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Kuwait, See : Flags, Maps

Kuwait (Middle East)

Introduction ::Kuwait

Background:

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. The country witnessed the historic election in May 2009 of four women to its National Assembly.

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: 17,818 sq km country comparison to the world: 157 land: 17,818 sq km

water: 0 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 elevation 306 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas

Land use:

arable land: 0.84%

permanent crops: 0.17%

other: 98.99% (2005)

Irrigated land:

130 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

0.02 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.44 cu km/yr (45%/2%/52%)

per capita: 164 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

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:

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: 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:

strategic location at head of Persian Gulf

People ::Kuwait

Population:

2,789,132 country comparison to the world: 139 note: includes 1,291,354 non-nationals (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.4% (male 361,274/female 348,351)

15-64 years: 70.7% (male 1,219,674/female 683,494)

65 years and over: 3% (male 49,807/female 29,926) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 26.4 years

male: 28.2 years

female: 22.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

3.501% country comparison to the world: 5 note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates (2010 est.)

Birth rate:

21.64 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 82

Death rate:

2.29 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 224

Net migration rate:

15.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 3

Urbanization:

urban population: 98% of total population (2008)

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

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.041 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.79 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.65 male(s)/female

total population: 1.54 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 8.75 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 159 male: 9.35 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.89 years country comparison to the world: 51 male: 76.64 years

female: 79.18 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.7 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 77

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA (2007 est.)

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%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu,
Parsi) 15%

Languages:

Arabic (official), English widely spoken

Literacy:

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):

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 13 years (2006)

Education expenditures:

3.8% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 118

Government ::Kuwait

Country name:

conventional long form: State of Kuwait

conventional short form: Kuwait

local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt

local short form: Al Kuwayt

Government type:

constitutional emirate

Capital:

name: Kuwait City

geographic coordinates: 29 22 N, 47 58 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak al Kabir

Independence:

19 June 1961 (from the 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:

21 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:

chief of state: Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); Crown Prince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 7 February 2006)

head of government: Prime Minister NASIR AL-MUHAMMAD al-Ahmad al-Sabah (since 3 April 2007); First Deputy Prime Minister JABIR AL-MUBAREK al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006); Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD AL-SABAH al-Salim al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the amir (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: none; the amir is hereditary; the amir appoints the prime minister and deputy prime ministers

Legislative branch:

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 on 16 May 2009 (next election to be held in 2013)

election results: percent of vote by bloc - NA; seats by bloc - tribal MPs 25 (all Sunni Muslims, and represented primarily by the Al-Mutairi, Al-Azmi, Al-Ajmi, and Al-Rasheedi tribes), Shia Muslims 9, liberals 7, independents 6, Salafi (Sunni) Islamists 3

Judicial branch:

High Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders:

none; formation of political parties is in practice illegal but is not forbidden by law

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: Islamists; merchants; political groups; secular liberals and pro-governmental deputies; Shia activists; tribal groups

International organization participation:

ABEDA, AfDB (nonregional member), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, FAO,
G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, 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, Paris Club (associate), PCA,
UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

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) 364-2868

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah K. JONES

embassy: Bayan 36302, Block 13, 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] 2259-1001
FAX: [965] 2538-0282

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side; colors and design are based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I; green represents fertile fields, white stands for purity, red denotes blood on Kuwaiti swords, black signifies the defeat of the enemy

National anthem:

name: "Al-Nasheed Al-Watani" (National Anthem)

lyrics/music: Ahmad MUSHARI al-Adwani/Ibrahim Nasir al-SOULA

note: adopted 1978; the anthem is only used on formal occasions

Economy ::Kuwait

Economy - overview:

Kuwait has a geographically small, but wealthy, relatively open economy with self-reported crude oil reserves of about 102 billion barrels - about 9% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 95% of government income. Kuwaiti officials have committed to increasing oil production to 4 million barrels per day by 2020. The rise in global oil prices throughout 2010 is reviving government consumption and economic growth as Kuwait experiences a 20% increase in government budget revenue. Kuwait has done little to diversify its economy, in part, because of this positive fiscal situation, and, in part, due to the poor business climate and the acrimonious relationship between the National Assembly and the executive branch, which has stymied most movement on economic reforms. Nonetheless, the government in May 2010 passed a privatization bill that allows the government to sell assets to private investors, and in January passed an economic development plan that pledges to spend up to $130 billion in five years to diversify the economy away from oil, attract more investment, and boost private sector participation in the economy. Increasing government expenditures by so large an amount during the planned time frame may be difficult to accomplish.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$144.3 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 59 $139.8 billion (2009 est.)

$146.5 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$117.3 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113 -4.6% (2009 est.)

8.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$51,700 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 8 $51,900 (2009 est.)

$56,400 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 0.3%

industry: 48.1%

services: 51.6% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

2.154 million country comparison to the world: 118 note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 60% of the labor force (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Unemployment rate:

2.2% (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 18

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Investment (gross fixed):

13.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

Public debt:

12.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 121 13.1% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 110 4% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

3% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 109 3.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

5.9% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 121 7.61% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$18.12 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 65 $16.38 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$88.71 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 56 $86.53 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$96.71 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51 $90.71 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$95.94 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 33 $107.2 billion (31 December 2008)

$188 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

fish

Industries:

petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials

Industrial production growth rate:

2.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 125

Electricity - production:

45.83 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

Electricity - consumption:

40.21 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

2.494 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 10

Oil - consumption:

320,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 40

Oil - exports:

2.349 million bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 4

Oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Oil - proved reserves:

104 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 5

Natural gas - production:

12.7 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 37

Natural gas - consumption:

12.7 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 42

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 78

Natural gas - imports:

300 million cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 note: Kuwait signed a deal with ?XX? to import 2 billion cu m per year in 2010 and beyond (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.798 trillion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 20

Current account balance:

$38.2 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 11 $28.61 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$65.03 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 43 $50.34 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

oil and refined products, fertilizers

Exports - partners:

Japan 17.9%, South Korea 17.31%, India 12.43%, Taiwan 9.07%, US 7.9%, China 7.55%, Singapore 5.48% (2009)

Imports:

$20.36 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 70 $17.08 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing

Imports - partners:

US 11.18%, China 9.07%, Germany 7.63%, Japan 7.14%, Saudi Arabia 6.24%, Italy 5%, France 4.77%, India 4.09%, UK 4.02% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$22.42 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 39 $20.38 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$56.81 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 53 $55.23 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$1.281 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 86 $1.081 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$44.31 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34 $34.73 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Kuwaiti dinars (KD) per US dollar - 0.2888 (2010), 0.2877 (2009), 0.2679 (2008), 0.2844 (2007), 0.29 (2006)

Communications ::Kuwait

Telephones - main lines in use:

553,500 (2009) country comparison to the world: 94

Telephones - mobile cellular:

3.876 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 105

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, and open-wire and fiber-optic cable; a mobile-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)

Broadcast media:

state-owned TV broadcaster operates 4 networks and a satellite channel; several private TV broadcasters have emerged since 2003; satellite TV is available with pan-Arab TV stations especially popular; state-owned Radio Kuwait broadcasts on a number of channels in Arabic and English; first private radio station emerged in 2005; transmissions of at least 2 international radio broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:

.kw

Internet hosts:

2,485 (2010) country comparison to the world: 151

Internet users:

1.1 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 96

Transportation ::Kuwait

Airports:

7 (2010) country comparison to the world: 168

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

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

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Heliports:

4 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 269 km; oil 540 km; refined products 57 km (2009)

Roadways:

total: 5,749 km country comparison to the world: 150 paved: 4,887 km

unpaved: 862 km (2004)

Merchant marine:

total: 30 country comparison to the world: 83 by type: bulk carrier 1, carrier 3, container 6, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 16

registered in other countries: 47 (Bahamas 2, Bahrain 5, Comoros 1, Libya 1, Malta 2, Panama 12, Qatar 7, Saint Kitts and Nevis 3, Saudi Arabia 4, UAE 10) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Az Zawr (Mina' Sa'ud), Mina' 'Abd
Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi

Military ::Kuwait

Military branches:

Kuwaiti Land Forces (KLF), Kuwaiti Navy, Kuwaiti Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya), Kuwaiti National Guard (KNG) (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

18-30 years of age for compulsory and 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; women age 18-30 may be subject to compulsory military service; conscription suspended in 2001 (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,131,529

females age 16-49: 612,126 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 979,832

females age 16-49: 539,574 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 19,038

female: 19,787 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

5.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 14

Transnational Issues ::Kuwait

Disputes - international:

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:

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 - Kuwaiti government has shown an inability to define trafficking and has demonstrated insufficient political will to address human trafficking adequately; much of the human trafficking found in Kuwait involves domestic workers in private residences and the government is reluctant to prosecute Kuwaiti citizens; the government has not enacted legislation targeting human trafficking nor established a permanent shelter for victims of trafficking (2009)

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