Kuwait

source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)

SEE UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

   Introduction    Kuwait
Background:
Definition Field Listing Britain oversaw foreign relations and defense for the ruling Kuwaiti AL-SABAH dynasty from 1899 until independence in 1961. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led, UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since returning to power in 1991 and reestablished an elected legislature that in recent years has become increasingly assertive.
   Geography    Kuwait
Location:
Definition Field Listing Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing 29 30 N, 45 45 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing Middle East
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 17,820 sq km
land: 17,820 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing total: 462 km
border countries: Iraq 240 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing 499 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing flat to slightly undulating desert plain
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 306 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land use:
Definition Field Listing arable land: 0.84%
permanent crops: 0.17%
other: 98.99% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing 130 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 0.02 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing total: 0.44 cu km/yr (45%/2%/52%)
per capita: 164 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April and bring heavy rain, which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year but are most common between March and August
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing limited natural fresh water resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing strategic location at head of Persian Gulf
   People    Kuwait
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2,596,799
note: includes 1,291,354 non-nationals (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 26.6% (male 351,057/female 338,634)
15-64 years: 70.6% (male 1,172,460/female 659,927)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 46,770/female 27,951) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 26.1 years
male: 28 years
female: 22.6 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing 3.591%
note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 21.9 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.37 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 16.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.78 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.67 male(s)/female
total population: 1.53 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 9.22 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 77.53 years
male: 76.38 years
female: 78.73 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.81 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0.12% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing noun: Kuwaiti(s)
adjective: Kuwaiti
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shi'a 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.3%
male: 94.4%
female: 91% (2005 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Definition Field Listing total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3.8% of GDP (2006)
   Government    Kuwait
Country name:
Definition Field Listing conventional long form: State of Kuwait
conventional short form: Kuwait
local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt
local short form: Al Kuwayt
Government type:
Definition Field Listing constitutional emirate
Capital:
Definition Field Listing name: Kuwait
geographic coordinates: 29 22 N, 47 58 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing 6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak Al Kabir
Independence:
Definition Field Listing 19 June 1961 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing National Day, 25 February (1950)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing approved and promulgated 11 November 1962
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing NA years of age; universal (adult); note - males in the military or police are not allowed to vote; adult females were allowed to vote as of 16 May 2005; all voters must have been citizens for 20 years
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing chief of state: Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); Crown Prince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah
head of government: Prime Minister NASIR MUHAMMAD al-Ahmad al-Sabah (since 3 April 2007); First Deputy Prime Minister JABIR Mubarak al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers MUHAMMAD al-Sabah al-Salim al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006) and Faysal al-HAJJI (since 5 April 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the Amir
elections: none; the amir is hereditary; the amir appoints the prime minister and deputy prime ministers
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; all cabinet ministers are also ex officio voting members of the National Assembly)
elections: last held 17 May 2008 (next election to be held in 2012)
election results: percent of vote by bloc - NA; seats by bloc - Sunni 21, Islamic Salafi Alliance 10, Liberals 7, Shiites 5, Popular Action Bloc 4, Islamic Constitutional Movement 3
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing High Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing none; formation of political parties is in practice illegal but is not forbidden by law
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing other: Islamists; merchants; political groups; secular liberals and pro-governmental deputies; Shia activists; tribal groups
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing ABEDA, AfDB (nonregional members), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador SALIM al-Abdallah al-Jabir al-Sabah
chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702
FAX: [1] (202) 966-0517
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah K. JONES
embassy: Bayan 36302, Area 14, Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Street (near the Bayan palace), Kuwait City
mailing address: P. O. Box 77 Safat 13001 Kuwait; or PSC 1280 APO AE 09880-9000
telephone: [965] 259-1001
FAX: [965] 538-0282
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side; design, which dates to 1961, based on the Arab revolt flag of World War I
   Economy    Kuwait
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing Kuwait is a small, rich, relatively open economy with self-reported crude oil reserves of about 104 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 80% of government income. High oil prices in recent years have helped build Kuwait's budget and trade surpluses and foreign reserves. As a result of this positive fiscal situation, the need for economic reforms is less urgent and the government has not earnestly pushed through new initiatives. Despite its vast oil reserves, Kuwait experienced power outages during the summer months in 2006 and 2007 because demand exceeded power generating capacity. Power outages are likely to worsen, given its high population growth rates, unless the government can increase generating capacity. In May 2007 Kuwait changed its currency peg from the US dollar to a basket of currencies in order to curb inflation and to reduce its vulnerability to external shocks.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $140 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $111.3 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 4.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $55,900 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 0.3%
industry: 52.4%
services: 47.3% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.093 million
note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 80% of the labor force (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.2% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.5% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 19.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing revenues: $85.28 billion
expenditures: $37.77 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 9.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing practically no crops; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.7% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 41.11 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 36.28 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.44 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 333,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.2 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2,611 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 101.5 billion bbl (1 January 2007 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 11.8 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 11.8 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.521 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $47.5 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $63.72 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing oil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing Japan 19.6%, South Korea 17.5%, Taiwan 10.4%, Singapore 9.8%, US 8.3%, Netherlands 4.7%, China 4.4% (2007)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $20.64 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing US 12.9%, Japan 8.7%, Germany 7.5%, China 7%, Saudi Arabia 6.4%, Italy 5.9%, UK 4.7%, India 4%, South Korea 4% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing $2.6 million (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $16.78 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $33.62 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $898 million (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $24.22 billion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $128.9 billion (2006)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing Kuwaiti dinar (KD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing Kuwaiti dinars per US dollar - 0.2844 (2007), 0.29 (2006), 0.292 (2005), 0.2947 (2004), 0.298 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing 1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Kuwait
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 517,000 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.774 million (2007)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing general assessment: the quality of service is excellent
domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and open-wire and fiber-optic cable; a cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait, and the country is well supplied with pay telephones
international: country code - 965; linked to international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth stations - 6 (3 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean, 1 Inmarsat - Atlantic Ocean, and 2 Arabsat)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing AM 6, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing 13 (plus several satellite channels) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing .kw
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2,013 (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 900,000 (2007)
   Transportation    Kuwait
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing 4 (2007)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing gas 269 km; oil 540 km; refined products 57 km (2007)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 5,749 km
paved: 4,887 km
unpaved: 862 km (2004)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 40 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,460,319 GRT/4,037,282 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 1, carrier 3, container 7, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 23
registered in other countries: 31 (Bahrain 3, Comoros 1, Libya 1, Panama 2, Qatar 7, Saudi Arabia 6, St Kitts and Nevis 1, UAE 10) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Az Zawr (Mina' Sa'ud), Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi
   Military    Kuwait
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing Land Forces, Kuwaiti Navy, Kuwaiti Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya), National Guard (2007)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; reserve obligation to age 40 with 1 month annual training; women have served in police forces since 1999 (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 1,032,408
females age 16-49: 568,657 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 892,816
females age 16-49: 500,540 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 17,737
female: 18,519 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.3% of GDP (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Kuwait
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue negotiating a joint maritime boundary with Iran; no maritime boundary exists with Iraq in the Persian Gulf
Trafficking in persons:
Definition Field Listing current situation: Kuwait is a destination country for men and women who migrate legally from South and Southeast Asia for domestic or low-skilled labor, but are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude by employers in Kuwait including conditions of physical and sexual abuse, non-payment of wages, confinement to the home, and withholding of passports to restrict their freedom of movement; Kuwait is reportedly a transit point for South and East Asian workers recruited for low-skilled work in Iraq; some of these workers are deceived as to the true location and nature of this work, and others are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in Iraq
tier rating: Tier 3 - insufficient efforts in 2007 to prosecute and punish abusive employers and those who traffic women for sexual exploitation; the government failed for the fourth year in a row to live up to promises to provide shelter and protective services for victims of involuntary domestic servitude and other forms of trafficking (2008)


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Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

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