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Map of Kuwait
Introduction Kuwait
Background:
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 completely liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait has spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91.
Geography Kuwait
Location:
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
29 30 N, 45 45 E
Map references:
Middle East
Area:
total: 17,820 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 17,820 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries:
total: 462 km
border countries: Iraq 240 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km
Coastline:
499 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrain:
flat to slightly undulating desert plain
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 306 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
60 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April; they bring heavy rain which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year, but are most common between March and August
Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping
Geography - note:
strategic location at head of Persian Gulf
People Kuwait
Population:
2,111,561
note: includes 1,159,913 non-nationals (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.3% (male 304,200; female 292,900)
15-64 years: 69.2% (male 934,115; female 527,331)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 34,106; female 18,909) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
3.33%
note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
21.84 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
2.46 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
13.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.77 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1.52 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
10.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.46 years
male: 75.56 years
female: 77.39 years (2002 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.14 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.12% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Nationality:
noun: Kuwaiti(s)
adjective: Kuwaiti
Ethnic groups:
Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
Religions:
Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shi'a 30%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%
Languages:
Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 78.6%
male: 82.2%
female: 74.9% (1995 est.)
Government Kuwait
Country name:
conventional long form: State of Kuwait
conventional short form: Kuwait
local short form: Al Kuwayt
local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt
Government type:
nominal constitutional monarchy
Capital:
Kuwait
Administrative divisions:
5 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Farwaniyah, Al 'Asimah, Al Jahra', Hawalli
Independence:
19 June 1961 (from UK)
National holiday:
National Day, 25 February (1950)
Constitution:
approved and promulgated 11 November 1962
Legal system:
civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants at age 21
note: only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote; in 1996, naturalized citizens who do not meet the pre-1920 qualification but have been naturalized for 30 years were eligible to vote for the first time
Executive branch:
chief of state: Amir JABIR al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 31 December 1977)
head of government: Prime Minister and Crown Prince SAAD al-Abdallah al-Salim Al Sabah (since 8 February 1978); First Deputy Prime Minister SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 17 October 1992); Deputy Prime Ministers JABIR MUBARAK al-Hamud Al Sabah (since NA) and MUHAMMAD KHALID al-Hamed Al Sabah (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 3 July 1999 (next to be held NA 2003)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 50; note - all cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly
Judicial branch:
High Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
none; formation of political parties is illegal
Political pressure groups and leaders:
several political groups act as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists, and secular leftists and nationalists
International organization participation:
ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber AL SABAH
FAX: [1] (202) 966-0517
telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702
chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard H. JONES
embassy: Bayan, 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:
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side
Economy Kuwait
Economy - overview:
Kuwait is a small, rich, relatively open economy with proved crude oil reserves of 94 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 90% of export revenues, and 75% 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. Higher oil prices put the FY99/00 budget into a $2 billion surplus. The FY00/01 budget covers only nine months because of a change in the fiscal year. The budget for FY01/02 envisioned higher expenditures for salaries, construction, and other general categories. Kuwait continues its discussions with foreign oil companies to develop fields in the northern part of the country.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $30.9 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $15,100 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
industry: 60%
services: 39.7%
agriculture: 0.3% (2000)
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.7% (2001)
Labor force:
1.3 million (1998 est.)
note: 68% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
1.8% (official 1996 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $11.5 billion
expenditures: $17.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY01/02)
Industries:
petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate:
1% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
31.2 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
29.016 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
practically no crops; fish
Exports:
$16.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports - partners:
Japan 23%, US 14%, South Korea 13%, Singapore 7%, Netherlands 6%, Pakistan 6%, Indonesia 4%, UK 2% (2000)
Imports:
$7.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing
Imports - partners:
US 12%, Japan 8%, UK 8%, Germany 7%, China 5%, France 4%, Australia 3%, Netherlands 2% (2000)
Debt - external:
$6.9 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
NA
Currency:
Kuwaiti dinar (KD)
Currency code:
KWD
Exchange rates:
Kuwaiti dinars per US dollar - 0.3075 (January 2002), 0.3066, (2001), 0.3067 (2000), 0.3044 (1999), 0.3047 (1998), 0.3033 (1997)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Kuwait
Telephones - main lines in use:
412,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
210,000 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: the quality of service is excellent
domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, open wire, and fiber-optic cable; a cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait, and the country is well supplied with pay telephones
international: coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 2 Arabsat
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 6, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios:
1.175 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
13 (plus several satellite channels) (1997)
Televisions:
875,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.kw
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)
Internet users:
165,000 (2001)
Transportation Kuwait
Railways:
0 km
Highways:
total: 4,450 km
paved: 3,590 km
unpaved: 860 km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
none
Pipelines:
crude oil 877 km; petroleum products 40 km; natural gas 165 km
Ports and harbors:
Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Kuwait, Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi, Mina' Su'ud
Merchant marine:
total: 38 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,274,515 GRT/3,627,835 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 1, container 6, liquefied gas 6, livestock carrier 5, petroleum tanker 19
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Monaco 1, Saudi Arabia 1 (2002 est.)
Airports:
7 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2001)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
Heliports:
3 (2001)
Military Kuwait
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air Force (including Air Defense Force), National Police Force, National Guard, Coast Guard
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 812,059 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 486,906 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 18,309 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$1,967,300,000 (FY01)
note: Kuwait is changing its fiscal year; the above figure is for July-March 2001; future budget years will be April-March annually
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
5.5% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Kuwait
Disputes - international:
in November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border with Kuwait which had been spelled out in Security Council Resolutions 687 (1991), 773 (1993), and 883 (1993); this formally ends earlier claims to Kuwait and to Bubiyan and Warbah islands, although the Iraqi Government continues periodic rhetorical challenges

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002





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