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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

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Country map showing major cities and other features.


Map of Kuwait

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   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.

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   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: 0.73%
permanent crops: 0.11%
other: 99.16% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
60 sq km (1998 est.)
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, 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

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   People    Kuwait
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,257,549
note: includes 1,291,354 non-nationals (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 27.5% (male 316,237; female 304,671)
15-64 years: 69.8% (male 1,007,298; female 569,128)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 38,408; female 21,807) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 25.9 years
male: 28.2 years
female: 22 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.36%
note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.85 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.44 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
14.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.77 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1.52 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 10.26 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 11.27 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 76.84 years
male: 75.86 years
female: 77.86 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.03 children born/woman (2004 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%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 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: 83.5%
male: 85.1%
female: 81.7% (2003 est.)

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   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
nominal constitutional monarchy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Kuwait
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
5 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Farwaniyah, Al 'Asimah, Al Jahra', Hawalli
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
adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants at age 21
note: only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote; in 1996, naturalized citizens who do not meet the pre-1920 qualification but have been naturalized for 30 years were eligible to vote for the first time
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Amir JABIR al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 31 December 1977)
head of government: Prime Minister SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 13 July 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister NAWWAF al-Ahmad Al Sabah (since 2003); Deputy Prime Ministers JABIR MUBARAK al-Hamad Al Sabah (since 2001) and Muhammad Dayfallah al-SHARAR (since 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 6 July 2003 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - Islamists 21, government supporters 14, liberals 3, and independents 12; note - all cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
High Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none; formation of political parties is illegal
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
several political groups act as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists, and secular leftists and nationalists
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAS, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Sheikh SALIM al-Abdallah 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 Richard H. JONES
embassy: Bayan, Area 14, Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Street (near the Bayan palace), Kuwait City
mailing address: P. O. Box 77 Safat, 13001 Safat, Kuwait Unit 69000, APO AE 09880-9000
telephone: [965] 539-5307, ext. 2240
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

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   Economy    Kuwait
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Kuwait is a small, rich, relatively open economy with proved crude oil reserves of about 98 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 80% of government income. Kuwait's climate limits agricultural development. Consequently, with the exception of fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable water must be distilled or imported. Kuwait continues its discussions with foreign oil companies to develop fields in the northern part of the country.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $41.46 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.6% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $19,000 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 59.5%
services: 40% (2003)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8% of GDP (2003)
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
1.2% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.38 million
note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 80% of the labor force. (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture NA, industries NA, services NA
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.1% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $29.41 billion
expenditures: $17.57 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.5% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
practically no crops; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-5% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31.49 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.29 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.27 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
293,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.97 million bbl/day (2003)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2003)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
97.68 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.7 billion cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.7 billion cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.548 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8.652 billion (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$22.29 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
oil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 22%, South Korea 13.1%, US 12%, Singapore 10.2%, Taiwan 7.5%, Pakistan 4.7% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9.606 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 15%, Japan 10.4%, Germany 9.7%, China 6.7%, UK 6.2%, Saudi Arabia 5.6%, Italy 5.1%, France 4.3% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.685 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$12.18 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
NA (2001)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Kuwaiti dinar (KD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
KWD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Kuwaiti dinars per US dollar - 0.298 (2003), 0.3039 (2002), 0.3067 (2001), 0.3068 (2000), 0.3044 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March

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   Communications    Kuwait
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
486,900 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.42 million (2003)
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; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 2 Arabsat
Radio broadcast stations:
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
3,437 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
567,000 (2003)

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   Transportation    Kuwait
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 4,450 km
paved: 3,587 km
unpaved: 863 km (1999 est.)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 169 km; oil 540 km; refined products 57 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Kuwait, Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi, Mina' Su'ud
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 38 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 2,319,082 GRT/3,768,828 DWT
by type: bulk 1, container 6, liquefied gas 5, livestock carrier 4, petroleum tanker 21, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: India 1, Saudi Arabia 1
registered in other countries: 5 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
7 (2003 est.)
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 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
3 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Kuwait
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Land Forces, Navy, Air Force (including Air Defense Force), National Guard
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 880,461 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 531,556 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 18,849 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2,500.4 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.8% (2003)

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   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

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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