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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Saudi Arabia  
Flag of Saudi Arabia
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Saudi Arabia

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Saudi Arabia
Background:
Definition Field Listing
In 1902 Abd al-Aziz Ibn SAUD captured Riyadh and set out on a 30-year campaign to unify the Arabian Peninsula. In the 1930s, the discovery of oil transformed the country. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Saudi Arabia accepted the Kuwaiti royal family and 400,000 refugees while allowing Western and Arab troops to deploy on its soil for the liberation of Kuwait the following year. A burgeoning population, aquifer depletion, and an economy largely dependent on petroleum output and prices are all major governmental concerns.
   Geography    Saudi Arabia
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
25 00 N, 45 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Middle East
Area:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,960,582 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 1,960,582 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4,431 km
border countries: Iraq 814 km, Jordan 744 km, Kuwait 222 km, Oman 676 km, Qatar 60 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,458 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
2,640 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
contiguous zone: 18 NM
continental shelf: not specified
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly uninhabited, sandy desert
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Sawda' 3,133 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 98% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
16,200 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
frequent sand and dust storms
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
desertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
extensive coastlines on Persian Gulf and Red Sea provide great leverage on shipping (especially crude oil) through Persian Gulf and Suez Canal
   People    Saudi Arabia
Population:
Definition Field Listing
23,513,330
note: includes 5,360,526 non-nationals (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 42.4% (male 5,086,541; female 4,883,942)
15-64 years: 54.8% (male 7,493,304; female 5,396,985)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 362,780; female 289,778) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.27% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
37.25 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.86 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.39 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.25 male(s)/female
total population: 1.22 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
49.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 68.4 years
female: 70.2 years (2002 est.)
male: 66.7 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.21 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Saudi(s)
adjective: Saudi or Saudi Arabian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Muslim 100%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Arabic
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 78%
male: 84.2%
female: 69.5% (2002 est.)
   Government    Saudi Arabia
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
conventional short form: Saudi Arabia
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah
local short form: Al Arabiyah as Suudiyah
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
monarchy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Riyadh
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
13 provinces (mintaqat, singular - mintaqah); Al Bahah, Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah, Al Jawf, Al Madinah, Al Qasim, Ar Riyad, Ash Sharqiyah (Eastern Province), 'Asir, Ha'il, Jizan, Makkah, Najran, Tabuk
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
23 September 1932 (Unification of the Kingdom)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Unification of the Kingdom, 23 September (1932)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
governed according to Shari'a (Islamic law); the Basic Law that articulates the government's rights and responsibilities was introduced in 1993
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Islamic law, several secular codes have been introduced; commercial disputes handled by special committees; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
none
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: King and Prime Minister FAHD bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 13 June 1982); Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (half-brother to the monarch, heir to the throne since 13 June 1982, regent from 1 January to 22 February 1996); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary
head of government: King and Prime Minister FAHD bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 13 June 1982); Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (half-brother to the monarch, heir to the throne since 13 June 1982, regent from 1 January to 22 February 1996); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers is appointed by the monarch and includes many royal family members
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
a consultative council (90 members and a chairman appointed by the monarch for four-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Council of Justice
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none allowed
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BIS, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador BANDAR bin Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud
chancery: 601 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, and New York
telephone: [1] (202) 342-3800
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert W. JORDAN (since 3 October 2001)
embassy: Collector Road M, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh
mailing address: American Embassy Riyadh, Unit 61307, APO AE 09803-1307; International Mail: P. O. Box 94309, Riyadh 11693
telephone: [966] (1) 488-3800
FAX: [966] (1) 488-7360
consulate(s) general: Dhahran, Jiddah (Jeddah)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side); green is the traditional color of Islam
   Economy    Saudi Arabia
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
This is an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves of petroleum in the world (26% of the proved reserves), ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. About 25% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly 4 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors. Riyadh expects to have a budget deficit in 2002, in part because of increased spending for education and other social programs. The government in 1999 announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies, which follows the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company. The government is expected to continue calling for private sector growth to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil and increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population. Shortages of water and rapid population growth will constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $241 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.6% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $10,600 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 7%
industry: 48%
services: 45% (2000 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
1.7% (2001)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
7 million
note: 35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 12%, industry 25%, services 63% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $42 billion
expenditures: $54 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, cement, construction, fertilizer, plastics
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
123.5 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
114.855 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$66.9 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum and petroleum products 90%
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 17.4%, Japan 17.3%, South Korea 11.7%, Singapore 5.3%, India (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$29.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 21.1%, Japan 9.4%, Germany 7.4%, UK 7.3% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$23.8 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
pledged $100 million in 1993 to fund reconstruction of Lebanon; since 1993, Saudi Arabia has committed $208 million for assistance to the Palestinians; pledged $240 million to development in Afghanistan
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Saudi riyal (SAR)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
SAR
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Saudi riyals per US dollar - 3.7450 (fixed rate since June 1986)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Saudi Arabia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
3.1 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
1 million
note: in 1998, the government contracted for the installation of 575,000 additional Group Speciale Mobile (GSM) cellular telephone lines over 15 months to raise the total number of subscribers to more than one million; Riyadh planned to further expand the GSM system in 1999 by adding an additional one million lines (1998)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern system
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and fiber-optic cable systems
international: microwave radio relay to Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Sudan; coaxial cable to Kuwait and Jordan; submarine cable to Djibouti, Egypt and Bahrain; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (3 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 43, FM 31, shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
6.25 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
117 (1997)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
5.1 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.sa
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
42 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
570,000 (2001)
   Transportation    Saudi Arabia
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,392 km
standard gauge: 1,392 km 1.435-m gauge (724 km are double-tracked) (2001)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 146,524 km
paved: 44,104 km
unpaved: 102,420 km (1997 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 6,400 km; petroleum products 150 km; natural gas 2,200 km (includes natural gas liquids 1,600 km)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Ad Dammam, Al Jubayl, Duba, Jiddah, Jizan, Rabigh, Ra's al Khafji, Mishab, Ras Tanura, Yanbu' al Bahr, Madinat Yanbu' al Sinaiyah
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 71 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,071,315 GRT/1,412,125 DWT
ships by type: cargo 11, chemical tanker 10, container 4, livestock carrier 3, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 20, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 11, short-sea passenger 8
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Egypt 3, Finland 1, Greece 3, Kuwait 1, Sudan 1, United Arab Emirates 1, United Kingdom 3 (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
209 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 71 70
over 3,047 m: 31 31
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12 11
914 to 1,523 m: 3 3
under 914 m: 2 2 (2001)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23 23
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 138
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 79
under 914 m: 15 (2001)
914 to 1,523 m: 39
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
5 (2001)
   Military    Saudi Arabia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Land Force (Army), Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Force, National Guard, Ministry of Interior Forces (paramilitary)
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
17 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 6,007,635 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 3,359,849 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 233,402 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$18.3 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
13% (FY00)
   Transnational Issues    Saudi Arabia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
demarcation of delimited boundary with Yemen involves nomadic tribal affiliations; because details of 1974 and 1977 treaties have not been made public, the exact location of the Saudi Arabia-UAE boundary is unknown and status is considered de facto
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
death penalty for traffickers; increasing consumption of heroin and cocaine

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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