ::Azerbaijan

Population:

8,303,512 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 91

Age structure:

0-14 years: 23.9% (male 1,042,132/female 926,495)

15-64 years: 69.4% (male 2,807,717/female 2,908,221)

65 years and over: 6.7% (male 204,410/female 349,697) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 28.5 years

male: 26.9 years

female: 30.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.805% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 137

Birth rate:

17.75 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 114

Death rate:

8.28 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 94

Net migration rate:

-1.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 168

Urbanization:

urban population: 52% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.124 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 52.84 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 46 male: 58.37 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 46.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 67.01 years country comparison to the world: 156 male: 62.86 years

female: 71.67 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.03 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

7,800 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 153

Nationality:

noun: Azerbaijani(s)

adjective: Azerbaijani

Ethnic groups:

Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9% (1999 census)

note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region

Religions:

Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)

note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower

Languages:

Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%,

Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.8%

male: 99.5%

female: 98.2% (1999 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 171

Government ::Azerbaijan

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan

conventional short form: Azerbaijan

local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi

local short form: Azarbaycan

former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: Baku (Baki, Baky)

geographic coordinates: 40 23 N, 49 52 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)

rayons: Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu,

Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Astara Rayonu, Balakan Rayonu, Barda

Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu,

Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu,

Gadabay Rayonu, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu,

Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu,

Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu,

Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax

Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu,

Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi

Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Susa Rayonu,

Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xanlar

Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli

Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab

Rayonu

cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari

autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi (Nakhichevan)

Independence:

30 August 1991 (declared from the Soviet Union); 18 October 1991 (adopted by the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan)

National holiday:

Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)

Constitution:

adopted 12 November 1995; modified by referendum 24 August 2002

Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub EYYUBOV (since June 2006)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for unlimited terms); election last held on 15 October 2008 (next to be held in October 2013); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly

election results: Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV 89%, Igbal AGHAZADE 2.9%, five other candidates with smaller percentages

note: several political parties boycotted the election due to unfair conditions; OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet international standards

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 7 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - YAP 45.8%, CSP 1.6%,

Motherland 1.4%, independents 48.2%, other 3.1%; seats by party -

YAP 71, CSP 3, Motherland 2, Democratic Reforms 1, Great Creation 1,

Hope Party 1, Social Welfare 1, Civil Unity 1, Whole Azerbaijan

Popular Front 1, Justice 1, independents 42

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:

Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP [Sardar JALALOGLU]; Civil

Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]; Civil Unity Party

[Sabir HACIYEV]; Classic People's Front of Azerbaijan [Mirmahmud

MIRALI-OGLU]; Democratic Reform Party [Asim MOLLAZADE]; Great

Creation Party [Fazil Gazanfaroglu MUSTAFAYEV]; Hope (Umid) Party

[Iqbal AGAZADE]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAYILOV]; Liberal Party of

Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Motherland Party [Fazail

AGAMALI]; Musavat (Equality) [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; Open Society

Party [Rasul GULIYEV, in exile in the US]; Social Democratic Party

of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV (in exile)];

Social Welfare Party [Hussein KAZIMLI]; United Popular Azerbaijan

Front Party or AXCP [Ali KARIMLI]; Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front

Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]; Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party or YAP

[President Ilham ALIYEV]

note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Azerbaijan Public Forum [Eldar NAMAZOV]; Karabakh Liberation

Organization

International organization participation:

ADB, BSEC, CE, CICA, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA,

IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO,

Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (observer),

OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD,

UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Yashar ALIYEV

chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500

FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911

Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Matthew BRYZA

embassy: 83 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007

mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050

telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337

FAX: [994] (12) 4656-671

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in the red band; the blue band recalls Azerbaijan's Turkic heritage, red stands for modernization and progress, and green refers to Islam; the crescent moon is an Islamic symbol, while the eight-pointed star represents the eight Turkic peoples of the world

National anthem:

name: "Azerbaijan Marsi" (March of Azerbaijan)

lyrics/music: Ahmed JAVAD/Uzeyir HAJIBEYOV

note: adopted 1992; although originally written in 1919 during a brief period of independence, "Azerbaijan Marsi" did not become the official anthem until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union

Economy ::Azerbaijan

Economy - overview:

Azerbaijan's high economic growth during 2006-08 was attributable to large and growing oil exports, but some non-export sectors also featured double-digit growth, spurred by growth in the construction, banking, and real estate sectors. In 2009, economic growth remained above 9% even as oil prices moderated and growth in the construction sector cooled. In 2010, economic growth slowed to approximately 3.7%, although the impact of the global financial crisis was less severe than in many other countries in the region. The current global economic slowdown presents some challenges for the Azerbaijani economy as oil prices remain below their mid-2008 highs, highlighting Azerbaijan's reliance on energy exports and lackluster attempts to diversify its economy. Azerbaijan's oil production increased dramatically in 1997, when Azerbaijan signed the first production-sharing arrangement (PSA) with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company. Oil exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline remain the main economic driver while efforts to boost Azerbaijan's gas production are underway. However, Azerbaijan has made only limited progress on instituting market-based economic reforms. Pervasive public and private sector corruption and structural economic inefficiencies remain a drag on long-term growth, particularly in non-energy sectors. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress: the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector and the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Trade with Russia and the other former Soviet republics is declining in importance, while trade is building with Turkey and the nations of Europe. Long-term prospects will depend on world oil prices, the location of new oil and gas pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan's ability to manage its energy wealth to promote sustainable growth in non-energy sectors of the economy and spur employment.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$90.15 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 73 $86.93 billion (2009 est.)

$79.54 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$52.17 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 90 9.3% (2009 est.)

10.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$11,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 102 $10,600 (2009 est.)

$9,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 5.5%

industry: 61.4%

services: 33.1% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

5.874 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 65

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 38.3%

industry: 12.1%

services: 49.6% (2008)

Unemployment rate:

0.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 3 6% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

11% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 6.1%

highest 10%: 17.5% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

36.5 (2001) country comparison to the world: 81 36 (1995)

Investment (gross fixed):

17.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 116

Public debt:

4.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128 6.7% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 146 1.5% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

2% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 53 8% (31 December 2008)

note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key policy rate for the National Bank of Azerbaijan

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

20.03% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 20 19.76% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$7.34 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 77 $6.519 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$11.64 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 96 $10.54 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$8.135 billion (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 100 $5.726 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats

Industries:

petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles

Industrial production growth rate:

3.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 91

Electricity - production:

18.6 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

Electricity - consumption:

18 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Electricity - exports:

786 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

548 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

1.011 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 23

Oil - consumption:

136,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 70

Oil - exports:

528,900 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Oil - imports:

2,848 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Oil - proved reserves:

7 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Natural gas - production:

23 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Natural gas - consumption:

10.12 billion cu m (2008) country comparison to the world: 47

Natural gas - exports:

5.564 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 25

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

Natural gas - proved reserves:

849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 27

Current account balance:

$15.96 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19 $10.18 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$28.07 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 $21.1 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs

Exports - partners:

Italy 20.69%, India 10.67%, US 9.24%, France 8.15%, Germany 7.62%,

Indonesia 6.63%, Canada 5.13% (2009)

Imports:

$7.035 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103 $6.514 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals

Imports - partners:

Turkey 18.69%, Russia 16.98%, Germany 7.87%, Ukraine 7.3%, China 6.18%, UK 5.73% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$6.33 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 62 $5.364 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$3.221 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 124 $3.44 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$8.918 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 80 $8.318 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$6.058 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 58 $5.558 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar - 0.8035 (2010), 0.8038 (2009), 0.8219 (2008), 0.8581 (2007), 0.8934 (2006)

Communications ::Azerbaijan

Telephones - main lines in use:

1.397 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 68

Telephones - mobile cellular:

7.757 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 74

Telephone system:

general assessment: requires considerable expansion and modernization; fixed-line telephony and a broad range of other telecom services are controlled by a state-owned telecommunications monopoly and growth has been stagnant; more competition exists in the mobile-cellular market with four providers in 2009

domestic: teledensity of 17 fixed lines per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity has increased and is rapidly approaching 100 telephones per 100 persons; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Nakhchivan

international: country code - 994; the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic link transits Azerbaijan providing international connectivity to neighboring countries; the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations - 2 (2009)

Broadcast media:

1 state-run and 1 public television channel; 4 domestic commercial TV stations and about 15 regional TV stations; Turkish, Russian, and Iranian TV and radio broadcasts are available, especially in border regions; cable TV services are available in Baku; 1 state-run and 1 public radio network operating; a small number of private commercial radio stations broadcasting; local FM relays of Baku commercial stations are available in many localities; local relays of several international broadcasters had been available until late 2008 when their broadcasts were banned from FM frequencies (2008)

Internet country code:

.az

Internet hosts:

22,737 (2010) country comparison to the world: 105

Internet users:

2.42 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 70

Transportation ::Azerbaijan

Airports:

35 (2010) country comparison to the world: 109

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 27

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 6

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 8

under 914 m: 8 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Pipelines:

condensate 1 km; gas 3,361 km; oil 1,424 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 2,918 km country comparison to the world: 57 broad gauge: 2,918 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2009)

Roadways:

total: 59,141 km country comparison to the world: 76 paved: 29,210 km

unpaved: 29,931 km (2004)

Merchant marine:

total: 92 country comparison to the world: 54 by type: cargo 27, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 48, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 3

foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)

registered in other countries: 2 (Malta 1, Panama 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Baku (Baki)

Military ::Azerbaijan

Military branches:

Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; length of military service is 18 months and 12 months for university graduates (2006)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,336,611

females age 16-49: 2,329,275 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,753,878

females age 16-49: 1,958,408 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 84,441

female: 78,905 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 54

Transnational Issues ::Azerbaijan

Disputes - international:

Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia have ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on an even one-fifth allocation and challenges Azerbaijan's hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian; Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 2,400 (Russia)

IDPs: 580,000-690,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; women and some children from Azerbaijan are trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for the purpose of sexual exploitation; men and boys are trafficked to Russia for the purpose of forced labor; Azerbaijan serves as a transit country for victims from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Moldova trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for sexual exploitation

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Azerbaijan is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish traffickers; to address complicity among law enforcement personnel; and to adequately identify and protect victims in Azerbaijan; the government has yet to develop a much-needed mechanism to identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to safety and care; poor treatment of trafficking victims in courtrooms continues to be a problem (2008)

Illicit drugs:

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

page last updated on January 18, 2011

======================================================================

@Bahamas, The (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Bahamas, The

Background:

Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas has prospered through tourism and international banking and investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.

Geography ::Bahamas, The

Location:

Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba

Geographic coordinates:

24 15 N, 76 00 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 13,880 sq km country comparison to the world: 160 land: 10,010 sq km

water: 3,870 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

3,542 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:

tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream

Terrain:

long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Alvernia on Cat Island 63 m

Natural resources:

salt, aragonite, timber, arable land

Land use:

arable land: 0.58%

permanent crops: 0.29%

other: 99.13% (2005)

Irrigated land:

10 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

NA

Natural hazards:

hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damage

Environment - current issues:

coral reef decay; solid waste disposal

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain of which 30 are inhabited

People ::Bahamas, The

Population:

310,426 country comparison to the world: 177 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.3% (male 39,493/female 38,355)

15-64 years: 68.7% (male 103,889/female 107,528)

65 years and over: 5.9% (male 6,998/female 11,289) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 29.9 years

male: 28.8 years

female: 31 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.935% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126

Birth rate:

16.25 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Death rate:

6.89 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 98

Urbanization:

urban population: 84% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 13.68 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 129 male: 13.68 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 70.84 years country comparison to the world: 140 male: 68.48 years

female: 73.27 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

3% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 24

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

6,200 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 118

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 105

Nationality:

noun: Bahamian(s)

adjective: Bahamian

Ethnic groups:

black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%

Religions:

Baptist 35.4%, Anglican 15.1%, Roman Catholic 13.5%, Pentecostal 8.1%, Church of God 4.8%, Methodist 4.2%, other Christian 15.2%, none or unspecified 2.9%, other 0.8% (2000 census)

Languages:

English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.6%

male: 94.7%

female: 96.5% (2003 est.)

Education expenditures:

3.6% of GDP (2000) country comparison to the world: 127

Government ::Bahamas, The

Country name:

conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas

conventional short form: The Bahamas

Government type:

constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

name: Nassau

geographic coordinates: 25 05 N, 77 21 W

time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November

Administrative divisions:

31 districts; Acklins Islands, Berry Islands, Bimini, Black Point, Cat Island, Central Abaco, Central Andros, Central Eleuthera, City of Freeport, Crooked Island and Long Cay, East Grand Bahama, Exuma, Grand Cay, Harbour Island, Hope Town, Inagua, Long Island, Mangrove Cay, Mayaguana, Moore's Island, North Abaco, North Andros, North Eleuthera, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, South Abaco, South Andros, South Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, West Grand Bahama

Independence:

10 July 1973 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 10 July (1973)

Constitution:

10 July 1973

Legal system:

based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Arthur A. FOULKES (since 14 April 2010)

head of government: Prime Minister Hubert A. INGRAHAM (since 4 May 2007)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16 seats; members appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime minister and the opposition leader to serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (41 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms); the government may dissolve the parliament and call elections at any time

elections: last held on 2 May 2007 (next to be held by May 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - FNM 49.86%, PLP 47.02%; seats by party - FNM 23, PLP 18

Judicial branch:

Privy Council in London; Courts of Appeal; Supreme (lower) Court;

Magistrates' Courts

Political parties and leaders:

Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert INGRAHAM]; Progressive Liberal

Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Friends of the Environment

other: trade unions

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA,

IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO,

ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PetroCaribe, UN, UNCTAD,

UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Cornelius A. SMITH

chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 319-2660

FAX: [1] (202) 319-2668

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Nicole A. AVANT

embassy: 42 Queen Street, Nassau, New Providence

mailing address: local or express mail address: P. O. Box N-8197, Nassau; US Department of State, 3370 Nassau Place, Washington, DC 20521-3370

telephone: [1] (242) 322-1181, 328-2206 (after hours)

FAX: [1] (242) 328-2206

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist side; the band colors represent the golden beaches of the islands surrounded by the aquamarine sea; black represents the vigor and force of a united people, while the pointing triangle indicates the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop the rich resources of land and sea

National anthem:

name: "March On, Bahamaland!"

lyrics/music: Timothy GIBSON

note: adopted 1973; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Bahamas, The

Economy - overview:

The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force. Prior to 2006, a steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences led to solid GDP growth but since then tourism receipts have begun to drop off. The global recession in 2009 took a sizeable toll on the Bahamas, resulting in a contraction in GDP and a widening budget deficit. The decline continued in 2010 as tourism from the US and sector investment lagged. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy and, when combined with business services, account for about 36% of GDP. However, the financial sector currently is smaller than it has been in the past because of the enactment of new and more strict financial regulations in 2000 that caused many international businesses to relocate elsewhere. Manufacturing and agriculture combined contribute approximately a tenth of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. Overall growth prospects in the short run rest heavily on the fortunes of the tourism sector.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$8.878 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 151 $8.923 billion (2009 est.)

$9.285 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$7.538 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-0.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 193 -3.9% (2009 est.)

-1.7% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$28,600 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49 $29,000 (2009 est.)

$30,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.2%

industry: 14.7%

services: 84.1% (2001 est.)

Labor force:

184,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 173

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 5%

industry: 5%

tourism: 50%

other services: 40% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:

7.6% (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 80

Population below poverty line:

9.3% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: 27% (2000)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.4% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 69

Central bank discount rate:

5.25% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 82 5.25% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

5.5% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 143 5.5% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$1.284 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 130 $1.275 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$5.991 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 114 $5.893 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$7.993 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 101 $7.883 billion (31 December 2008)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

citrus, vegetables; poultry

Industries:

tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

2.045 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 132

Electricity - consumption:

1.902 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 206

Oil - consumption:

36,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 110

Oil - exports:

transshipments of 41,570 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 81

Oil - imports:

20,560 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 110

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 202

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 207

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 200

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 200

Natural gas - proved reserves:

NA cu m (1 January 2009 est.)

Current account balance:

-$283.2 million (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 -$1.442 billion (2007 est.)

Exports:

$674 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 162

Exports - commodities:

mineral products and salt, animal products, rum, chemicals, fruit and vegetables

Exports - partners:

US 35.99%, Singapore 18.64%, Poland 12.1%, Germany 6.24% (2009)

Imports:

$2.401 billion (2006) country comparison to the world: 148

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals

Imports - partners:

US 27.23%, South Korea 20.08%, Japan 14.55%, Singapore 5.89%, China 4.75%, Venezuela 4.26%, Italy 4.12% (2009)

Debt - external:

$342.6 million (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 168

Exchange rates:

Bahamian dollars (BSD) per US dollar - 1 (2009), 1 (2008), 1 (2007), 1 (2006)

Communications ::Bahamas, The

Telephones - main lines in use:

129,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 140

Telephones - mobile cellular:

358,800 (2009) country comparison to the world: 166

Telephone system:

general assessment: modern facilities

domestic: totally automatic system; highly developed; the Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network links 14 of the islands and is designed to satisfy increasing demand for voice and broadband internet services

international: country code - 1-242; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic submarine cable that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 (2007)

Broadcast media:

2 television stations operated by government-owned, commercially run Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas (BCB); multi-channel cable TV subscription service is available; about 15 radio stations operating with BCB operating a multi-channel radio broadcasting network alongside privately-owned radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:

.bs

Internet hosts:

21,939 (2010) country comparison to the world: 107

Internet users:

115,800 (2009) country comparison to the world: 156

Transportation ::Bahamas, The

Airports:

62 (2010) country comparison to the world: 78

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 23

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 39

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 12

under 914 m: 22 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 2,717 km country comparison to the world: 168 paved: 1,560 km

unpaved: 1,157 km (2002)

Merchant marine:

total: 1,170 country comparison to the world: 10 by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 229, cargo 191, carrier 2, chemical tanker 80, combination ore/oil 8, container 50, liquefied gas 78, passenger 100, passenger/cargo 29, petroleum tanker 222, refrigerated cargo 106, roll on/roll off 12, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 60

foreign-owned: 1,080 (Angola 5, Belgium 9, Bermuda 12, Brazil 1,

Canada 102, China 4, Croatia 1, Cyprus 14, Denmark 59, Finland 8,

France 19, Germany 39, Greece 209, Guernsey 6, Hong Kong 2,

Indonesia 2, Ireland 3, Italy 5, Japan 93, Jordan 2, Kuwait 2,

Malaysia 13, Monaco 14, Montenegro 2, Netherlands 22, Nigeria 2,

Norway 198, Poland 32, Saudi Arabia 16, Singapore 7, Slovenia 1,

Spain 9, Sweden 6, Switzerland 2, Thailand 4, Trinidad and Tobago 1,

Turkey 3, UAE 27, UK 24, US 100)

registered in other countries: 10 (Bolivia 1, Malta 1, Panama 7, Peru 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point

Military ::Bahamas, The

Military branches:

Royal Bahamian Defense Force: Land Force, Navy, Air Wing (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 84,903 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 62,779

females age 16-49: 63,954 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 2,840

female: 2,758 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.7% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 152

Transnational Issues ::Bahamas, The

Disputes - international:

disagrees with the US on the alignment the northern axis of a potential maritime boundary; continues to monitor and interdict drug dealers and Haitian and Cuban refugees in Bahamian waters

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; offshore financial center

page last updated on January 26, 2011

======================================================================

@Bahrain (Middle East)

Introduction ::Bahrain

Background:

In 1783, the al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. King HAMAD bin Isa al-Khalifa, after coming to power in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms to improve relations with the Shia community. Shia political societies participated in 2010 parliamentary and municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shia political society, won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the legislature. However, Shia discontent has resurfaced in recent years with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.

Geography ::Bahrain

Location:

Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates:

26 00 N, 50 33 E

Map references:

Middle East

Area:

total: 760 sq km country comparison to the world: 187 land: 760 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

161 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined

Climate:

arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

Terrain:

mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m

Natural resources:

oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls

Land use:

arable land: 2.82%

permanent crops: 5.63%

other: 91.55% (2005)

Irrigated land:

40 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

0.1 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.3 cu km/yr (40%/3%/57%)

per capita: 411 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

periodic droughts; dust storms

Environment - current issues:

desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable land, periods of drought, and dust storms; coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil refineries, and distribution stations; lack of freshwater resources (groundwater and seawater are the only sources for all water needs)

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location in Persian Gulf, through which much of the Western world's petroleum must transit to reach open ocean

People ::Bahrain

Population:

738,004 country comparison to the world: 163 note: includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.9% (male 95,258/female 93,256)

15-64 years: 70.1% (male 293,340/female 217,815)

65 years and over: 4% (male 15,274/female 13,766) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 30.4 years

male: 33.5 years

female: 27.1 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.243% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 100

Birth rate:

16.81 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 120

Death rate:

4.37 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

Urbanization:

urban population: 89% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.33 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.13 male(s)/female

total population: 1.24 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 14.76 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 126 male: 17.01 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.4 years country comparison to the world: 84 male: 72.87 years

female: 78.01 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.47 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 90

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 110

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

fewer than 600 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 145

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 126

Nationality:

noun: Bahraini(s)

adjective: Bahraini

Ethnic groups:

Bahraini 62.4%, non-Bahraini 37.6% (2001 census)

Religions:

Muslim (Shia and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)

Languages:

Arabic (official), English, Farsi, Urdu

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86.5%

male: 88.6%

female: 83.6% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2006)

Education expenditures:

2.9% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 149

Government ::Bahrain

Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain

conventional short form: Bahrain

local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn

local short form: Al Bahrayn

former: Dilmun

Government type:

constitutional monarchy

Capital:

name: Manama

geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

5 governorates; Asamah, Janubiyah, Muharraq, Shamaliyah, Wasat

note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor

Independence:

15 August 1971 (from the UK)

National holiday:

National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 was the date of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 was the date of independence from British protection

Constitution:

adopted 14 February 2002

Legal system:

based on Islamic law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

20 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa (since 6 March 1999); Heir Apparent Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (son of the monarch, born 21 October 1969)

head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al-Khalifa (since 1971); Deputy Prime Ministers ALI bin Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, MUHAMMAD bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, Jawad bin Salim al-ARAIDH

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch:

bicameral legislature consists of the Consultative Council (40 members appointed by the King) and the Council of Representatives or Chamber of Deputies (40 seats; members directly elected to serve four-year terms)

elections: Council of Representatives - last held in two rounds on 23 and 30 October 2010 (next election to be held in 2014)

election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by society - NA; seats by society - al Wifaq (Shia) 18, al Asala (Sunni Salafi) 3, al Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 2, independents 17

Judicial branch:

High Civil Appeals Court

Political parties and leaders:

political parties prohibited but political societies were legalized per a July 2005 law

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Shia activists; Sunni Islamist legislators

other: several small leftist and other groups are active

International organization participation:

ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CICA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC,

ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM

(observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC,

OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO,

WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Huda Azra Ibrahim NUNU

chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 342-1111

FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph Adam ERELI

embassy: Building #979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club), Block 331, Zinj District, Manama

mailing address: PSC 451, Box 660, FPO AE 09834-5100; international mail: American Embassy, Box 26431, Manama

telephone: [973] 1724-2700

FAX: [973] 1727-0547

Flag description:

red, the traditional color for flags of Persian Gulf states, with a white serrated band (five white points) on the hoist side; the five points represent the five pillars of Islam

note: until 2002 the flag had eight white points, but this was reduced to five to avoid confusion with the Qatari flag

National anthem:

name: "Bahrainona" (Our Bahrain)

lyrics/music: unknown

note: adopted 1971; although Mohamed Sudqi AYYASH wrote the original lyrics, they were changed in 2002 following the transformation of Bahrain from an emirate to a kingdom

Economy ::Bahrain

Economy - overview:

Bahrain is one of the most diversified economies in the Persian Gulf. Highly developed communication and transport facilities make Bahrain home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. As part of its diversification plans, Bahrain implemented a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US in August 2006, the first FTA between the US and a Gulf state. Bahrain's economy, however, continues to depend heavily on oil. Petroleum production and refining account for more than 60% of Bahrain's export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP (exclusive of allied industries). Other major economic activities are production of aluminum - Bahrain's second biggest export after oil - finance, and construction. Bahrain competes with Malaysia as a worldwide center for Islamic banking and continues to seek new natural gas supplies as feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum industries. Unemployment, especially among the young, is a long-term economic problem Bahrain struggles to address. In 2009, to help lower unemployment among Bahraini nationals, Bahrain reduced sponsorship for expatriate workers, increasing the costs of employing foreign labor. The global financial crisis caused funding for many non-oil projects to dry up and resulted in slower economic growth for Bahrain. Other challenges facing Bahrain include the slow growth of government debt as a result of a large subsidy program, the financing of large government projects, and debt restructuring, such as the bailout of state-owned Gulf Air.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$29.82 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 108 $28.7 billion (2009 est.)

$27.83 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$21.73 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 84 3.1% (2009 est.)

6.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$40,400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19 $39,400 (2009 est.)

$38,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 0.5%

industry: 56.6%

services: 42.9% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

611,000 country comparison to the world: 154 note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 1%

industry: 79%

services: 20% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate:

15% (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 148

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Investment (gross fixed):

26.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34

Public debt:

59.2% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 35 38.5% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 2.8% (2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA% (31 December 2009 est.)

NA% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$6.372 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 80 $5.74 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$21.02 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 81 $18.93 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$18.46 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 81 $16.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$16.93 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 60 $21.18 billion (31 December 2008)

$28.13 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish

Industries:

petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, Islamic and offshore banking, insurance, ship repairing, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:

1.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 138

Electricity - production:

10.25 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 91

Electricity - consumption:

10.1 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 87

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

48,560 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 63

Oil - consumption:

39,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Oil - exports:

238,300 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

Oil - imports:

228,400 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 40

Oil - proved reserves:

124.6 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 66

Natural gas - production:

12.64 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Natural gas - consumption:

12.64 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 43

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 48

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 73

Natural gas - proved reserves:

92.03 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 54

Current account balance:

$589 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51 $560.2 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$15.13 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 75 $12.05 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles

Exports - partners:

India 4.2%, Saudi Arabia 2.78% (2009)

Imports:

$12.14 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 84 $9.613 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

crude oil, machinery, chemicals

Imports - partners:

Saudi Arabia 22.91%, France 9.76%, US 7.95%, China 6.4%, South Korea 5.26%, Japan 5.19%, Germany 5.01%, UK 4.34% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$3.766 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 78 $3.54 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$14.68 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 79 $10.55 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$15.77 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 73 $15 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$8.399 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51 $7.549 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Bahraini dinars (BHD) per US dollar - 0.376 (2010), 0.376 (2009), 0.376 (2008), 0.376 (2007), 0.376 (2006)

Communications ::Bahrain

Telephones - main lines in use:

238,400 (2009) country comparison to the world: 123

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.578 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 137

Telephone system:

general assessment: modern system

domestic: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones

international: country code - 973; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and US; tropospheric scatter to Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth station - 1 (2007)

Broadcast media:

state-run broadcast media; Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation (BRTC) operates 5 terrestrial TV networks; satellite TV systems provide access to international broadcasts; state-run BRTC broadcasts over several radio stations; 1 private FM station directs broadcasts to Indian listeners; radio and TV broadcasts from countries in the region are available (2007)

Internet country code:

.bh

Internet hosts:

53,944 (2010) country comparison to the world: 86

Internet users:

419,500 (2009) country comparison to the world: 122

Transportation ::Bahrain

Airports:

4 (2010) country comparison to the world: 183

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 20 km; oil 32 km (2009)

Roadways:

total: 3,851 km country comparison to the world: 158 paved: 3,121 km

unpaved: 730 km (2007)

Merchant marine:

total: 7 country comparison to the world: 126 by type: bulk carrier 2, container 4, petroleum tanker 1

foreign-owned: 5 (Kuwait 5)

registered in other countries: 6 (Honduras 5, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Mina' Salman, Sitrah

Military ::Bahrain

Military branches:

Bahrain Defense Forces (BDF): Ground Force (includes Air Defense),

Naval Force, Air Force, National Guard

Military service age and obligation:

17 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 208,365

females age 16-49: 174,375 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 170,633

females age 16-49: 146,243 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 6,590

female: 6,475 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

4.5% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 19

Transnational Issues ::Bahrain

Disputes - international:

none

page last updated on January 19, 2011

======================================================================

@Bangladesh (South Asia)

Introduction ::Bangladesh

Background:

Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful and Sheikh HASINA Wajed was elected prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.

Geography ::Bangladesh

Location:

Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India

Geographic coordinates:

24 00 N, 90 00 E

Map references:

Asia

Area:

total: 143,998 sq km country comparison to the world: 94 land: 130,168 sq km

water: 13,830 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Iowa

Land boundaries:

total: 4,246 km

border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km

Coastline:

580 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 18 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin

Climate:

tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)

Terrain:

mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m

Natural resources:

natural gas, arable land, timber, coal

Land use:

arable land: 55.39%

permanent crops: 3.08%

other: 41.53% (2005)

Irrigated land:

47,250 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

1,210.6 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 79.4 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)

per capita: 560 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season

Environment - current issues:

many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto

Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental

Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer

Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal

People ::Bangladesh

Population:

156,118,464 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 7

Age structure:

0-14 years: 34.6% (male 27,065,625/female 26,913,961)

15-64 years: 61.4% (male 45,222,182/female 50,537,052)

65 years and over: 4% (male 3,057,255/female 3,254,808) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 22.9 years

male: 22.4 years

female: 23.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.55% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 79

Birth rate:

23.43 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Death rate:

5.81 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 172

Net migration rate:

-2.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 174

Urbanization:

urban population: 27% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 52.54 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 48 male: 55.04 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 49.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 69.44 years country comparison to the world: 148 male: 67.64 years

female: 71.3 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.65 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 79

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

12,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 500 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 82

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations

water contact disease: leptospirosis

animal contact disease: rabies

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Bangladeshi(s)

adjective: Bangladeshi

Ethnic groups:

Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998)

Religions:

Muslim 89.5%, Hindu 9.6%, other 0.9% (2004)

Languages:

Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 47.9%

male: 54%

female: 41.4% (2001 Census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 8 years

male: 8 years

female: 8 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

2.4% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 163

Government ::Bangladesh

Country name:

conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh

conventional short form: Bangladesh

local long form: Gana Prajatantri Bangladesh

local short form:

former: East Bengal, East Pakistan

Government type:

parliamentary democracy

Capital:

name: Dhaka

geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E

time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

7 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sylhet

Independence:

16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh

National holiday:

Independence Day, 26 March (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh

Constitution:

4 November 1972; effective 16 December 1972; suspended following coup of 24 March 1982; restored 10 November 1986; amended many times

Legal system:

based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Zillur RAHMAN (since 12 February 2009)

head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed (since 6 January 2009)

cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last election held on 11 February 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: Zillur RAHMAN declared president-elect by the Election Commission on 11 February 2009 (sworn in on 12 February); he ran unopposed as president; percent of National Parliament vote - NA

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies; members serve five-year terms

elections: last held on 29 December 2008 (next to be held in 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - AL 49%, BNP 33.2%, JP 7%, JIB 4.6%, other 6.2%; seats by party - AL 230, BNP 30, JP 27, JIB 2, other 11

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (the chief justices and other judges are appointed by the president)

Political parties and leaders:

Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA]; Bangladesh Communist Party or

BCP [Manjurul A. KHAN]; Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda

ZIA]; Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh or BDB [Badrudozza CHOWDHURY]; Islami

Oikya Jote or IOJ [multiple leaders]; Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh or

JIB [Matiur Rahman NIZAMI]; Jatiya Party or JP (Ershad faction)

[Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Oli

AHMED]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Advocacy to End Gender-based Violence through the MoWCA (Ministry of

Women's and Children's Affairs)

other: environmentalists; Islamist groups; religious leaders; teachers; union leaders

International organization participation:

ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CICA (observer), CP, D-8, FAO, G-77, IAEA,

IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO,

IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA,

MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD,

UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO,

UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Akramul QADER

chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 244-0183

FAX: [1] (202) 244-7830/2771

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador James F. MORIARTY

embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212

mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000

telephone: [880] (2) 885-5500

FAX: [880] (2) 882-3744

Flag description:

green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh

National anthem:

name: "Amar Shonar Bangla" (My Golden Bengal)

lyrics/music: Rabindranath TAGORE

note: adopted 1971; Rabindranath TAGORE, a Nobel laureate, also wrote India's national anthem

Economy ::Bangladesh

Economy - overview:

The economy has grown 5-6% per year since 1996 despite political instability, poor infrastructure, corruption, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, 45% of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Bangladesh's growth was resilient during the 2008-09 global financial crisis and recession. Garment exports, totaling $12.3 billion in FY09 and remittances from overseas Bangladeshis totaling $9.7 billion in FY09 accounted for almost 25% of GDP.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$259.3 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 47 $244.6 billion (2009 est.)

$231.4 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$105.4 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 36 5.7% (2009 est.)

6% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,700 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 196 $1,600 (2009 est.)

$1,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 18.4%

industry: 28.7%

services: 52.9% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

73.87 million country comparison to the world: 8 note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances estimated at $10.9 billion in 2009-10 (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 45%

industry: 30%

services: 25% (2008)

Unemployment rate:

5.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 47 5.1% (2009 est.)

note: about 40% of the population is underemployed; many participants in the labor force work only a few hours a week, at low wages

Population below poverty line:

36.3% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 8.8%

highest 10%: 26.6% (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

33.2 (2005) country comparison to the world: 94 33.6 (1996)

Investment (gross fixed):

23.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48

Public debt:

39.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 74 39.7% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 188 5.4% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

5% (31 October 2010) country comparison to the world: 86 5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

14.6% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 38 16.38% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$13.98 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 67 $10.92 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$57.21 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 64 $63.03 billion (31 December 2009)

Stock of domestic credit:

$62.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60 $53.77 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$7.068 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 74 $6.671 billion (31 December 2008)

$6.793 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry

Industries:

cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar

Industrial production growth rate:

6.4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

Electricity - production:

25.62 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 66

Electricity - consumption:

23.94 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 65

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

5,733 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 91

Oil - consumption:

96,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 76

Oil - exports:

2,612 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

Oil - imports:

87,660 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 67

Oil - proved reserves:

28 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 82

Natural gas - production:

19.7 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 32

Natural gas - consumption:

19.7 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 35

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 199

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 199

Natural gas - proved reserves:

195.4 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 46

Current account balance:

$3.734 billion (2010) country comparison to the world: 34 $2.416 billion (2009)

Exports:

$16.24 billion (2010) country comparison to the world: 73 $15.58 billion (2009)

Exports - commodities:

garments, frozen fish and seafood, jute and jute goods, leather

Exports - partners:

US 22.5%, Germany 14.2%, UK 9.6%, France 7%, Netherlands 6.4% (2009)

Imports:

$21.34 billion (2010) country comparison to the world: 68 $20.3 billion (2009)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement

Imports - partners:

China 16.16%, India 12.61%, Singapore 7.55%, Japan 4.63%, Malaysia 4.46% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$10.79 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 53 $10.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$24.46 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 69 $24.22 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$6.72 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 83 $5.617 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$82 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 80 $81 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

taka (BDT) per US dollar - 70.59 (2010), 69.039 (2009), 68.554 (2008), 69.893 (2007), 69.031 (2006)

Communications ::Bangladesh

Telephones - main lines in use:

1.522 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 63

Telephones - mobile cellular:

50.4 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 24

Telephone system:

general assessment: inadequate for a modern country; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fiber-optic cable in cities

domestic: fixed-line teledensity remains only about 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly and now exceeds 30 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6; international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries (2009)

Broadcast media:

state-owned broadcaster (BTV) operates 1 terrestrial TV station, 3 radio networks, and about 10 local stations; 8 private satellite TV stations and 3 private radio stations also broadcasting; foreign satellite TV stations are gaining audience share in the large cities; several international radio broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:

.bd

Internet hosts:

68,224 (2010) country comparison to the world: 81

Internet users:

617,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 112

Transportation ::Bangladesh

Airports:

17 (2010) country comparison to the world: 140

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 15

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 4 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 2,597 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 2,768 km country comparison to the world: 61 broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge

narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 239,226 km country comparison to the world: 21 paved: 22,726 km

unpaved: 216,500 km (2003)

Waterways:

8,370 km country comparison to the world: 17 note: includes up to 3,060 km main cargo routes; network reduced to 5,200 km in dry season (2007)

Merchant marine:

total: 50 country comparison to the world: 70 by type: bulk carrier 16, cargo 25, container 5, petroleum tanker 4

foreign-owned: 4 (China 1, Singapore 3)

registered in other countries: 9 (Comoros 1, Malta 1, Panama 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Chittagong, Mongla Port

Transportation - note:

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Bangladesh as high risk for armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen

Military ::Bangladesh

Military branches:

Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army (Sena Bahini), Bangladesh Navy (Noh Bahini, BN), Bangladesh Air Force (Biman Bahini, BAF) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

16 years of age for voluntary enlisted military service (Air Force); 17 years of age (Army and Navy); conscription is by law possible in times of emergency, but has never been implemented (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 36,560,110 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 25,310,750

females age 16-49: 32,154,153 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 1,550,385

female: 1,676,137 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 112

Transnational Issues ::Bangladesh

Disputes - international:

discussions with India remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, exchange territory for 51 small Bangladeshi exclaves in India and 111 small Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, allocate divided villages, and stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border; Bangladesh protests India's fencing and walling off high-traffic sections of the porous boundary; a joint Bangladesh-India boundary commission resurveyed and reconstructed 92 missing pillars in 2007; after 21 years, Bangladesh in January 2008 resumed talks with Burma on delimiting a maritime boundary

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 26,268 (Burma)

IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; a significant share of Bangladesh's trafficking victims are men recruited for work overseas with fraudulent employment offers who are subsequently exploited under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage; children are trafficked within Bangladesh for commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and forced labor; women and children from Bangladesh are also trafficked to India and Pakistan for sexual exploitation

tier rating: Bangladesh is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, including some progress in addressing sex trafficking; the government did not demonstrate sufficient progress in criminally prosecuting and convicting labor trafficking offenders, particularly those responsible for the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers for the purpose of labor trafficking (2009)

Illicit drugs:

transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries

page last updated on January 20, 2011

======================================================================

@Barbados (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Barbados

Background:

The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the 20th century. The gradual introduction of social and political reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance.

Geography ::Barbados

Location:

Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela

Geographic coordinates:

13 10 N, 59 32 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 430 sq km country comparison to the world: 200 land: 430 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

97 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:

tropical; rainy season (June to October)

Terrain:

relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Hillaby 336 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, fish, natural gas

Land use:

arable land: 37.21%

permanent crops: 2.33%

other: 60.46% (2005)

Irrigated land:

50 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

0.1 cu km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.09 cu km/yr (33%/44%/22%)

per capita: 333 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides

Environment - current issues:

pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of aquifers

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

easternmost Caribbean island

People ::Barbados

Population:

285,653 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 180

Age structure:

0-14 years: 19.2% (male 27,383/female 27,352)

15-64 years: 71.3% (male 99,829/female 103,049)

65 years and over: 9.5% (male 10,464/female 16,512) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 36.2 years

male: 35.1 years

female: 37.2 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.374% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 167

Birth rate:

12.43 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 159

Death rate:

8.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 89

Net migration rate:

-0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 133

Urbanization:

urban population: 40% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.012 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 12.09 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 138 male: 13.42 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.14 years country comparison to the world: 101 male: 71.88 years

female: 76.42 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.68 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 171

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

2,200 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 137

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 152

Nationality:

noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)

adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)

Ethnic groups:

black 93%, white 3.2%, mixed 2.6%, East Indian 1%, other 0.2% (2000 census)

Religions:

Protestant 63.4% (Anglican 28.3%, Pentecostal 18.7%, Methodist 5.1%, other 11.3%), Roman Catholic 4.2%, other Christian 7%, other 4.8%, none or unspecified 20.6% (2008 est.)

Languages:

English

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school

total population: 99.7%

male: 99.7%

female: 99.7% (2002 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2001)

Education expenditures:

6.7% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 26

Government ::Barbados

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Barbados

Government type:

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

name: Bridgetown

geographic coordinates: 13 06 N, 59 37 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas

Independence:

30 November 1966 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 30 November (1966)

Constitution:

30 November 1966

Legal system:

English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn HUSBANDS (since 1 June 1996)

head of government: Prime Minister Fruendel STUART (since 23 October 2010)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (21 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 12 on the advice of the Prime Minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at his discretion) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Assembly - last held on 15 January 2008 (next to be called in 2012)

election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP 52.5%, BLP 47.3%; seats by party - DLP 20, BLP 10

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Judicature consists of a High Court and a Court of

Appeal (judges are appointed by the Service Commissions for the

Judicial and Legal Services); Caribbean Court of Justice or CCJ is

the highest court of appeal; based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and

Tobago

Political parties and leaders:

Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen ARTHUR]; Democratic Labor Party or

DLP [Freundel STUART]; People's Empowerment Party or PEP [David

COMISSIONG]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Barbados Secondary Teachers' Union or BSTU [Patrick FROST]; Barbados

Union of Teachers or BUT [Herbert GITTENS]; Congress of Trade Unions

and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU,

NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) [Leroy TROTMAN]; Barbados Workers Union or BWU

[Leroy TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG];

National Union of Public Workers [Joseph GODDARD]

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt,

ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO,

ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD,

UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador John BEALE

chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-9200

FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

consulate(s): Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affaires D. Brent HARDT

embassy: U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006

mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; CMR 1014, APO AA 34055

telephone: [1] (246) 227-4399

FAX: [1] (246) 431-0179

Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the band colors represent the blue of the sea and sky and the gold of the beaches; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)

National anthem:

name: "The National Anthem of Barbados"

lyrics/music: Irving BURGIE/C. Van Roland EDWARDS

note: adopted 1966; the anthem is also known as "In Plenty and In Time of Need"

Economy ::Barbados

Economy - overview:

Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities. However, in recent years the economy has diversified into light industry and tourism with about three-quarters of GDP and 80% of exports being attributed to services. Growth has rebounded since 2003, bolstered by increases in construction projects and tourism revenues, reflecting its success in the higher-end segment, but the sector faced declining revenues in 2009 with the global economic downturn. The country enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as eastern US financial centers and a relatively highly educated workforce. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned enterprises. The public debt-to-GDP ratio rose to over 100% in 2009, largely because a sharp slowdown in tourism and financial services led to a wide budget deficit.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$6.196 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 154 $6.24 billion (2009 est.)

$6.603 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$3.963 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-0.7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 197 -5.5% (2009 est.)

-0.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$21,700 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60 $21,900 (2009 est.)

$23,300 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 6%

industry: 16%

services: 78% (2000 est.)

Labor force:

175,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 174

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 10%

industry: 15%

services: 75% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate:

10.7% (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 116

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Public debt:

NA (2009)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.5% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 151

Central bank discount rate:

7% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 45 10% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

9.25% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 91 10.03% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$1.793 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 123 $1.748 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$4.563 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 124 $4.618 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$4.554 billion (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 111 $4.124 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 81 $4.964 billion (31 December 2008)

$5.599 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

sugarcane, vegetables, cotton

Industries:

tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export

Industrial production growth rate:

-3.2% (2000 est.) country comparison to the world: 163

Electricity - production:

1.003 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 145

Electricity - consumption:

939.9 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 146

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

765 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 107

Oil - consumption:

9,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 151

Oil - exports:

1,750 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 117

Oil - imports:

10,390 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 138

Oil - proved reserves:

1.79 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 96

Natural gas - production:

29.17 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 87

Natural gas - consumption:

29.17 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 110

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 74

Natural gas - proved reserves:

113.3 million cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 101

Current account balance:

-$254 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 94

Exports:

$385 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 172

Exports - commodities:

manufactures, sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components

Exports - partners:

Trinidad and Tobago 17.48%, Jamaica 15.63%, US 8.93%, Saint Lucia 8.13%, UK 5.36%, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5.04%, Antigua and Barbuda 4.12% (2009)

Imports:

$1.586 billion (2006) country comparison to the world: 159

Imports - commodities:

consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components

Imports - partners:

Trinidad and Tobago 28.52%, US 27.96%, Colombia 7.13%, China 4.76%,

UK 4.39% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$620 million (2007) country comparison to the world: 117

Debt - external:

$668 million (2003) country comparison to the world: 155

Exchange rates:

Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 2 (2006), 2 (2005), 2 (2004), 2 (2003)

Communications ::Barbados

Telephones - main lines in use:

135,700 (2009) country comparison to the world: 136

Telephones - mobile cellular:

337,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 168

Telephone system:

general assessment: island-wide automatic telephone system

domestic: fixed-line teledensity of roughly 50 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density approaching 125 per 100 persons

international: country code - 1-246; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 1 (Intelsat -Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia (2009)

Broadcast media:

government-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) operates the lone terrestrial television station; CBC also operates a multi-channel cable TV subscription service; roughly a dozen radio stations, consisting of a CBC-operated network alongside privately-owned radio stations, in operation (2007)

Internet country code:

.bb

Internet hosts:

1,508 (2010) country comparison to the world: 159

Internet users:

188,000 (2008) country comparison to the world: 143

Transportation ::Barbados

Airports:

1 (2010) country comparison to the world: 233

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 1,600 km country comparison to the world: 176 paved: 1,600 km (2004)

Merchant marine:

total: 95 country comparison to the world: 52 by type: bulk carrier 19, cargo 55, chemical tanker 9, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 89 (Canada 13, Greece 14, Iran 4, Lebanon 2, Norway 41, Sweden 6, Syria 1, Turkey 1, UK 7)

registered in other countries: 1 (unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Bridgetown

Military ::Barbados

Military branches:

Royal Barbados Defense Force: Troops Command, Barbados Coast Guard (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger volunteers require parental consent); no conscription (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 74,418

females age 16-49: 74,450 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 58,532

females age 16-49: 58,542 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 1,897

female: 1,884 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.8% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 151

Military - note:

the Royal Barbados Defense Force includes a land-based Troop Command and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is to defend the island against external aggression; the Command consists of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre that is deployed throughout the island; it increasingly supports the police in patrolling the coastline to prevent smuggling and other illicit activities (2007)

Transnational Issues ::Barbados

Disputes - international:

Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's exclusive economic zone; joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea

Illicit drugs:

one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for Europe and the US; offshore financial center

page last updated on January 11, 2011

======================================================================

@Belarus (Europe)

Introduction ::Belarus

Background:

After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than any of the other former Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his election in July 1994 as the country's first president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion remain in place.

Geography ::Belarus

Location:

Eastern Europe, east of Poland

Geographic coordinates:

53 00 N, 28 00 E

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 207,600 sq km country comparison to the world: 85 land: 202,900 sq km

water: 4,700 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Kansas

Land boundaries:

total: 3,306 km

border countries: Latvia 171 km, Lithuania 680 km, Poland 605 km, Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime

Terrain:

generally flat and contains much marshland

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m

highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m

Natural resources:

timber, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay

Land use:

arable land: 26.77%

permanent crops: 0.6%

other: 72.63% (2005)

Irrigated land:

1,310 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

58 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.79 cu km/yr (23%/47%/30%)

per capita: 286 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

NA

Environment - current issues:

soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air

Pollution-Sulfur 85, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate

Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,

Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine

Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes

People ::Belarus

Population:

9,612,632 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 88

Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.3% (male 707,550/female 667,560)

15-64 years: 71.3% (male 3,337,253/female 3,540,916)

65 years and over: 14.5% (male 446,746/female 948,508) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 38.8 years

male: 35.8 years

female: 41.8 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

-0.368% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 221

Birth rate:

9.76 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 198

Death rate:

13.81 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Net migration rate:

0.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 65

Urbanization:

urban population: 73% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.062 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.47 male(s)/female

total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 6.34 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 174 male: 7.34 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 70.92 years country comparison to the world: 139 male: 65.26 years

female: 76.93 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.25 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 215

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 94

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

13,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 91

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 69

Nationality:

noun: Belarusian(s)

adjective: Belarusian

Ethnic groups:

Belarusian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish 3.9%, Ukrainian 2.4%, other 1.1% (1999 census)

Religions:

Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant,

Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)

Languages:

Belarusian (official) 36.7%, Russian (official) 62.8%, other 0.5% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities) (1999 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.6%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.4% (1999 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

5.2% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 56

Government ::Belarus

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Belarus

conventional short form: Belarus

local long form: Respublika Byelarus'

local short form: Byelarus'

former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type:

republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship

Capital:

name: Minsk

geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts') and 1 municipality* (horad); Brest, Homyel' (Gomel), Horad Minsk* (Minsk City), Hrodna (Grodno), Mahilyow (Mogilev), Minsk, Vitsyebsk (Vitebsk)

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers; Russian spelling provided for reference when different from Belarusian

Independence:

25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union

Constitution:

15 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24 November 1996 giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective 27 November 1996; revised again 17 October 2004 removing presidential term limits

Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)

head of government: Prime Minister Mikhail MYASNIKOVICH (since 28 December 2010); First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir SEMASHKO (since December 2003)

cabinet: Council of Ministers (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; first election took place on 23 June and 10 July 1994; according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999, however, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via a November 1996 referendum; subsequent election held on 9 September 2001; an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits and allowed the president to run in a third (19 March 2006) and fourth election (19 December 2010); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president

election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 79.7%, Andrey SANNIKAU 2.6%, other candidates 17.7%; note - election marred by electoral fraud

Legislative branch:

bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobraniye consists of the Council of the Republic or Sovet Respubliki (64 seats; 56 members elected by regional and Minsk city councils and 8 members appointed by the president, to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: Palata Predstaviteley - last held on 28 September 2008 (next to be held in the spring of 2012); international observers determined that despite minor improvements the election ultimately fell short of democratic standards; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won every seat

election results: Sovet Respubliki - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Palata Predstaviteley - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Constitutional Court (half of the judges appointed by the president and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives)

Political parties and leaders:

pro-government parties: Belarusian Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail

SHIMANSKY]; Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic

Party) or BPR [Nikolay ULAKHOVICH, chairman]; Communist Party of

Belarus or KPB [Tatsyana HOLUBEVA]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP

[Sergey GAYDUKEVICH]; Republican Party of Labor and Justice [Vasiliy

ZADNEPRYANYY]

opposition parties: Belarusian Christian Democracy Party [Pavel SEVERINETS] (unregistered); Belarusian Party of Communists or PKB [Sergey KALYAKIN]; Belarusian Party of Labor [Aleksandr BUKHVOSTOV] (unregistered); Belarusian Popular Front or BPF [Aleksey YANUKEVICH]; Belarusian Social-Democratic Hramada [Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH]; Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada ("Assembly") or BSDPH [Anatoliy LEVKOVICH]; Belarusian Social Democratic Party People's Assembly ("Narodnaya Hramada") [Nikolay STATKEVICH] (unregistered); Belarusian Women's Party Nadzeya ("Hope") [Yelena YESKOVA, chairperson]; Christian Conservative Party or BPF [Zyanon PAZNIAK]; European Belarus Campaign [Andrey SANNIKOV]; Party of Freedom and Progress [Vladimir NOVOSYAD] (unregistered); "Tell the Truth" Campaign [Vladimir NEKLYAYEV]; United Civic Party or UCP [Anatoliy LEBEDKO]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs (unregistered) [Sergey MATSKEVICH];

Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions [Aleksandr YAROSHUK];

Belarusian Association of Journalists [Zhana LITVINA]; Belarusian

Helsinki Committee [Aleh HULAK]; Belarusian Independence Bloc

(unregistered) and For Freedom movement [Aleksandr MILINKEVICH];

Belarusian Organization of Working Women [Irina ZHIKHAR]; BPF-Youth

[Andrus KRECHKA]; Charter 97 (unregistered) [Andrey SANNIKOV];

Perspektiva small business association [Anatol SHUMCHENKO]; Nasha

Vyasna (unregistered) ("Our Spring") human rights center; "Tell the

Truth" Movement [Vladimir NEKLYAYEV]; Women's Independent Democratic

Movement [Ludmila PETINA]; Young Belarus (Malady Belarus) [Zmitser

KASPYAROVICH]; Youth Front (Malady Front) [Zmitser DASHKEVICH]

International organization participation:

BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CEI, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EBRD,

FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMSO,

Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE,

PCA, PFP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO,

UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Oleg KRAVCHENKO

chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 986-1604

FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Michael SCANLAN

embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002

mailing address: PSC 78, Box B Minsk, APO 09723

telephone: [375] (17) 210-12-83, 217-7347 through 7348

FAX: [375] (17) 334-7853

Flag description:

red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red; the red band color recalls past struggles from oppression, the green band represents hope and the many forests of the country

National anthem:

name: "My, Bielarusy" (We Belarusians)

lyrics/music: Mikhas KLIMKOVICH and Uladzimir KARYZNA/Nester SAKALOUSKI

note: music adopted 1955, lyrics adopted 2002; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Belarus kept the music of its Soviet-era anthem but adopted new lyrics; also known as "Dziarzauny himn Respubliki Bielarus" (State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus)

Economy ::Belarus

Economy - overview:

Belarus has seen limited structural reform since 1995, when President LUKASHENKO launched the country on the path of "market socialism." In keeping with this policy, LUKASHENKO reimposed administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the state's right to intervene in the management of private enterprises. Since 2005, the government has re-nationalized a number of private companies. In addition, businesses have been subjected to pressure by central and local governments, including arbitrary changes in regulations, numerous rigorous inspections, retroactive application of new business regulations, and arrests of "disruptive" businessmen and factory owners. Continued state control over economic operations hampers market entry for businesses, both domestic and foreign. Government statistics indicate GDP growth was strong, surpassing 10% in 2008, despite the roadblocks of a tough, centrally directed economy with a high rate of inflation and a low rate of unemployment. However, the global crisis pushed the country into recession in 2009, and GDP grew only 0.2% for the year. Slumping foreign demand hit the industrial sector hard. Minsk has depended on a standby-agreement with the IMF to assist with balance of payments shortfalls. In line with IMF conditions, in 2009, Belarus devalued the ruble more than 40% and tightened some fiscal and monetary policies. On 1 January 2010, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus launched a customs union, with unified trade regulations and customs codes still under negotiation. In late January, Russia and Belarus amended their 2007 oil supply agreement. The new terms raised prices for above quota purchases, increasing Belarus' current account deficit. GDP grew 4.8% in 2010, in part, on the strength of renewed export growth. In December 2010, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to form a Common Economic Space and Russia removed all Belarusian oil duties.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$128.4 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60 $122.5 billion (2009 est.)

$122.3 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$52.89 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

4.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 62 0.2% (2009 est.)

10.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$13,400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87 $12,700 (2009 est.)

$12,600 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9%

industry: 42.9%

services: 48.1% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

5 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 75

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 14%

industry: 34.7%

services: 51.3% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate:

1% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 5 1.6% (2005)

note: official registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers

Population below poverty line:

27.1% (2003 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 22% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

27.9 (2005) country comparison to the world: 124 21.7 (1998)

Investment (gross fixed):

36% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 7

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 177 12.9% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

13.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 30 12% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

11.68% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 111 8.55% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$4.747 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 92 $4.381 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$13.62 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 92 $14.07 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$19.99 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 78 $17.15 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk

Industries:

metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators

Industrial production growth rate:

10.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 13

Electricity - production:

29.92 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 63

Electricity - consumption:

30.54 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 58

Electricity - exports:

5.062 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

9.406 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

31,400 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 70

Oil - consumption:

173,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 59

Oil - exports:

303,900 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 40

Oil - imports:

444,800 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 28

Oil - proved reserves:

198 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 59

Natural gas - production:

152 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 77

Natural gas - consumption:

17 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 37

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 58

Natural gas - imports:

17.6 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 13

Natural gas - proved reserves:

2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 94

Current account balance:

-$5.062 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 169 -$6.402 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$24.49 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 66 $21.34 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs

Exports - partners:

Russia 33.6%, Netherlands 13.78%, Ukraine 8.68%, Latvia 6.32%,

Poland 4.19%, Germany 4.17% (2009)

Imports:

$29.79 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60 $28.31 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals

Imports - partners:

Russia 56.42%, Germany 8.31%, Ukraine 4.79%, China 4.04% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$5.755 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 $4.831 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$24.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68 $19.74 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar - 3,019.9 (2010), 2,789.5 (2009), 2,130 (2008), 2,145 (2007), 2,144.6 (2006)

Communications ::Belarus

Telephones - main lines in use:

3.969 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 40

Telephones - mobile cellular:

9.686 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 67

Telephone system:

general assessment: Belarus lags behind its neighbors in upgrading telecommunications infrastructure; modernization of the network progressing with roughly two-thirds of switching equipment now digital

domestic: state-owned Beltelcom is the sole provider of fixed-line local and long distance service; fixed-line teledensity is improving although rural areas continue to be underserved; multiple GSM mobile-cellular networks are experiencing rapid growth; mobile-cellular teledensity reached 100 telephones per 100 persons in 2009

international: country code - 375; Belarus is a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line, and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); 3 fiber-optic segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this infrastructure; additional analog lines to Russia; Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations (2008)

Broadcast media:

4 state-controlled national TV channels; Polish and Russian TV broadcasts are available in some areas; state-run Belarusian Radio operates 3 national networks and an external service; Russian and Polish radio broadcasts are available (2007)

Internet country code:

.by

Internet hosts:

147,311 (2010) country comparison to the world: 71

Internet users:

2.643 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 69

Transportation ::Belarus

Airports:

67 (2010) country comparison to the world: 74

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 35

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 22

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 7 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 32

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 27 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 5,250 km; oil 1,528 km; refined products 1,730 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 5,537 km country comparison to the world: 32 broad gauge: 5,512 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified)

standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 94,797 km country comparison to the world: 49 paved: 84,028 km

unpaved: 10,769 km (2005)

Waterways:

2,500 km (use limited by location on perimeter of country and by shallowness) (2003) country comparison to the world: 36

Ports and terminals:

Mazyr

Military ::Belarus

Military branches:

Belarus Armed Forces: Land Force, Air and Air Defense Force, Special

Operations Force (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,435,318

females age 16-49: 2,466,762 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,708,634

females age 16-49: 2,043,083 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 55,758

female: 52,572 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.4% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 105

Transnational Issues ::Belarus

Disputes - international:

Boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania in 2006; 1997 boundary delimitation treaty with Ukraine remains unratified over unresolved financial claims, preventing demarcation and diminishing border security

Illicit drugs:

limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and via Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe; a small and lightly regulated financial center; anti-money-laundering legislation does not meet international standards and was weakened further when know-your-customer requirements were curtailed in 2008; few investigations or prosecutions of money-laundering activities (2008)

page last updated on January 20, 2011

======================================================================

@Belgium (Europe)

Introduction ::Belgium

Background:

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.

Geography ::Belgium

Location:

Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the

Netherlands

Geographic coordinates:

50 50 N, 4 00 E

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 30,528 sq km country comparison to the world: 140 land: 30,278 sq km

water: 250 sq km

Area - comparative:

about the size of Maryland

Land boundaries:

total: 1,385 km

border countries: France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km

Coastline:

66.5 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: geographic coordinates define outer limit

continental shelf: median line with neighbors

Climate:

temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

Terrain:

flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: North Sea 0 m

highest point: Botrange 694 m

Natural resources:

construction materials, silica sand, carbonates

Land use:

arable land: 27.42%

permanent crops: 0.69%

other: 71.89%

note: includes Luxembourg (2005)

Irrigated land:

400 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

20.8 cu km (2005)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 7.44 cu km/yr (13%/85%/1%)

per capita: 714 cu m/yr (1998)

Natural hazards:

flooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes

Environment - current issues:

the environment is exposed to intense pressures from human activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry, extensive animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries; uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now resolved) had slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air

Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,

Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,

Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources,

Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change,

Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,

Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine

Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship

Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

crossroads of Western Europe; most West European capitals within 1,000 km of Brussels, the seat of both the European Union and NATO

People ::Belgium

Population:

10,423,493 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 79

Age structure:

0-14 years: 16.1% (male 857,373/female 822,303)

15-64 years: 66.3% (male 3,480,072/female 3,419,721)

65 years and over: 17.6% (male 760,390/female 1,074,477) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 42 years

male: 40.7 years

female: 43.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.082% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Birth rate:

10.1 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 194

Death rate:

10.5 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

Net migration rate:

1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52

Urbanization:

urban population: 97% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.045 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.38 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 195 male: 4.92 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 79.37 years country comparison to the world: 37 male: 76.21 years

female: 82.68 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.65 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 175

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 108

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

15,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 86

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 151

Nationality:

noun: Belgian(s)

adjective: Belgian

Ethnic groups:

Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%

Religions:

Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%

Languages:

Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 16 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

6.1% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 36

Government ::Belgium

Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium

conventional short form: Belgium

local long form: Royaume de Belgique/Koninkrijk Belgie

local short form: Belgique/Belgie

Government type:

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Capital:

name: Brussels

geographic coordinates: 50 50 N, 4 20 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

3 regions (French: regions, singular - region; Dutch: gewesten, singular - gewest); Brussels-Capital Region, also known as Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Dutch), Region de Bruxelles-Capitale (French long form), Bruxelles-Capitale (French short form); Flemish Region (Flanders), also known as Vlaams Gewest (Dutch long form), Vlaanderen (Dutch short form), Region Flamande (French long form), Flandre (French short form); Walloon Region (Wallonia), also known as Region Wallone (French long form), Wallonie (French short form), Waals Gewest (Dutch long form), Wallonie (Dutch short form)

note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities

Independence:

4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the throne)

National holiday:

21 July (1831) ascension to the Throne of King LEOPOLD I

Constitution:

7 February 1831; amended many times; revised 14 July 1993 to create a federal state

Legal system:

based on civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:

chief of state: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993); Heir Apparent Prince PHILIPPE, son of the monarch

head of government: Prime Minister Yves LETERME (since 25 November 2009); note - the king accepted the resignation of LETERME on 26 April 2010; LETERME remains as caretaker

cabinet: Council of Ministers are formally appointed by the monarch (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary and constitutional; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch and then approved by parliament

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or Senaat in Dutch, Senat in French (71 seats; 40 members directly elected by popular vote, 31 indirectly elected; members serve four-year terms) and a Chamber of Deputies or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in Dutch, Chambre des Representants in French (150 seats; members directly elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)

elections: Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held on 13 June 2010 (next to be held no later than June 2014)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - N-VA 19.6%, PS 13.6%, CD&V 10%, sp.a 9.5%, MR 9.3%, Open VLD 8.2%, VB 7.6%, Ecolo 5.5%, CDH 5.1% Groen! 3.9%, other 7.7%; seats by party - N-VA 9, PS 7, CD&V 4, sp.a 4, MR 4, Open VLD 4, VB 3, Ecolo 2, CDH 2, Groen! 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - N-VA 17.4%, PS 13.7%, CD&V 10.9%, MR 9.3%, sp.a 9.2%, Open VLD 8.6%, VB 7.8%, CDH 5.5%, Ecolo 4.8%, Groen! 4.4%, List Dedecker 2.3%, the Popular Party 1.3%, other 4.8%; seats by party - N-VA 27, PS 26, CD&V 17, MR 18, sp.a 13, Open VLD 13, VB 12, CDH 9, Ecolo 8, Groen! 5, List Dedecker 1, the Popular Party 1

note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities; this reality leaves six governments, each with its own legislative assembly

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie (in Dutch) or Cour de

Cassation (in French) (judges are appointed for life by the

government; candidacies have to be submitted by the High Justice

Council)

Political parties and leaders:

Flemish parties: Christian Democratic and Flemish or CDV [Wouter

BEKE]; Dedecker List or LDD [Lode VEREECK]; Flemish Liberals and

Democrats or Open VLD [Alexander DE CROO]; Groen! [Wouter VAN

BESIEN] (formerly AGALEV, Flemish Greens); New Flemish Alliance or

N-VA [Bart DE WEVER]; Social Progressive Alternative or SP.A

[Caroline GENNEZ]; Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) or VB [Bruno

VALKENIERS]

Francophone parties: Ecolo (Francophone Greens) [Jean-Michel JAVAUX,

Sarah TURINE]; Humanist and Democratic Center or CDH [Joelle

MILQUET]; Popular Party or PP [ Mischael MODRIKAMEN]; Reform

Movement or MR [Didier REYNDERS]; Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI

RUPO]; other minor parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Christian, Socialist, and Liberal Trade Unions; Federation of

Belgian Industries

other: numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as Pax Christi and groups representing immigrants

International organization participation:

ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Australia

Group, Benelux, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO,

FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA,

IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,

ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer),

OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI

(observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIS, UNRWA,

UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jan MATTHYSEN

chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 333-6900

FAX: [1] (202) 333-3079

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Howard W. GUTMAN

embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent [Regentlaan], B-1000 Brussels

mailing address: PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 09710

telephone: [32] (2) 508-2111

FAX: [32] (2) 511-2725

Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the vertical design was based on the flag of France; the colors are those of the arms of the duchy of Brabant (yellow lion with red claws and tongue on a black field)

National anthem:

name: "La Brabanconne" (The Song of Brabant)

lyrics/music: Louis-Alexandre DECHET[French] Victor CEULEMANS [Dutch]/Francois VAN CAMPENHOUT

note: adopted 1830; Louis-Alexandre DECHET was an actor at the theater in which the revolution against the Netherlands began; according to legend, he wrote the lyrics with a group of young people in a Brussels cafe

Economy ::Belgium

Economy - overview:

This modern, private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north. With few natural resources, Belgium imports substantial quantities of raw materials and exports a large volume of manufactures, making its economy vulnerable to volatility in world markets. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries. In 2009 Belgian GDP contracted by 2.7%, the unemployment rate rose slightly, and the budget deficit worsened because of large-scale bail-outs in the financial sector. Belgium's budget deficit widened to 4.8% of GDP in 2010, while public debt was just over 100% of GDP. Belgian banks have been severely affected by the international financial crisis with three major banks receiving capital injections from the government. An ageing population and rising social expenditures are also increasing pressure on public finances, making it likely the government will need to implement unpopular austerity measures to assuage investor concerns about Belgium's ability to restore fiscal balance.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$394.9 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 31 $388.7 billion (2009 est.)

$399.5 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$461.3 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 162 -2.7% (2009 est.)

0.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$37,900 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 27 $37,300 (2009 est.)

$38,400 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 0.7%

industry: 22.1%

services: 77.2% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

5.02 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 74

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 2%

industry: 25%

services: 73% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:

8.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 92 7.9% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

15.2% (2007 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.4%

highest 10%: 28.4% (2006)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

28 (2005) country comparison to the world: 121 28.7 (1996)

Investment (gross fixed):

20.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 80

Public debt:

102.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 9 101% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68 0% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

1.75% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 113 3% (31 December 2008)

note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

6.15% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 128 7.03% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$172.9 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 19 $178.7 billion (31 December 2009 est)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money:

$539.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 22 $536.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$801.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 17 $767.1 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$261.4 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 26 $167.4 billion (31 December 2008)

$386.4 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk

Industries:

engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate:

4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 79

Electricity - production:

82.17 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 36

Electricity - consumption:

84.88 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 33

Electricity - exports:

6.561 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

17.16 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

11,220 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 82

Oil - consumption:

608,200 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 27

Oil - exports:

433,700 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 31

Oil - imports:

1.12 million bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 201

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - consumption:

16.87 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 57

Natural gas - imports:

16.78 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 14

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 202

Current account balance:

-$1.129 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 141 $1.251 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$279.2 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 16 $261.1 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs

Exports - partners:

Germany 19.58%, France 17.71%, Netherlands 11.84%, UK 7.21%, US 5.37%, Italy 4.77% (2009)

Imports:

$281.7 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 17 $261.3 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products

Imports - partners:

Netherlands 17.93%, Germany 17.14%, France 11.69%, Ireland 6.26%, US 5.74%, UK 5.07%, China 4.09% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$NA (31 December 2010 est.)

$23.98 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$1.241 trillion (30 June 2010) country comparison to the world: 12 $1.354 trillion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$741.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 6 $705.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$632.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 10 $595.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7715 (2010), 0.7179 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006)

Communications ::Belgium

Telephones - main lines in use:

4,255 (2009) country comparison to the world: 215

Telephones - mobile cellular:

12.419 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 55

Telephone system:

general assessment: highly developed, technologically advanced, and completely automated domestic and international telephone and telegraph facilities

domestic: nationwide mobile-cellular telephone system; extensive cable network; limited microwave radio relay network

international: country code - 32; landing point for a number of submarine cables that provide links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat - 3) (2007)

Broadcast media:

a segmented market with the three major communities (Flemish, French, and German-speaking) each having responsibility for their own broadcast media; multiple TV channels exist for each community; additionally, in excess of 90% of households are connected to cable and can access broadcasts of TV stations from neighboring countries; each community has a public radio network co-existing with private broadcasters (2007)

Internet country code:

.be

Internet hosts:

4.465 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 19

Internet users:

8.113 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 36

Transportation ::Belgium

Airports:

43 (2010) country comparison to the world: 99

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 27

over 3,047 m: 6

2,438 to 3,047 m: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 9 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 16

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 15 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 1,330 km; oil 158 km; refined products 535 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 3,233 km country comparison to the world: 54 standard gauge: 3,233 km 1.435-m gauge (2,950 km electrified) (2008)

Roadways:

total: 152,256 km country comparison to the world: 35 paved: 119,079 km (includes 1,763 km of expressways)

unpaved: 33,177 km (2006)

Waterways:

2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use) (2008) country comparison to the world: 44

Merchant marine:

total: 81 country comparison to the world: 55 by type: bulk carrier 21, cargo 8, chemical tanker 5, container 4, liquefied gas 23, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 11, roll on/roll off 7

foreign-owned: 13 (Denmark 4, France 5, UK 2, US 2)

registered in other countries: 104 (Bahamas 9, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 2,

France 7, Gibraltar 2, Greece 16, Hong Kong 16, Liberia 1,

Luxembourg 9, Malta 14, Moldova 2, Mozambique 2, North Korea 1,

Panama 2, Portugal 8, Russia 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint

Vincent and the Grenadines 6, Vanuatu 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

cargo ports (tonnage): Antwerp, Gent, Liege, Zeebrugge

container ports (TEUs): Antwerp (8,662,891), Zeebrugge (2,209,715)

Military ::Belgium

Military branches:

Belgian Armed Forces: Land Operations Command, Naval Operations

Command, Air Operations Commands (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription suspended (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,377,191

females age 16-49: 2,309,941 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,949,361

females age 16-49: 1,891,966 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 60,726

female: 57,882 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 119

Transnational Issues ::Belgium

Disputes - international:

none

Illicit drugs:

growing producer of synthetic drugs and cannabis; transit point for US-bound ecstasy; source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine, heroin, hashish, and marijuana entering Western Europe; despite a strengthening of legislation, the country remains vulnerable to money laundering related to narcotics, automobiles, alcohol, and tobacco; significant domestic consumption of ecstasy

page last updated on January 20, 2011

======================================================================

@Belize (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Belize

Background:

Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992 and the two countries are involved in an ongoing border dispute. Guatemala and Belize plan to hold a simultaneous referendum to determine if this dispute will go before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, though they have not yet set a date. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include the country's heavy foreign debt burden, high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, high crime rates, and increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS.

Geography ::Belize

Location:

Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and

Mexico

Geographic coordinates:

17 15 N, 88 45 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 22,966 sq km country comparison to the world: 151 land: 22,806 sq km

water: 160 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land boundaries:

total: 516 km

border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km

Coastline:

386 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for negotiating a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:

tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)

Terrain:

flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Doyle's Delight 1,160 m

Natural resources:

arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 3.05%

permanent crops: 1.39%

other: 95.56% (2005)

Irrigated land:

30 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

18.6 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.15 cu km/yr (7%/73%/20%)

per capita: 556 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff; solid and sewage waste disposal

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean

People ::Belize

Population:

314,522 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 176

Age structure:

0-14 years: 37.9% (male 59,462/female 57,117)

15-64 years: 58.6% (male 91,298/female 89,170)

65 years and over: 3.5% (male 5,185/female 5,667) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 20.7 years

male: 20.5 years

female: 20.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.102% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48

Birth rate:

26.84 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 54

Death rate:

5.82 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 171

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 90

Urbanization:

urban population: 52% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 3.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 22.52 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 92 male: 25.22 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 68.23 years country comparison to the world: 150 male: 66.54 years

female: 70 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

3.28 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

2.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

3,600 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 129

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 125

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Belizean(s)

adjective: Belizean

Ethnic groups:

mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7% (2000 census)

Religions:

Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7.4%, Anglican 5.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Mennonite 4.1%, Methodist 3.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), other 14%, none 9.4% (2000)

Languages:

Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2% (2000 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 76.9%

male: 76.7%

female: 77.1% (2000 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years

male: 13 years

female: 12 years (2004)

Education expenditures:

5.1% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 62

Government ::Belize

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Belize

former: British Honduras

Government type:

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

name: Belmopan

geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 46 W

time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

6 districts; Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Toledo

Independence:

21 September 1981 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 21 September (1981)

Constitution:

21 September 1981

Legal system:

English law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Colville YOUNG, Sr. (since 17 November 1993)

head of government: Prime Minister Dean Oliver BARROW (since 8 February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar VEGA (since 12 February 2008)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister

Legislative branch:

bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (12 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 6 on the advice of the prime minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and 1 each on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Better Business Bureau, and the National Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee; to serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives (31 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held on 6 February 2008 (next to be held in 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - UDP 56.3%, PUP 40.9%; seats by party - UDP 25, PUP 6

Judicial branch:

Summary Jurisdiction Courts (criminal) and District Courts (civil jurisdiction); Supreme Court (the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister); Court of Appeal; Privy Council in the UK; member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)

Political parties and leaders:

National Alliance for Belizean Rights or NABR; National Reform Party or NRP [Cornelius DUECK]; People's National Party or PNP [Wil MAHEIA]; People's United Party or PUP [John BRICENO]; United Democratic Party or UDP [Dean BARROW]; Vision Inspired by the People or VIP [Paul MORGAN]; We the People Reform Movement or WTP [Hipolito BAUTISTA]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Society for the Promotion of Education and Research or SPEAR [Nicole

HAYLOCK]; Association of Concerned Belizeans or ACB [David VASQUEZ];

National Trade Union Congress of Belize or NTUC/B [Rene GOMEZ]

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,

ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC,

IOM, ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA,

PetroCaribe, RG, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO,

WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Nestor MENDEZ

chancery: 2535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-9636

FAX: [1] (202) 332-6888

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Vinai THUMMALAPALLY

embassy: Floral Park Road, Belmopan City, Cayo District

mailing address: P.O. Box 497, Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize

telephone: [501] 822-4011

FAX: [501] 822-4012

Flag description:

blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland of 50 mahogany leaves; the colors are those of the two main political parties: blue for the PUP and red for the UDP; various elements of the coat of arms - the figures, the tools, the mahogany tree, and the garland of leaves - recall the logging industry that led to British settlement of Belize

note: Belize's flag is the only national flag that depicts human beings; two British overseas territories, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands, also depict humans

National anthem:

name: "Land of the Free"

lyrics/music: Samuel Alfred HAYNES/Selwyn Walford YOUNG

note: adopted 1981; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Belize

Economy - overview:

In this small, essentially private-enterprise economy, tourism is the number one foreign exchange earner followed by exports of marine products, citrus, cane sugar, bananas, and garments. The government's expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, initiated in September 1998, led to sturdy GDP growth averaging nearly 4% in 1999-2007, though growth slipped to 3.8% in 2008, 0% in 2009, and 1.5% in 2010 as a result of the global slowdown, natural disasters, and the drop in the price of oil. Oil discoveries in 2006 bolstered economic growth. Exploration efforts continue and production increased a small amount in 2009. Major concerns continue to be the sizable trade deficit and heavy foreign debt burden. In February 2007, the government restructured nearly all of its public external commercial debt, which helped reduce interest payments and relieved some of the country's liquidity concerns. A key objective remains the reduction of poverty and inequality with the help of international donors.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.652 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 180 $2.613 billion (2009 est.)

$2.613 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.431 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 166 0% (2009 est.)

3.6% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 120 $8,500 (2009 est.)

$8,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 29%

industry: 16.9%

services: 54.1% (2008 est.)

Labor force:

120,500 country comparison to the world: 179 note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 10.2%

industry: 18.1%

services: 71.7% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:

13.1% (2009) country comparison to the world: 137 8.2% (2008)

Population below poverty line:

33.5% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Investment (gross fixed):

26.2% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 37

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 118 -1.1% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

12% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 31 12% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

14.08% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 53 14.14% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$389.5 million (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 161 $336.5 million (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$1.351 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 150 $1.084 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.291 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 141 $1.036 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

bananas, cacao, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp; lumber

Industries:

garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil

Industrial production growth rate:

1.4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 142

Electricity - production:

213.5 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 176

Electricity - consumption:

198.5 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 177

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

248.4 million kWh (2005)

Oil - production:

3,990 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 98

Oil - consumption:

7,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 157

Oil - exports:

2,260 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 111

Oil - imports:

7,204 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 146

Oil - proved reserves:

6.7 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 93

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 96

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 206

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 56

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 201

Current account balance:

-$151 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 84 -$93.3 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$404 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 171 $381.9 million (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood, crude oil

Exports - partners:

US 30.7%, UK 29.77%, Nigeria 4.9%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.45% (2009)

Imports:

$740 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 181 $620.5 million (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods; fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; food, beverages, tobacco

Imports - partners:

US 33.65%, Mexico 14.17%, Cuba 8.51%, Guatemala 6.75%, Spain 6.07%,

China 4.12% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$219 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126 $213.7 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$1.01 billion (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 150 $954.1 million (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:

Belizean dollars (BZD) per US dollar - 2 (2010), 2 (2009), 2 (2008), 2 (2007), 2 (2006)

Communications ::Belize

Telephones - main lines in use:

31,200 (2009) country comparison to the world: 178

Telephones - mobile cellular:

161,800 (2009) country comparison to the world: 175

Telephone system:

general assessment: above-average system; trunk network depends primarily on microwave radio relay

domestic: fixed-line teledensity of 10 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 55 per 100 persons

international: country code - 501; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth station - 8 (Intelsat - 2, unknown - 6) (2008)

Broadcast media:

8 privately-owned TV stations; multi-channel cable TV provides access to foreign stations; about 25 radio stations broadcasting on roughly 50 different frequencies; state-run radio was privatized in 1998 (2007)

Internet country code:

.bz

Internet hosts:

2,880 (2010) country comparison to the world: 147

Internet users:

36,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 177

Transportation ::Belize

Airports:

45 (2010) country comparison to the world: 96

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 41

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 27 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 3,007 km country comparison to the world: 165 paved: 575 km

unpaved: 2,432 km (2006)

Waterways:

825 km (navigable only by small craft) (2010) country comparison to the world: 71

Merchant marine:

total: 231 country comparison to the world: 33 by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 37, cargo 146, chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 7, refrigerated cargo 27, roll on/roll off 10

foreign-owned: 171 (Chile 1, China 64, Croatia 1, Cyprus 1, Estonia 1, Germany 1, Greece 2, Iceland 2, Italy 3, Japan 1, Latvia 10, Lithuania 2, Netherlands 1, Nigeria 2, Norway 3, Peru 1, Russia 32, Singapore 7, Spain 1, Syria 2, Turkey 18, UAE 5, UK 4, Ukraine 6) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Belize City, Big Creek

Military ::Belize

Military branches:

Belize Defense Force (BDF): Army, BDF Air Wing (includes Special

Boat Unit), BDF Volunteer Guard (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; laws allow for conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; conscription has never been implemented; volunteers typically outnumber available positions by 3:1 (2008)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 79,088

females age 16-49: 77,147 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 57,759

females age 16-49: 55,903 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 3,678

female: 3,543 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.4% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 107

Transnational Issues ::Belize

Disputes - international:

OAS-initiated Agreement on the Framework for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures saw cooperation in repatriation of Guatemalan squatters and other areas, but Guatemalan land and maritime claims in Belize and the Caribbean Sea remain unresolved; the Line of Adjacency created under the 2002 Differendum serves in lieu of the contiguous international boundary to control squatting in the sparsely inhabited rain forests of Belize's border region; Honduras claims Belizean-administered Sapodilla Cays in its constitution but agreed to a joint ecological park under the Differendum

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Belize is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; the most common form of trafficking in Belize is the internal sex trafficking of minors; some Central American men, women, and children, particularly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, migrate voluntarily to Belize in search of work but are subsequently subjected to conditions of forced labor or forced prostitution

tier rating: Belize is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; despite efforts to raise public awareness of human trafficking and provide protection services for trafficking victims, the government did not show evidence of progress in convicting and sentencing trafficking offenders last year (2009)

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for cocaine; small-scale illicit producer of cannabis, primarily for local consumption; offshore sector money-laundering activity related to narcotics trafficking and other crimes (2008)

page last updated on January 12, 2011

======================================================================

@Benin (Africa)

Introduction ::Benin

Background:

Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent. YAYI has begun a high profile fight against corruption and has strongly promoted accelerating Benin's economic growth.

Geography ::Benin

Location:

Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and

Togo

Geographic coordinates:

9 30 N, 2 15 E

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 112,622 sq km country comparison to the world: 101 land: 110,622 sq km

water: 2,000 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Pennsylvania

Land boundaries:

total: 1,989 km

border countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km, Togo 644 km

Coastline:

121 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 200 nm

Climate:

tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north

Terrain:

mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m

Natural resources:

small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber

Land use:

arable land: 23.53%

permanent crops: 2.37%

other: 74.1% (2005)

Irrigated land:

120 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

25.8 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.13 cu km/yr (32%/23%/45%)

per capita: 15 cu m/yr (2001)

Natural hazards:

hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March

Environment - current issues:

inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto

Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental

Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer

Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands

People ::Benin

Population:

9,056,010 country comparison to the world: 90 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 45.2% (male 2,028,493/female 1,948,353)

15-64 years: 52.1% (male 2,275,662/female 2,308,945)

65 years and over: 2.6% (male 94,569/female 135,810) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 17.3 years

male: 16.9 years

female: 17.8 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.944% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 15

Birth rate:

38.67 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 17

Death rate:

9.23 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 70

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 89

Urbanization:

urban population: 41% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 63.13 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 30 male: 66.51 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 59.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 59.42 years country comparison to the world: 188 male: 58.21 years

female: 60.68 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

5.4 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

64,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 58

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

3,300 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 53

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever

respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis

animal contact disease: rabies (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Beninese (singular and plural)

adjective: Beninese

Ethnic groups:

Fon and related 39.2%, Adja and related 15.2%, Yoruba and related 12.3%, Bariba and related 9.2%, Peulh and related 7%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4%, Dendi and related 2.5%, other 1.6% (includes Europeans), unspecified 2.9% (2002 census)

Religions:

Christian 42.8% (Catholic 27.1%, Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other Protestant 2.2%, other 5.3%), Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other 15.5% (2002 census)

Languages:

French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 34.7%

male: 47.9%

female: 23.3% (2002 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years

male: 10 years

female: 6 years (2005)

Education expenditures:

3.6% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 130

Government ::Benin

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Benin

conventional short form: Benin

local long form: Republique du Benin

local short form: Benin

former: Dahomey

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: Porto-Novo (official capital)

geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: Cotonou (seat of government)

Administrative divisions:

12 departments; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Kouffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou

Independence:

1 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday:

National Day, 1 August (1960)

Constitution:

adopted by referendum 2 December 1990

Legal system:

based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); runoff election held on 19 March 2006 (next to be held in March 2011)

election results: Thomas YAYI Boni elected president; percent of vote - Thomas YAYI Boni 74.5%, Adrien HOUNGBEDJI 25.5%

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 31 March 2007 (next to be held by March 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FCBE 35, ADD 20, PRD 10, other and independents 18

Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or

Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice

Political parties and leaders:

African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou

FAGBOHOUN]; Alliance for Dynamic Democracy or ADD; Alliance of

Progress Forces or AFP; Benin Renaissance or RB [Rosine SOGLO];

Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Force Cowrie

for an Emerging Benin or FCBE; Impulse for Progress and Democracy or

IPD [Theophile NATA]; Key Force or FC [Lazare SEHOUETO]; Movement

for the People's Alternative or MAP [Olivier CAPO-CHICHI]; Rally for

Democracy and Progress or RDP [Dominique HOUNGNINOU]; Social

Democrat Party or PSD [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; Union for Democracy and

National Solidarity or UDS [Sacca LAFIA]; Union for the Relief or

UPR [Issa SALIFOU]

note: approximately 20 additional minor parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: economic groups; environmentalists; political groups; teachers' unions and other educational groups

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,

ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol,

IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUSCO,

NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR,

UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WAEMU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,

WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Cyrille Segbe OGUIN

chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656

FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador James A. KNIGHT

embassy: Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou

mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou

telephone: [229] 21-30-06-50

FAX: [229] 21-30-03-84

Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a vertical green band on the hoist side; green symbolizes hope and revival, yellow wealth, and red courage

note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

National anthem:

name: "L'Aube Nouvelle" (The Dawn of a New Day)

lyrics/music: Gilbert Jean DAGNON

note: adopted 1960

Economy ::Benin

Economy - overview:

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output had averaged about 4% before the global recession, but fell to 2.5% in 2009 and 3% in 2010. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In order to raise growth, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, and encourage new information and communication technology. Specific projects to improve the business climate by reforms to the land tenure system, the commercial justice system, and the financial sector were included in Benin's $307 million Millennium Challenge Account grant signed in February 2006. The 2001 privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture. As result of these reforms, Benin has become the most competitive country in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, according to the World Economic Forum. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation, with Benin benefiting from a G-8 debt reduction announced in July 2005, while pressing for more rapid structural reforms. An insufficient electrical supply continues to adversely affect Benin's economic growth though the government recently has taken steps to increase domestic power production.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$14.2 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 139 $13.79 billion (2009 est.)

$13.42 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$6.494 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 127 2.7% (2009 est.)

5.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,600 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 198 $1,600 (2009 est.)

$1,600 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 33.2%

industry: 14.5%

services: 52.3% (2007 est.)

Labor force:

3.662 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 93

Unemployment rate:

NA%

Population below poverty line:

37.4% (2007 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.1%

highest 10%: 29% (2003)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

36.5 (2003) country comparison to the world: 82

Investment (gross fixed):

18.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 42 2.2% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

4.25% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 91 4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA% (31 December 2009 est.)

NA% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$1.551 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 125 $1.619 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$2.424 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 138 $2.517 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.222 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 143 $1.269 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; livestock

Industries:

textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement

Industrial production growth rate:

3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 105

Electricity - production:

124 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 185

Electricity - consumption:

597 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 156

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

588 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 117

Oil - consumption:

23,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 119

Oil - exports:

8,770 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 96

Oil - imports:

28,900 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 100

Oil - proved reserves:

8 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 55

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 82

Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.133 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 97

Current account balance:

-$582 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 121 -$644 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$1.125 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 150 $994 million (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood

Exports - partners:

India 19.72%, China 13.18%, Niger 6.94%, Nigeria 6.56%, Indonesia 5.73%, Togo 5.63%, Namibia 4.17% (2009)

Imports:

$1.812 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 153 $1.703 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products

Imports - partners:

China 35.62%, US 7.51%, France 7.38%, Thailand 6.71%, Malaysia 6.13%, Netherlands 4.83%, Belgium 4.02% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.254 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 107 $1.23 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$2.894 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 131 $986.2 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 506.04 (2010), 472.19 (2009), 447.81 (2008), 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006)

Communications ::Benin

Telephones - main lines in use:

127,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 141

Telephones - mobile cellular:

5.033 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 94

Telephone system:

general assessment: inadequate system of open-wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular connections; fixed-line network characterized by aging, deteriorating equipment

domestic: fixed-line teledensity only about 2 per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular providers, cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly

international: country code - 229; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; long distance fiber-optic links with Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat-Atlantic Ocean) (2008)

Broadcast media:

state-run Office de Radiodiffusion et de Television du Benin (ORTB) operates a TV station with multiple channels giving it a wide broadcast reach; several privately-owned TV stations broadcast from Cotonou; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio, under ORTB control, includes a national station supplemented by a number of regional stations; substantial number of privately-owned radio broadcast stations; transmissions of a few international broadcasters are available on FM in Cotonou (2007)

Internet country code:

.bj

Internet hosts:

1,286 (2010) country comparison to the world: 165

Internet users:

200,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 139

Transportation ::Benin

Airports:

5 (2010) country comparison to the world: 180

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2010)

Railways:

total: 578 km country comparison to the world: 112 narrow gauge: 578 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:

total: 16,000 km country comparison to the world: 120 paved: 1,400 km

unpaved: 14,600 km (2006)

Waterways:

150 km (on River Niger along northern border) (2007) country comparison to the world: 102

Ports and terminals:

Cotonou

Military ::Benin

Military branches:

Benin Armed Forces (FAB): Army (l'Arme de Terre), Benin Navy (Forces

Navales Beninois, FNB), Benin People's Air Force (Force Aerienne

Populaire de Benin, FAPB) (2008)

Military service age and obligation:

21 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; in practice, volunteers may be taken at the age of 18; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2006)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,023,449

females age 16-49: 1,971,788 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,331,242

females age 16-49: 1,345,145 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 105,468

female: 101,603 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 129

Transnational Issues ::Benin

Disputes - international:

in September 2007, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intervened to attempt to resolve the dispute over two villages along the Benin-Burkina Faso border that remain from 2005 ICJ decision; much of Benin-Niger boundary, including tripoint with Nigeria, remains undemarcated; in 2005, Nigeria ceded thirteen villages to Benin, but border relations remain strained by rival cross-border gang clashes; talks continue between Benin and Togo on funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 9,444 (Togo) (2007)

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point used by traffickers for cocaine destined for Western Europe; vulnerable to money laundering due to poorly enforced financial regulations (2008)

page last updated on January 20, 2011

======================================================================

@Bermuda (North America)

Introduction ::Bermuda

Background:

Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked English colonists headed for Virginia. Tourism to the island to escape North American winters first developed in Victorian times. Tourism continues to be important to the island's economy, although international business has overtaken it in recent years. Bermuda has developed into a highly successful offshore financial center. Although a referendum on independence from the UK was soundly defeated in 1995, the present government has reopened debate on the issue.

Geography ::Bermuda

Location:

North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of

South Carolina (US)

Geographic coordinates:

32 20 N, 64 45 W

Map references:

North America

Area:

total: 54 sq km country comparison to the world: 231 land: 54 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

about one-third the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

103 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate:

subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter

Terrain:

low hills separated by fertile depressions

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Town Hill 76 m

Natural resources:

limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism

Land use:

arable land: 20%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 80% (55% developed, 45% rural/open space) (2005)

Irrigated land:

NA

Natural hazards:

hurricanes (June to November)

Environment - current issues:

sustainable development

Geography - note:

consists of about 138 coral islands and islets with ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land was leased by the US Government from 1941 to 1995

People ::Bermuda

Population:

68,265 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 201

Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.3% (male 6,271/female 6,163)

15-64 years: 67.5% (male 22,555/female 23,215)

65 years and over: 14.2% (male 3,979/female 5,654) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 41.6 years

male: 40.2 years

female: 43.1 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.62% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

Birth rate:

11.47 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 171

Death rate:

7.43 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 120

Net migration rate:

2.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 40

Urbanization:

urban population: 100% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.018 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 2.46 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 221 male: 2.57 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 80.6 years country comparison to the world: 19 male: 77.37 years

female: 83.88 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.98 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 130

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.3% (2005) country comparison to the world: 90

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

163 (2005) country comparison to the world: 161

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

392 (2005) country comparison to the world: 100

Nationality:

noun: Bermudian(s)

adjective: Bermudian

Ethnic groups:

black 54.8%, white 34.1%, mixed 6.4%, other races 4.3%, unspecified 0.4% (2000 census)

Religions:

Anglican 23%, Roman Catholic 15%, African Methodist Episcopal 11%, other Protestant 18%, other 12%, unaffiliated 6%, unspecified 1%, none 14% (2000 census)

Languages:

English (official), Portuguese

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98%

male: 98%

female: 99% (2005 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2005)

Education expenditures:

1.2% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 180

Government ::Bermuda

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Bermuda

former: Somers Islands

Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK

Government type:

parliamentary; self-governing territory

Capital:

name: Hamilton

geographic coordinates: 32 17 N, 64 47 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November

Administrative divisions:

9 parishes and 2 municipalities*; Devonshire, Hamilton, Hamilton*, Paget, Pembroke, Saint George*, Saint George's, Sandys, Smith's, Southampton, Warwick

Independence:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday:

Bermuda Day, 24 May

Constitution:

8 June 1968; amended 1989 and 2003

Legal system:

English law

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Sir Richard GOZNEY (since 12 December 2007)

head of government: Premier Paula COX (since 29 October 2010); Deputy Premier Derrick BURGESS

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the premier, appointed by the governor (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed premier by the governor

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (11 seats; members appointed by the governor, the premier, and the opposition) and the House of Assembly (36 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve up to five-year terms)

elections: last general election held on 18 December 2007 (next to be held not later than 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - PLP 52.5%, UBP 47.3%; seats by party - PLP 22, UBP 14

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrate Courts

Political parties and leaders:

Progressive Labor Party or PLP [Ewart BROWN]; United Bermuda Party or UBP [Kim SWAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Bermuda Employer's Union [Eddie SAINTS]; Bermuda Industrial Union or

BIU [Derrick BURGESS]; Bermuda Public Services Union or BPSU [Ed

BALL]; Bermuda Union of Teachers [Michael CHARLES]

International organization participation:

Caricom (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ITUC, UPU, WCO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Consul General Grace W. SHELTON

consulate(s) general: Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire DVO3

mailing address: P. O. Box HM325, Hamilton HMBX; American Consulate General Hamilton, US Department of State, 5300 Hamilton Place, Washington, DC 20520-5300

telephone: [1] (441) 295-1342

FAX: [1] (441) 295-1592, 296-9233

Flag description:

red, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Bermudian coat of arms (a white shield with a red lion standing on a green grassy field holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the ship Sea Venture off Bermuda in 1609) centered on the outer half of the flag; it was the shipwreck of the vessel, filled with English colonists originally bound for Virginia, that led to settling of Bermuda

note: the flag is unusual in that it is only British overseas territory that uses a red ensign, all others use blue

National anthem:

name: "Hail to Bermuda"

lyrics/music: Bette JOHNS

note: serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Bermuda

Economy - overview:

Bermuda enjoys the third highest per capita income in the world, more than 50% higher than that of the US; the average cost of a house by the mid-2000s exceeded $1,000,000. Its economy is primarily based on providing financial services for international business and luxury facilities for tourists. A number of reinsurance companies relocated to the island following the 11 September 2001 attacks and again after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 contributing to the expansion of an already robust international business sector. Bermuda's tourism industry - which derives over 80% of its visitors from the US - continues to struggle but remains the island's number two industry. Most capital equipment and food must be imported. Bermuda's industrial sector is largely focused on construction and agriculture is limited, with only 20% of the land being arable.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$4.5 billion (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 164

GDP (official exchange rate):

$NA

GDP - real growth rate:

4.6% (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 67

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$69,900 (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 4

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1%

industry: 10%

services: 89% (2002 est.)

Labor force:

38,360 (2004) country comparison to the world: 200

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture and fishing: 3%

laborers: 17%

clerical: 19%

professional and technical: 21%

administrative and managerial: 15%

sales: 7%

services: 19% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate:

2.1% (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 15

Population below poverty line:

19% (2000)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.8% (November 2005) country comparison to the world: 86

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$1.36 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 95 $1.912 billion (31 December 2008)

$2.731 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products, honey

Industries:

international business, tourism, light manufacturing

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

675.6 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 152

Electricity - consumption:

628.3 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 154

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Oil - consumption:

5,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 166

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 208

Oil - imports:

4,500 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 160

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 101

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 97

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 54

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 81

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 105

Exports:

$763 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 160

Exports - commodities:

reexports of pharmaceuticals

Exports - partners:

Spain 16.91%, India 10.15%, Brazil 9.55%, Germany 7.4% (2009)

Imports:

$1.162 billion (2006) country comparison to the world: 168

Imports - commodities:

clothing, fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, chemicals, food and live animals

Imports - partners:

US 31.2%, South Korea 26.71%, Brazil 6.77%, Ireland 6.11%, Singapore 5.35% (2009)

Debt - external:

$160 million (FY99/00) country comparison to the world: 177

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$NA

Exchange rates:

Bermudian dollars (BMD) per US dollar - 1.0000 (fixed rate pegged to the US dollar)

Communications ::Bermuda

Telephones - main lines in use:

57,700 (2009) country comparison to the world: 157

Telephones - mobile cellular:

85,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 187

Telephone system:

general assessment: good

domestic: fully automatic digital telephone system; fiber optic trunk lines

international: country code - 1-441; landing points for the GlobeNet, Gemini Bermuda, and the Challenger Bermuda-1 (CB-1)submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 (2007)

Broadcast media:

3 television stations; cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; roughly 10 radio stations operating (2007)

Internet country code:

.bm

Internet hosts:

19,855 (2010) country comparison to the world: 112

Internet users:

54,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 172

Transportation ::Bermuda

Airports:

1 (2010) country comparison to the world: 236

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 447 km country comparison to the world: 196 paved: 447 km

note: public roads - 225 km; private roads - 222 km (2007)

Merchant marine:

total: 139 country comparison to the world: 43 by type: bulk carrier 22, chemical tanker 3, container 15, liquefied gas 38, passenger 26, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 20, refrigerated cargo 9

foreign-owned: 114 (China 13, France 1, Germany 15, Greece 2, Hong Kong 5, Ireland 2, Israel 3, Japan 2, Monaco 2, Nigeria 11, Norway 5, Sweden 17, UK 11, US 25)

registered in other countries: 180 (Bahamas 12, Cyprus 1, Greece 3, Hong Kong 12, Isle of Man 7, Liberia 4, Malta 8, Marshall Islands 34, Norway 5, Panama 15, Philippines 43, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Singapore 21, UK 9, US 5) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Hamilton, Ireland Island, Saint George

Military ::Bermuda

Military branches:

Bermuda Regiment (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

18-30 years of age for voluntary or compulsory enlistment in the Bermuda Regiment; males must register at age 18; term of service is 38 months (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 15,217 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 12,405

females age 16-49: 12,327 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 436

female: 397 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.11% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 172

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues ::Bermuda

Disputes - international:

none

page last updated on January 11, 2011

======================================================================

@Bhutan (South Asia)

Introduction ::Bhutan

Background:

In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. A refugee issue of over 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the government's draft constitution - which would introduce major democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition. In early 2007, India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty to allow Bhutan greater autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New Delhi. In July 2007, seven ministers of Bhutan's ten-member cabinet resigned to join the political process, and the cabinet acted as a caretaker regime until democratic elections for seats to the country's first parliament were completed in March 2008. The king ratified the country's first constitution in July 2008.

Geography ::Bhutan

Location:

Southern Asia, between China and India

Geographic coordinates:

27 30 N, 90 30 E

Map references:

Asia

Area:

total: 38,394 sq km country comparison to the world: 136 land: 38,394 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

about one-half the size of Indiana

Land boundaries:

total: 1,075 km

border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas

Terrain:

mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Drangeme Chhu 97 m

highest point: Gangkar Puensum 7,570 m

Natural resources:

timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate

Land use:

arable land: 2.3%

permanent crops: 0.43%

other: 97.27% (2005)

Irrigated land:

400 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

95 cu km (1987)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.43 cu km/yr (5%/1%/94%)

per capita: 199 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season

Environment - current issues:

soil erosion; limited access to potable water

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note:

landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes

People ::Bhutan

Population:

699,847 country comparison to the world: 164 note: the Factbook population estimate is consistent with the first modern census of Bhutan, conducted in 2005; previous Factbook population estimates for this country, which were on the order of three times the total population reported here, were based on Bhutanese government publications that did not include the census (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 30.2% (male 106,410/female 102,164)

15-64 years: 64.3% (male 235,988/female 208,484)

65 years and over: 5.5% (male 20,169/female 17,926) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 24.3 years

male: 25 years

female: 23.7 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.236% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 101

Birth rate:

19.62 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

Death rate:

7.25 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 124

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 88

Urbanization:

urban population: 35% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female

total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 46.92 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 55 male: 47.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 45.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 66.71 years country comparison to the world: 158 male: 65.89 years

female: 67.57 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.29 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 105

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

fewer than 100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 162

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Bhutanese

Ethnic groups:

Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several

Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

Religions:

Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%

Languages:

Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 47%

male: 60%

female: 34% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years

male: 12 years

female: 11 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

5.1% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 63

Government ::Bhutan

Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan

conventional short form: Bhutan

local long form: Druk Gyalkhap

local short form: Druk Yul

Government type:

constitutional monarchy

Capital:

name: Thimphu

geographic coordinates: 27 29 N, 89 36 E

time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha,

Chirang, Daga, Gasa, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro,

Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang,

Tashi Yangtse, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang

Independence:

1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king)

National holiday:

National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17

December (1907)

Constitution:

ratified 18 July 2008

Legal system:

based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 and his son immediately succeeded him; the nearly two-year delay between the former King's abdication and his son's coronation on 6 November 2008 was to ensure an astrologically auspicious coronation date and to give the new king, who had limited experience, deeper administrative expertise under the guidance of this father

head of government: Prime Minister Jigme THINLEY (since 9 April 2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) nominated by the monarch, approved by the National Assembly; members serve fixed, five-year terms; note - there is also a Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde); members are nominated by the monarch (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July 1998 grant the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch with two-thirds vote; election of a new National Assembly occurred in March 2008; the leader of the majority party nominated as the prime minister

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the non-partisan National Council (25 seats; 20 members elected by each of the 20 electoral districts (dzongkhags) for four-year terms and 5 members nominated by the King); and the National Assembly (47 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote for five-year terms)

elections: National Council elections last held on 31 December 2007 and 29 January 2008 (next to be held by December 2012); National Assembly elections last held on 24 March 2008 (next to be held by March 2013)

election results: National Council - NA; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - DPT 67%, PDP 33%; seats by party - DPT 45, PDP 2

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed by the monarch); note - the draft constitution establishes a Supreme Court that will serve as chief court of appeal

Political parties and leaders:

Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party (Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) or DPT

[Jigme THINLEY]; People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tshering TOBGAY]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

United Front for Democracy (exiled); Druk National Congress (exiled)

other: Buddhist clergy; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading militant antigovernment campaign; Indian merchant community

International organization participation:

ADB, BIMSTEC, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF,

Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, NAM,

OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO,

WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none; note - the Permanent Mission to the UN for Bhutan has consular jurisdiction in the US; the permanent representative to the UN is Daw PENJO; address: 763 First Avenue, New York, NY 10017; telephone [1] (212) 682-2268; FAX [1] (212) 661-0551

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations, although informal contact is maintained between the Bhutanese and US Embassy in New Delhi (India)

Flag description:

divided diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side; the dragon, called the Druk (Thunder Dragon), is the emblem of the nation; its white color stands for purity and the jewels in its claws symbolize wealth; the background colors represent spiritual and secular powers within Bhutan: the orange is associated with Bhuddism, while the yellow denotes the ruling dynasty

National anthem:

name: "Druk tsendhen" (The Thunder Dragon Kingdom)

lyrics/music: Gyaldun Dasho Thinley DORJI/Aku TONGMI

note: adopted 1953

Economy ::Bhutan

Economy - overview:

The economy, one of the world's smallest and least developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for more than 60% of the population. Agriculture consists largely of subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. The economy is closely aligned with India's through strong trade and monetary links and dependence on India's financial assistance. The industrial sector is technologically backward, with most production of the cottage industry type. Most development projects, such as road construction, rely on Indian migrant labor. Model education, social, and environment programs are underway with support from multilateral development organizations. Each economic program takes into account the government's desire to protect the country's environment and cultural traditions. For example, the government, in its cautious expansion of the tourist sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious tourists. Complicated controls and uncertain policies in areas such as industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment. Hydropower exports to India have boosted Bhutan's overall growth. New hydropower projects will be the driving force behind Bhutan's ability to create employment and sustain growth in the coming years.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$3.526 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 170 $3.301 billion (2009 est.)

$3.123 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.397 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

6.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 26 5.7% (2009 est.)

2.7% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 144 $4,800 (2009 est.)

$4,600 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 17.6%

industry: 45%

services: 37.4% (2006)

Labor force:

299,900 country comparison to the world: 164 note: major shortage of skilled labor (2008)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 63%

industry: 6%

services: 31% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate:

4% (2009) country comparison to the world: 36 2.5% (2004)

Population below poverty line:

23.2% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 37.6% (2003)

Public debt:

57.8% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 40 81.4% of GDP (2004)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.3% (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 127 4.9% (2007 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

NA%

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA% (31 December 2009 est.)

NA% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$335 million (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 164 $381.1 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of broad money:

$NA (31 December 2009)

$647.6 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$NA (31 December 2008)

$169.9 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA

Agriculture - products:

rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs

Industries:

cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Electricity - production:

1.48 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

Electricity - consumption:

184 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Electricity - exports:

1.296 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 118

Oil - consumption:

1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 190

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

Oil - imports:

1,250 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 183

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 199

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 202

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 53

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 80

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 200

Current account balance:

$164 million (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 55 $116 million (2007 est.)

Exports:

$513 million (2008) country comparison to the world: 166 $350 million (2006)

Exports - commodities:

electricity (to India), ferrosilicon, cement, calcium carbide, copper wire, manganese, vegetable oil

Exports - partners:

India 86.3%, Bangladesh 8.1%, Italy 1.5% (2008)

Imports:

$533 million (2008) country comparison to the world: 187 $320 million (2006)

Imports - commodities:

fuel and lubricants, passenger cars, machinery and parts, fabrics, rice (2008)

Imports - partners:

India 63%, Japan 12.3%, China 5.1% (2008)

Debt - external:

$836 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 152 $713.3 million (2006)

Exchange rates:

ngultrum (BTN) per US dollar - 46.6 (2009), 41.487 (2007), 45.279 (2006), 44.101 (2005), 45.317 (2004)

note: the ngultrum is pegged to the Indian rupee

Communications ::Bhutan

Telephones - main lines in use:

26,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 182

Telephones - mobile cellular:

327,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 169

Telephone system:

general assessment: urban towns and district headquarters have telecommunications services

domestic: low teledensity; domestic service is poor especially in rural areas; mobile-cellular service available since 2003

international: country code - 975; international telephone and telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (2009)

Broadcast media:

state-owned TV station established in 1999; cable TV service offers dozens of Indian and other international channels; first radio station, privately launched in 1973, is now state-owned; 1 private radio station began operations in 2006 (2007)

Internet country code:

.bt

Internet hosts:

9,147 (2010) country comparison to the world: 125

Internet users:

50,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 173

Transportation ::Bhutan

Airports:

2 (2010) country comparison to the world: 196

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 8,050 km country comparison to the world: 141 paved: 4,991 km

unpaved: 3,059 km (2003)

Military ::Bhutan

Military branches:

Royal Bhutan Army (includes Royal Bodyguard and Royal Bhutan Police) (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 198,553

females age 16-49: 176,226 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 153,985

females age 16-49: 140,437 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 7,432

female: 7,153 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Transnational Issues ::Bhutan

Disputes - international:

Bhutan cooperates with India to expel Indian Nagaland separatists; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lie in Bhutan's northwest and along the Chumbi salient

page last updated on January 13, 2011

======================================================================

@Bolivia (South America)

Introduction ::Bolivia

Background:

Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the country's traditional political class and empower the nation's poor, indigenous majority. However, since taking office, his controversial strategies have exacerbated racial and economic tensions between the Amerindian populations of the Andean west and the non-indigenous communities of the eastern lowlands. In December 2009, President MORALES easily won reelection, and his party took control of the legislative branch of the government, which will allow him to continue his process of change.

Geography ::Bolivia

Location:

Central South America, southwest of Brazil

Geographic coordinates:

17 00 S, 65 00 W

Map references:

South America

Area:

total: 1,098,581 sq km country comparison to the world: 28 land: 1,083,301 sq km

water: 15,280 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly less than three times the size of Montana

Land boundaries:

total: 6,940 km

border countries: Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,423 km, Chile 860 km, Paraguay 750 km, Peru 1,075 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid

Terrain:

rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m

highest point: Nevado Sajama 6,542 m

Natural resources:

tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 2.78%

permanent crops: 0.19%

other: 97.03% (2005)

Irrigated land:

1,320 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

622.5 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 1.44 cu km/yr (13%/7%/81%)

per capita: 157 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

flooding in the northeast (March-April)

volcanism: Bolivia experiences volcanic activity in Andes Mountains on the border with Chile; historically active volcanoes in this region are Irruputuncu (elev. 5,163 m, 16,939 ft), which last erupted in 1995 and Olca-Paruma

Environment - current issues:

the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity; industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru

People ::Bolivia

Population:

9,947,418 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 84

Age structure:

0-14 years: 35.5% (male 1,767,310/female 1,701,744)

15-64 years: 60% (male 2,877,605/female 2,992,043)

65 years and over: 4.5% (male 193,196/female 243,348) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 22.2 years

male: 21.5 years

female: 22.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.72% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Birth rate:

25.16 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63

Death rate:

6.95 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 133

Net migration rate:

-1.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 156

Urbanization:

urban population: 66% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 43.41 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 63 male: 47.26 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 39.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 67.23 years country comparison to the world: 155 male: 64.52 years

female: 70.07 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

3.07 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 107

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

8,100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 500 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 84

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Bolivian(s)

adjective: Bolivian

Ethnic groups:

Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%,

Aymara 25%, white 15%

Religions:

Roman Catholic 95%, Protestant (Evangelical Methodist) 5%

Languages:

Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua 21.2% (official), Aymara 14.6% (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2% (2001 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86.7%

male: 93.1%

female: 80.7% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

6.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 31

Government ::Bolivia

Country name:

conventional long form: Plurinational State of Bolivia

conventional short form: Bolivia

local long form: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia

local short form: Bolivia

Government type:

republic; note - the new constitution defines Bolivia as a "Social Unitarian State"

Capital:

name: La Paz (administrative capital)

geographic coordinates: 16 30 S, 68 09 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: Sucre (constitutional capital)

Administrative divisions:

9 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Tarija

Independence:

6 August 1825 (from Spain)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 6 August (1825)

Constitution:

7 February 2009

Legal system:

based on Spanish law and Napoleonic Code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; the 2009 Constitution incorporates indigenous community justice into Bolivia's judicial system

Suffrage:

18 years of age, universal and compulsory (married); 21 years of age, universal and compulsory (single)

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Juan Evo MORALES Ayma (since 22 January 2006); Vice President Alvaro GARCIA Linera (since 22 January 2006)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term and are eligible for a single re-election; election last held on 6 December 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: Juan Evo MORALES Ayma reelected president; percent of vote - Juan Evo MORALES Ayma 64%; Manfred REYES VILLA 26%; Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana 6%; Rene JOAQUINO 2%; other 2%

Legislative branch:

bicameral Plurinational Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (36 seats; members are elected by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year terms) and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (130 seats total; 70 uninominal deputies directly elected from a single district, 7 "special" indigenous deputies directly elected from non-contiguous indigenous districts, and 53 plurinominal deputies elected by proportional representation from party lists; all deputies serve five-year terms)

elections: Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies - last held on 6 December 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 26, PPB-CN 10; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MAS 89, PPB-CN 36, UN 3, AS 2

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges elected by popular vote from list of candidates pre-selected by Assembly for six-year terms); District Courts (one in each department); Plurinational Constitutional Court (five primary or titulares and five alternate or suplente magistrates elected by popular vote from list of candidates pre-selected by Assembly for six-year terms; to rule on constitutional issues); Plurinational Electoral Organ (seven members elected by the Assembly and the president; one member must be of indigenous origin to six-year terms); Agro-Environmental Court (judges elected by popular vote from list of candidates pre-selected by Assembly for six-year terms; to run on agro-environmental issues); provincial and local courts (to try minor cases)

Political parties and leaders:

Bolivia-National Convergence or PPB-CN [Manfred REYES VILLA];

Fearless Movement or MSM [Juan DE GRANADO Cosio]; Movement Toward

Socialism or MAS [Juan Evo MORALES Ayma]; National Unity or UN

[Samuel DORIA MEDINA Arana]; People or Gente [Roman LOAYZA]; Social

Alliance or AS [Rene JOAQUINO]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Bolivian Workers Central or COR; Federation of Neighborhood Councils of El Alto or FEJUVE; Landless Movement or MST; National Coordinator for Change or CONALCAM; Sole Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia or CSUTCB

other: Cocalero groups; indigenous organizations (including Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Eastern Bolivia or CIDOB and National Council of Ayullus and Markas of Quollasuyu or CONAMAQ); labor unions (including the Central Bolivian Workers' Union or COB and Cooperative Miners Federation or FENCOMIN)

International organization participation:

CAN, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD,

IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO

(correspondent), ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA,

MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR,

UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI,

UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Erika Angela DUENAS Loayza

chancery: 3014 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-4410

FAX: [1] (202) 328-3712

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco

note: as of September 2008, the US has expelled the Bolivian ambassador to the US

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires John CREAMER

embassy: Avenida Arce 2780, Casilla 425, La Paz

mailing address: P. O. Box 425, La Paz; APO AA 34032

telephone: [591] (2) 216-8000

FAX: [591] (2) 216-8111

note: in September 2008, the Bolivian Government expelled the US Ambassador to Bolivia, and the countries have yet to reinstate ambassadors

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band; red stands for bravery and the blood of national heroes, yellow for the nation's mineral resources, and green for the fertility of the land

note: similar to the flag of Ghana, which has a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; in 2009, a presidential decree made it mandatory for a so-called wiphala - a square, multi-colored flag representing the country's indigenous peoples - to be used alongside the traditional flag

National anthem:

name: "Cancion Patriotica" (Patriotic Song)

lyrics/music: Jose Ignacio de SANJINES/Leopoldo Benedetto VINCENTI

note: adopted 1852

Economy ::Bolivia

Economy - overview:

Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America. Following a disastrous economic crisis during the early 1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic growth, and cut poverty rates in the 1990s. The period 2003-05 was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large northern hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to the state energy company in exchange for a predetermined service fee. After higher prices for mining and hydrocarbons exports produced a fiscal surplus in 2008, the global recession in 2009 slowed growth. A decline in commodity prices that began in late 2008, a lack of foreign investment in the mining and hydrocarbon sectors, a poor infrastructure, and the suspension of trade benefits with the United States will pose challenges for the Bolivian economy.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$47.98 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 91 $46.22 billion (2009 est.)

$44.7 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$19.18 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87 3.4% (2009 est.)

6.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$4,800 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 150 $4,700 (2009 est.)

$4,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 11%

industry: 38%

services: 51% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

4.614 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 78

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 40%

industry: 17%

services: 43% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:

8.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 94 7.7% (2009 est.)

note: data are for urban areas; widespread underemployment

Population below poverty line:

30.3% of population living on less than $2/day (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 0.5%

highest 10%: 44.1% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

58.2 (2009) country comparison to the world: 9 44.7 (1999)

Investment (gross fixed):

17.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

Public debt:

40.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 71 40.3% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 56 3.3% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

3% (31 October 2010) country comparison to the world: 26 13% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10% (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 70 12.36% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$4.374 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 97 $3.524 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$12.16 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 95 $11.04 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$8.314 billion (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 99 $7.233 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$2.792 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 90 $2.672 billion (31 December 2008)

$2.263 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

soybeans, coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes; timber

Industries:

mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing

Industrial production growth rate:

4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 80

Electricity - production:

5.495 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 111

Electricity - consumption:

4.665 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

47,050 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 66

Oil - consumption:

59,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

Oil - exports:

10,950 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

Oil - imports:

6,172 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 151

Oil - proved reserves:

465 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48

Natural gas - production:

14.2 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 35

Natural gas - consumption:

2.41 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 78

Natural gas - exports:

11.79 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 18

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 79

Natural gas - proved reserves:

750.4 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Current account balance:

$878 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 46 $800.7 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$6.058 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103 $4.848 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

natural gas, soybeans and soy products, crude petroleum, zinc ore, tin

Exports - partners:

Brazil 41.38%, US 13.87%, Japan 5.62%, Colombia 5.32%, South Korea 4.7%, Peru 4.16% (2009)

Imports:

$5.006 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 114 $4.095 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

petroleum products, plastics, paper, aircraft and aircraft parts, prepared foods, automobiles, insecticides, soybeans

Imports - partners:

Brazil 27.12%, Argentina 15.69%, US 12.77%, Chile 9.11%, Peru 6.85% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$8.739 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 57 $8.581 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$6.13 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 99 $5.653 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$NA (31 December 2009)

$5.998 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$NA (31 December 2010)

$63.8 million (31 December 2008)

Exchange rates:

bolivianos (BOB) per US dollar - 7.0699 (2010), 7.07 (2009), 7.253 (2008), 7.8616 (2007), 8.0159 (2006)

Communications ::Bolivia

Telephones - main lines in use:

810,200 (2009) country comparison to the world: 87

Telephones - mobile cellular:

7.148 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 81

Telephone system:

general assessment: privatization begun in 1995; primary trunk system, which is being expanded, employs digital microwave radio relay; some areas are served by fiber-optic cable; overall reliability has steadily improved

domestic: most telephones are concentrated in La Paz and other cities; mobile-cellular telephone use expanding rapidly and, in 2009, teledensity reached 75 per 100 persons; fixed-line teledensity is low at less than 10 per 100 persons

international: country code - 591; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast media:

large number of radio and television broadcasting stations with private media outlets dominating; state-owned and private radio and television stations generally operating freely, although both pro-government and anti-government groups have attacked media outlets in response to their reporting (2007)

Internet country code:

.bo

Internet hosts:

125,462 (2010) country comparison to the world: 74

Internet users:

1.103 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 95

Transportation ::Bolivia

Airports:

881 (2010) country compa